The 7 Best Solutions for Thinning Hair
It is estimated that half of all women will experience hair loss in their lifetime. This can be blamed on various factors including pollutants, diet, stress, hormonal changes and lack of sleep. Dr Sharon Wong, a consultant dermatologist at the MW Clinic London, explains that dealing with hair thinning is a long-term proposition, particularly if the issue is genetic. However, there are steps you can take to manage and, in some cases, prevent hair loss.
CALECIM® Professional Advanced Hair System
This new wonder serum helped to revive our tester’s hair, even in the face of Covid-related thinning. The Calecim Professional Advanced Hair System is the brainchild of Dr Ivor Lim, a Singapore-based surgeon. It is made from ethically sourced red deer umbilical cords and works to revive dormant follicles using the patented ingredient PTT-6, a compound found in stem cells that has more than 3,000 proteins. It’s been found by the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery journal to be effective in treating Covid-related hair loss, works in men and women, and is popular in hair clinics. You can apply the serum at home or in a clinic through a derma stamp or micro-roller once a week for six weeks, although our tester recommends repeating the six-week course more than once for optimal results.
This is the most tried-and-tested hair growth treatment and, according to Wong, should be the first step for anyone noticing significant hair loss and seeking a high-impact medicated solution. Minoxidil is available over the counter, comes in 2 and 5 per cent strength, and is available in foam, liquid or tablet form from a variety of brands.
The product can have some aesthetic drawbacks, including giving hair a slightly crispier texture, but Wong says that many of her clients use the product overnight and then shower in the morning to avoid this. Anyone pregnant should not use Minoxidil, and there are a few possible side-effects including scalp irritation and a potential increase in facial hair growth for women. Wong also warns that with this product things tend to get worse before they get better, and that it typically takes six months to a year to see full results. That said, in most cases users notice a significant improvement in hair growth. There are a lot of different Minoxidil brands on the market, but Wong’s over-the-counter pick is the classic Regaine.
AMT at Ouronyx
If your hair isn’t as vigorous as it once was, put yourself in the hands of Dr Marco Nicoloso, the medical director of perhaps the most luxurious and impressive aesthetic clinic in London, Ouronyx. He’s one of a handful of practitioners carrying out Autologous Micrografting Technology, known as AMT. The process begins by shaving a small patch of hair behind your ear where the strongest follicles are typically located. Then the doctor will inject an anaesthetic and take three small biopsies. The mature stem cells and growth factors from these biopsies are extracted and injected back into your scalp immediately. While our tester called the experience more annoying than painful, she pointed out that Nicoloso was able to use a vibrating tool on her head to help manage any stinging. This is an annual process that takes less than an hour. Aftercare involves not washing your hair or using any products for 48 hours. To really give the treatment a boost it’s advised that you return once a month for three months for some Calecim stem-cell microneedling, but no additional biopsies are needed. Though micrografting won’t work on totally bald patches, it can be a good option for those considering a hair transplant. Studies have shown that AMT can give a new lease of life to hair follicles that are slowly giving up the ghost.
Jolie Skin Co showerhead
If you’ve ever noticed that your hair seems to have more vibrancy and bounce when you leave London, it could be because you’ve left the city’s hard water behind. Hard water has a high mineral content, often as a result of old pipes. It’s an issue that plagues many big cities, but London is known to be one of the worst. Hard water can weigh down hair, leading to drier, greasier-looking and more brittle strands. Extended periods of hard water use can also contribute to hair loss. This is especially true for those with more porous strands, including colour-treated hair.
Enter Jolie, the Instagram-friendly filtered showerhead, which our tester says saved her hair. It works for most showers, takes less than ten minutes to install and comes with a set-up kit including a wrench and plumber’s tape. For those among us who are less handy with such tools there are detailed instruction videos on the brand’s website and social platforms. The multicoloured options can also jazz up an otherwise boring bathroom. Jolie filters out the hard water minerals, and our tester found that it left her hair feeling featherlight and shiny, and kept grease at bay for significantly longer. The company recommends swapping out the filter every three months, but you can also sign up for a subscription so a new one appears on your doorstep right on schedule.
CurrentBody LED cap
This CurrentBody cap with 120 LED bulbs claims to stimulate hair growth and “slow pattern hair loss on a cellular level”. It uses LLLT (low level laser therapy), which can accelerate regrowth by increasing blood flow to the hair follicles. By improving circulation the cap can help to extend the hair growth phase while strengthening the follicles. It’s also three times stronger than other similar devices on the market. The recommended use is 10 minutes daily for 16 weeks. While that might seem like a lot of time to sit around with a glowing helmet on your head, CurrentBody is one step ahead when it comes to fighting boredom — the cap features built-in Bluetooth-enabled headphones. The LED helmet gave our tester’s sluggish hair growth a noticeable boost.
Virtue Hair Flourish
Virtue’s Flourish range offers two treatment packs: one is a Minoxidil-focused approach for more extreme cases of hair loss and includes a shampoo, conditioner and a bottle of 5 per cent Minoxidil foam, while for milder cases there is a 100 per cent drug-free, botanical alternative that “fuels fatigued follicles”. The brand won acclaim thanks to its use of biotechnologies based on an unbroken keratin protein extracted from ethically sourced human hair. This is unique to Virtue, which patented the bio-derived Alpha Keratin 60ku for its products — it works to clear follicles clogged by product build-up and strengthens the moisture barrier, which can be weakened by a lack of hydration, pollutants and harsh products. The Flourish shampoo and conditioners address this. Meanwhile the Density Booster uses methyl nicotinate, which stimulates follicle growth while also protecting fine hairs. The results are clinically proven: a trichogram study conducted by the brand found that consistent use of the Density Booster over six months led to equal regrowth as Minoxidil treatments by looking at the number of hairs that had regrown in thinning areas.
Our tester reported that the botanical treatment made her hair feel fuller from the first wash, giving it a thicker texture without making it feel heavy, and over time the product increased hair growth and health. The products are free from sulphates, parabens, phthalates, synthetic colours and dyes, and are also vegan, gluten and cruelty free. Phew.
Briogeo Destined for Density
The cult New York brand Briogeo has just landed in the UK and it’s easy to see why it is so popular. Gorgeous packaging, natural ingredients (the contents lists may sound like a salad bar) and effective products that claim to treat a range of hair concerns from excess frizz to sensitive scalps. The hero range for thinning hair is called Destined for Density and contains biotin and caffeine to strengthen the hair shaft and copper peptides to prolong the life cycle of the hair follicle. There is a shampoo, conditioner and serum, and 16 weeks of using all three is recommended for optimum results. Our tester confirmed that after a prolonged period their hair had added density and lustre. And for those evenings when a little extra is required, the Blossom & Bloom ginseng and biotin volumising spray and root powder really does deliver a mighty bouffant.