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Remedies for Thin, Straw-Like Hair
It is not unusual for middle-aged women to have thinning hair, but the problem is made worse when hair texture changes. Sometimes lifestyle, diet, illness or frequent hair coloring can make hair become brittle, flyaway, or straw-like. Here are some tips that may help hair regain its healthy texture.
Dry or Frizzy Hair
When choosing hair products, use a shampoo and conditioner that restore moisture to the hair. Use a deep conditioning treatment once a week until texture improves. Don’t treat hair with leave-in volumizers; instead use leave-in conditioners.
To tame frizzy hair, products like Frizz-Ease are okay for touch-ups, but using it often can cause hair to feel brittle. If using a hair-straightening product, make sure it is a high quality brand. Prevent split ends by choosing a conditioner that contains echinacea or keratin products.
Frequent trims make no difference since most breakage occurs higher up the hair strand. Strengthen the hair by using shampoo and conditioner for damaged hair. Take care not to scrunch or tangle the hair in order to work up a lather. Do not scrub or scratch the scalp. Towel hair gently. Don’t rub with the towel, and don’t wring out long hair. Wrap hair in the towel and let the towel blot excess moisture.
Use a wide-tooth comb, starting at the ends of the hair and moving higher up the strands once there are no tangles below. Do not run fingers through damp hair.
Brittle hair needs to air dry. Never use a curling iron. Soft rollers are more kind to hair and will give it more poof. If hair must be blow-dried, use low heat and less tension.
Straw-Like Hair and Graying Hair
The theory that coloring hair will increase breakage is not entirely true. Hair colors that are much lighter than the natural hair color can cause drying because of the lightening ingredients, so it is better not to over-lighten hair. But choosing a color closer to the original natural color is fine.
If hair is lightened over and over for years, it can suffer and become brittle and straw-like. This can happen even when the final moisturizing and conditioning treatment is done. One remedy for this problem is to use hot oil treatments once each week until the texture of the hair improves, then choose darker colors in future.
Gray hair often has a different texture from non-gray hairs on the head. The same tips regarding frizz and breakage apply for graying hair as well.
There are two causes of female hair thinning – androgenetic alopecia which is more common, and traumatic alopecia. It is important to understand that products for male hair loss are not formulated for use by women.
Consider using a product such as Women’s Rogaine, made just for women. Studies have shown that of the many brands of topical hair restoring products, the only reliably performing products are those that contain Minoxidil, such as Women’s Rogaine.
There is disagreement about whether to use conditioner on hair that is thinning. Some think that the conditioner gets on the scalp and does not rinse away completely, then starts to block pores over time, causing increased thinning. One solution is to apply conditioner onto the hair while avoiding as much contact with the scalp as possible.
Squeeze the conditioner onto the hands. Use hands to apply conditioner to the longer section of hair first. There will still be a thin film of conditioner on the hands. Wipe hands over the hair on the crown of the head so that just the outer hairs get the treatment. While the conditioner is left on the head for a few minutes, a little of the conditioner will soak down to the scalp, but most will stay on the hair.
Coloring the hair does not usually contribute to thinning hair, since coloring is applied to the outside of the hair shaft, but women with traumatic alopecia should consult a doctor before coloring their hair.
Styles to Camouflage Thin Hair
While waiting for hair to regrow, try hairstyles that camouflage thinning hair. Try a shorter cut, above the shoulder. Both straight and curly hair can be cut into layers to add volume. Combing hair into a zigzag part can hide thinning hair on the top of the head, as can a ‘bedhead’ or deliberately messy hairstyle.
These tips can help remedy many types of hair problems. Gentle handling of hair while shampooing, conditioning, and styling can go a long way to restoring and maintaining healthy texture.