When you start noticing your visible scalp through your once thick hair, a lot of thoughts may go through your head… and none of them are usually positive: “What should I do?”, “How can I cover this thinning spot?”, “How can I make my hair regrow?”, “What are the best hair growth products to regrow my hair back?”, and the list goes on.
You are not alone. There are millions of people secretly suffering from hair loss. Especially for women, thinning hair is simply devastating.
In this guide, we broke the article down into 4 steps that will help you with thinning hair issue by taking advantage of all aspects of stopping hair loss that are available:
4 Steps to treat thinning hair
Pick one you like from each of the four steps and incorporate them into your daily routine. Doing nothing is a guaranteed way to continue losing hair, so let’s get started:
STEP 1. Give your hair proper nutrition
Hair vitamins and supplements
While the reasons for hair loss are complicated and can vary depending on individuals, they have one thing in common: They push you closer to baldness.
A large number of hair vitamin manufacturers put their efforts into creating formulas that give one or more of the following benefits:
- Nourish existing hair follicles
- Promote healthy hair growth
- Help lost hair to grow back
Viviscal is one of the most talked-about hair supplements in various magazines. Reese Witherspoon says that she takes Viviscal is a must to keep her hair healthy and shiny in an interview with Instyle.
Actual users who take Viviscal supplement daily also often mention that their hair is growing thicker and fuller. You can read our detailed review here.
Viviscal hair supplements come in two different versions:
- Viviscal Extra Strength (original formula)
- Viviscal Professional
Both contain a trademarked ingredient called AminoMar, as the main active ingredient, which is supposedly a proprietary marine complex to make hair regrow.
If your hair is thinning and you have iron-deficiency, consider Viviscal Extra Strength tablets. The formula includes 10mg of iron which will help increase your iron level while providing additional hair growth benefits.
But for normal people who don’t need extra iron in their system, the Viviscal Professional supplement is a great option to strengthen existing hair follicles and nourish thinning hair.
A great way to eliminate the need for taking various hair growth supplements: If you are considering to take biotin as your main hair supplement, this may be a better option to consider: the Hair Rush vitamin manufactured by Ultra Labs.
Not only the Hair Rush vitamin has biotin in the formula, it also contains 20+ natural herbs and essential vitamins that are known to encourage hair growth.
Here are some highlighted herbs and their benefits for your thinning hair included in the formula:
- Nettle leaf and Saw palmetto: Blocks a 5 alpha receptor (= No DHT in the scalp)
- Kelp: High in iodine. Helps with thyroid-related hair loss.
- Gingko: Encourages blood circulation, so dermal papilla cells can receive all the nutrition they need for producing healthy hair
STEP 2. Keep your scalp clean
Hair growth shampoos
In our previous best shampoo series, we covered all of the details about different brands of shampoo that are good for people with thinning hair or hair loss.
The first article, best shampoo for thinning hair, is focused on covering shampoos that do not contain any harsh chemicals and are made of herbal ingredients. The next article, best shampoo for hair loss, was about top shampoo brands that are designed to promote hair regrowth using natural, medical, or a mixture of both types of ingredients.
STEP 3. Don’t miss out on natural hair growth solutions
Hair vitamins can help your thinning hair absorb necessary nutrition from the inside. Hair growth shampoos keep the scalp healthy by removing residue and providing natural ingredients to maintain thicker hair.
Natural remedies are another way to awaken dormant hair follicles as long as you use the right ones.
Top 3 hair growth essential oils for thinning hair
We recently covered the details about the effectiveness of rosemary extract for hair regrowth. To make it short, a mixture of essential oils including rosemary oil was successfully used regrow participants’ hair in their balding spots.
Rosemary oil has a fresh minty/menthol smell. Unlike other natural oils, it will give you a cold/tingling sensation when you directly apply it on your skin.
Note that it’s recommended to dilute essential oils with carrier oils to prevent skin sensitivity and irritation. See our essential oil – carrier oil dilution chart here.
Emu oil is another well-known natural oil used for healing damaged skin and possibly promoting new hair growth (Here are more details about emu oil for hair regrowth research done by Dr. Michael Holick).
After applying emu oil on a daily basis for several months, Dr. Holick discovered that emu oil helped reawaken existing hair follicles and helped hair regrow when tested in mice.
