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Celebrity hairstylist and Viviscal Ambassador Neil Moodie, who has styled the likes of Kate Moss and Cara Delevingne, answers some of the most frequently asked questions stylists get asked about thinning hair.
Why can hair thin with age?
Hair is made up of many protein strands. The life span of a hair strand is anything between 2 to 7 years. Your genes determine a lot about how much hair we have on our heads and bodies.
As we age, hair strands become smaller and lose their pigment, some stands just don't grow anymore and so our hair becomes thinner. Each strand of hair you have sits in a tiny cavity called a follicle. When the hair follicle shrinks over time this results in shorter and finer hair. Eventually the follicle doesn't grow new hair. This doesn't mean the follicle isn't live though which suggests that it is still possible to grow new hair.
What's the best way to cut thin hair?
In general if you have finer hair, don't grow it long. The longer it gets, the weaker the hair gets and so it can tend to look lank and straggly on the ends. There's nothing worse than long hair that doesn't look healthy. I would be inclined to say to people with fine or thin hair to keep it shorter in length.
For those that have super thin hair you want to get layers in to get a bit more height and volume in the hair as opposed to the hair being all one length. I wouldn't recommend really short layers because that can highlight the fineness of the hair. Personally I would recommend hair to be bob length or shorter and then to have some layers - the length of the layers would depend on what your hair is like. Ask your hair stylist - they'll know best.
How can I style thin hair to make it look thicker?
Styling-wise it really depends on what products you use and how you style it. Getting root lift will make hair look thicker rather than having it lying flat against the head. To get root lift that lasts using the correct tools and styling products is essential. There's a lot of thickening hair products around and plenty to choose from. The Windle & Moodie Fortifying Spray is great for hair that's not super thin but needs a bit of a boost as it's a lighter thickening spray which has a little bit of hold. I recommend using Windle and Moodie Foundation Spray that acts as a detangler first as this will help distribute the thickening spray through the hair more evenly.
Is colouring bad for thin hair?
There is often the misconception that colouring is bad for your hair however I think that colouring is so sophisticated now that if it's done right then I don't think it is bad for your hair. Colour is good for making each individual hair shaft swell and make it feel a bit thicker. Having said that you have to be careful with colour as the finer the hair, the more delicate it is. If you want to start colouring your hair it's good to start with a healthy base. I wouldn't recommend starting colouring your hair when it's already damaged as this is not going to help matters. Take Viviscal supplements for a few months before you plan to colour it to give your hair a boost and get it back to a healthy state.
In general colouring your hair these days is a lot better for your hair than it used to be however I'm not a fan of home colouring. My concern is that people don't know what they're doing and might for example put blonde on top of a dark colour not realising that this won't work. It is a science. There are chemicals involved and colourists are rigorously trained to use those chemicals. Someone who's worried about the condition of their hair is best off to go into a salon and get some professional advice to guide them in the right direction.
What products do you recommend for thinning hair?
The first thing I recommend to the models I work with is Viviscal, which contains biotin, zinc, a marine-based complex that promotes hair growth. This will get the nutrients working from the inside out and that's the most important thing for getting the hair back on track. I always notice much healthier hair growth after women take Viviscal and I often see a slight increase in speed of hair growth, and reduction in shedding. If your hair's really thin, try the Windle & Moodie Thickening Cream, which is a more heavy duty cream to make thinner hair feel fuller. Clients get excited when I use the product on them as the results are so good. I used it on a model the other day and she said that it made her feel like she had extensions in.
Viviscal is available from www.hollandandbarrett.com