You’ve finally learned to love your curls . . . and now you’ve noticed those once-lustrous locks are thinning. Oh, the injustice! Don’t despair—we’ve compiled five tips to keep you and your curls looking chic and stylish at any age.
1. Rule out a medical issue
While everyone’s hair thins a bit with age and thinning hair can be genetic, it can also be a sign of a medical issue like anemia or thyroid problems. Debra Jaliman, MD, a New York City-based dermatologist, recommends asking an endocrinologist or dermatologist to rule out these issues.
“Most medical doctors are not the ones to rule out medical issues. A dermatologist or endocrinologist would be the best medical experts to go and see,” she explains. A poor diet may also contribute. Fortunately, “if you lack iron and start eating red meats then the hair will regrow once your diet is appropriately balanced,” says Jaliman.
2. Consider Biotin supplements
According to Jaliman, biotin supplements (also called vitamin H for “Haar and Haut,” which mean “hair and skin” in German) can help thicken hair and strengthen nails.
Though biotin occurs naturally in some foods, few food sources are rich in the vitamin, so during the 1940s, Swiss scientists developed a synthetic process to replicate it. Biotin supplements are now available over the counter, and Jaliman says they are extremely effective.
3. Keep it short
A short, multi-layered haircut can help create the illusion of fullness.
“When we are younger, we let our curly hair grow longer, because the ‘weight’ straightens it a little when we blow-dry it straight,” explains Sandy Dumont, a Virginia-based image consultant and founder of The Image Architect. “However, it isn’t wise to keep hair at a longer length when it is thinning, because it will look droopy. A ‘stacked’ haircut gives the appearance of more volume, so that’s a great style.”
4. Lighten up
The more contrast between hair and skin tone, the easier is it to see the scalp. Dumont has blond curls and says that when light hair thins, the effect is subtle.
“You rarely see the scalp near the front or at the crown, like you do with dark hair,” she explains. If you have darker hair, Dumont suggests teasing it slightly at the crown to cover the scalp or going a little lighter to soften the contrast. “Streaks will do; it isn’t necessary to lighten the hair all over,” she adds.
5. Focus on the temples
Even with lighter hues, thinning hair can show up around the temples, where the hair tends to be more fine to begin with. “Make sure that is covered with bangs or a side part with partial bangs,” suggests Dumont. “Curly hair that thins at the temples will make any woman look like ‘granny with a permanent,’ so it's important to have a stylish hairstyle.” Good advice for all of us!