Black castor oil
We recently came across this article about a woman who helped her mom regrow her hair. Her hair loss was originally caused by traction alopecia (hair shedding due to extreme hair styling such as weaving, braiding, etc.) and she started using Jamaican Black Castor oil after hearing a lot of great things about it.
She applied it to the thinning edges of her hairline for five months and the bald spots were completely filled in. Intrigued by this story, we did more research on castor oil.
One of the interesting things we found out about castor oil is that when topically applied, it provides essential nutrition including vitamin E, omega-6 fatty acids, and protein which in turn increases the thickness of hair and restores follicle damages.
Having a thicker texture (it reminds of molasses), Jamaican Black castor oil has been used for treating female hair loss for some time. It has received numerous positive reviews and endless success stories from people who used to have thinning hair around the hairline or temple area.
For essential oils, feel free to use one at a time or mix different oils together by refering to our hair growth recipe section.
Use Hair steamer cap for deep oil penetration to the scalp
Owning a hair steaming cap is really useful. It provides the same benefit as getting a deep hair mask treatment at a salon but at a fraction of cost. It also helps with better blood circulation by increasing the heating sensation in the scalp region.
STEP 4. Consider minoxidil
The only FDA-approved topical treatment available for women is minoxidil (also known as Rogaine). Minoxidil is a medical ingredient that helps people (both men and women) regrow hair when topically applied on the scalp. In order to see the result, it is recommended to use at least 8 weeks.
How well it works depends on individuals. Some have great success with minoxidil and recovered almost all of their existing hair strands. For other people, their overall improvement is not as dramatic or is very minimal.
Additional note: We came across an article a couple of months ago about new drug that is currently in clinical trials. You’ve probably heard of it: Latisse. This drug’s active ingredient was previously used for helping to regrow eyelashes. Some dermatologists have been prescribing Latisse to people for hair regrowth (an off-label use) with decent success rates. Any downsides? It’s expensive. It costs 6X more than Minoxidil (averaging about $400 per month) and the true efficacy of the drug is still not confirmed.
It was a happy accident on how Rogaine first discovered Minoxidil for hair regrowth treatment. Minoxidil was originally tested on people with high blood pressure. But as one of side symptoms, the company found out that Minoxidil was making clinical participants’ hair grow on their bald spots.
The company eventually received a FDA approval for its hair regrowth use and the solution is now available to everyone. Rogaine (or Minoxdil in general) is known to work effectively for the most common hair loss type, androgenetic aloepcia (AGA). People suffering from traction alopecia (which is caused by excessive hair styles for a long period of time destroying healthy hair follicles) are also benefiting from Minoxidil (see before and after photos from Rogaine users here).
Pantene has it too! (Discontinued)
Pantene, the giant of hair care products, also came up with their own Minoxidil solution for women (nobody wants to miss out on a big chunk of the market). Pantene also contains 2% Minoxidil and is priced similarly to other brands (for a 30 day supply).
Their 90 day supply is selling at a significantly discounted rate right now (almost 30 dollars cheaper than buying a month to month supply). If you feel more comfortable with reputable brands, this is your choice.
Lipograine for Women (Discontinued)
Lipograine took the 2% Minoxidil solution one step further. It also uses 2% Minoxidil as the main ingredient, but the company also added three other powerful hair growth compounds which include biotin, niacin and apple polyphenol.
You are probably already familiar with biotin and niacin. Both belong to the Vitamin B Complex and their main functions are to build healthy hair and nails, as well as promote smooth blood circulation for our hair follicles to receive the proper nutrition.
The last ingredient, Apple Polyphenol, has gone through a number of clinical trials from various labs. All of the results from those institutions note that Apple Polyphenol (a compound found on an un-ripened apple) significantly increases the diameter and thickness of hair.
How to apply all of them in your daily life
The above guide covered various hair growth products and treatments, including vitamins, shampoos, natural remedies and topical medical treatments you can easily use at home.
- Wash your hair using a hair growth shampoo
- Apply Minoxidil.
- Take hair supplement with breakfast.
- Take another hair supplement with dinner.
- Apply essential oil(s) to your scalp and leave it overnight.
This hair growth solution is simpler than it looks. But it’s like losing weight… you don’t get results overnight. Consistency is the key. Experts agree that in order to see hair growth results, you have to be consistent for at least 3+ months (for your body to adjust to new regime).