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A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

8 Rules for People with Thin Hair

Struggling with baby fine or thinning hair? Give your locks a little TLC with these health-boosting hacks from industry pros.

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Keeps strands clean

Richard Mannah, hairstylist and international artistic director at label.m, urges people with finer locks to make really good friends with shampoo, because hair can look thinner when it’s greasy. He also recommends label.m Thickening Shampoo, which is formulated with a trio of ingredients—qmilch fibre, framboise extract, and konared coffee berries—to make hair look and feel thicker. In a pinch, dry shampoo, like Drybar Detox Dry Shampoo, is great for absorbing oil and adding volume to roots. Make sure to find the best shampoo for oily hair.

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Use conditioner strategically

If you have limp locks, you don’t weigh them down by dumping conditioner all over your head. Mannah recommends using a little conditioner only on the ends, which tend to be drier. Checkout these tips for healthier, more attractive hair (hint: strategic conditioner is one of them). Here’s how to select the best shampoo for your hair type.

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Keep up with the cuts

Consider making an appointment for a trim every six to eight weeks to keep hair healthier and fuller-looking. And ask your stylist to avoid over-layering. “You want the shape to look thicker, especially on the ends,” Mannah says; too much layering does the opposite. Check out these other hair mistakes we commonly make.

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Take advantage of products

If you have fine hair, products are your secret weapon, especially volumizers like label.m Thickening Volume Foam, which create lift and movement at the root. For a bouncy blowout, Mannah recommends elevating each section and blasting each lock with cool air to set the style for maximize volume. “A little back combing on the roots works if you need even more lift.” Here’s how to extend the life of your blowout.

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Beware of heat

Be careful not to set your hot tools on “scorch.” For example, the 400 degrees fahrenheit setting is definitely too high for finer hair, according to dermatologist Debra Jaliman, MD. “It needs a lower setting,” she says, “otherwise it can, quite literally, fry and break.” Here are some tips to repair dry hair with items you have at home.

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Use a weekly treatment mask

Dr. Jaliman urges patients with fine and thin hair to deep-condition once a week, which will help fill in damaged areas and make hair appear thicker. Try the Amika Nourishing Mask, formulated with jojoba seed oil to strengthen and repair tresses, and sea buckthorn berry, which is loaded with strand-loving omega fatty acids and antioxidants, including vitamins A and C. Here are some DIY hair masks you can make at home.

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Eat for healthy hair

Protein is the foundation for healthy hair. Without enough of it, your body can’t replace the strands you naturally lose each day. Nutritionist and registered dietitian, Brooke Alpert, RD, recommends getting your protein from organic chicken, wild salmon, and greek yogurt (which is higher in protein and lower in sugar than other types), as well as plant-based sources of protein such as beans, seeds, and nuts (we ranked the top plant-based protein sources for maximum vegetarian nutrition). Not only are nuts and salmon rich in protein, but they’re also full of omega-3 fatty acids that help to keep hair follicles healthy. Healthy follicles lead to healthier hair. Greek yogurt is also rich in vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), which can help with circulation and blood flow to your scalp to boost hair production. “One of my favorite foods to support hair growth is pumpkin seeds,” Alpert says. “These flavorful and seasonal seeds are rich in zinc, which is important because a deficiency is associated with excessive hair loss.” These are some signs you might not be getting enough zinc.

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Pop some pills

Supplements may help fill in any shortfalls of hair-friendly vitamins and minerals in your diet. Nutrients like biotin and keratin can help build stronger, thicker strands. For those with thin locks, dermatologist Dendy Engelman, MD, recommends Reserveage Keratin Hair Booster Powder With Biotin, which also has vitamin B3, B5, B6, copper, and zinc. Some supplements, like Qilib Hair And Health Reinforcement Biotin and Multivitamin Supplement, are made to work with topical agents that employ ingredients like Minoxidil for proven hair restoration.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest

Lindsay Cohn
Lindsay is an avid traveler who has visited 45 countries across six continents. At, she covers both domestic and international travel. When she's not writing, you can find her doing yoga and adding to her ever-growing list of future adventures.