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I’m pretty much thinking that all of us can name at least one hair pet peeve that we’ve got. Me personally? I think it would have to be the fact that while the left side of my head has hair that is super thick and grows pretty fast, my right side is somewhat thinner and likes to trail about an inch behind. When I tell you that it annoys me to no end, words simply cannot express! But what I’ve also come to accept is I’m not a rare person in this case. As you’re about to see, the reality is most of us have to endure this very hair-triggering issue. The way to work through it is to know some hacks that can help the thinner side to get thicker and perhaps even “catch up”—even if it’s just a little bit.

1. Accept that it’s completely normal.

The first thing you’ve got to do is fully accept that, while having one side of your hair that’s weaker and thinner than the other can be annoying as all get out, it is also completely normal. The reality is that while the left and right side of our bodies are similar, they aren’t identical. If you look closely, you might notice that one eye is wider than the other, one breast is bigger than the other or one of your feet is larger than the other. So yeah, if both sides of your hair aren’t exactly the same, it’s just following suit with the rest of your body from head to toe. I get that this fact doesn’t make things any less annoying, especially if you’re currently in the process of trying to grow your hair out. But I’m hoping you knowing that you’re not alone can at least give you a little bit of peace of mind. (Did it?)

2. Don’t always put tension on the thinner side.

Ok, now that you’re aware that Mother Nature (and sometimes even genetics) is a significant part of the reason why one side of your hair may be thinner than the other, let’s look at some other things that you might be doing that could possibly be making matters “worse”. One of them is if you are always styling your hair the same way. Like if your ponytail is always leaning to one side, your part is constantly on the same side, or if you’re always brushing or combing your hair on one side too. The constant pressure and friction can, over time, either make your thinner side much weaker or the thicker side can become more damaged over time. This is why it’s a good idea to sometimes switch up your regular styling routine. Giving your preferred styling side a break can give your hair follicles time to strengthen so that that side of your hair can appear stronger and thicker again.

3. Switch up sleep positions.

I already know that one of the reasons why the right side of my hair is thinner (and grows slower) than the left is because I prefer to sleep on my right side. And since I sleep around 7-8 hours a night, this means that the blood vessels on the right side of my body are being compressed during all of that time. The less blood flow, the less blood circulation there is to reach my scalp and my hair follicles. And, when my scalp and follicles aren’t getting the nutrients that they need, that can definitely play a part in impeding my hair growth. The same thing applies to you. We’ve all got a favorite sleep position, but if you’re serious about trying to get the thinner side to thicken up a bit, you might want to switch your position up on occasion. If you absolutely can’t imagine doing that, I’ve got another tip that just might help. This brings me to my next point.

4. Massage the thinner side more often.

A scalp massage ain’t never hurt nobody. In fact, there are several reasons why it’s something that should become a part of our self-care routine. Scalp massages can reduce emotional tension, decrease headaches, improve your quality of sleep and, hands down, it can do wonders for your hair. Scalp massages increase blood circulation to your scalp, strengthen your hair’s roots and helps to evenly distribute your hair’s natural oils (so that your tresses receive more moisture as they experience less breakage)—all of this ultimately leads to a stronger head of hair, on the both sides; especially if you massage your scalp with some warmed up Jamaican black castor oil (the warmth also increases blood circulation and the oil itself is loaded with nutrients) and a portable scalp massager. You can select one that works best for you by reviewing some of Byrdie’s favorites here.

5. Put the shears down.

In theory, you would think that if you simply cut the shorter and thinner side of your hair, all will be right with the world, right? WRONG. All this is ultimately gonna do is keep you from ever seeing any real inches. So, what do you do when one side is noticeably shorter and thinner? Doing an initial cut—which is hopefully more like a trim—just to even everything up is fine. But after that, try and spend more time babying the thinner side so that your follicles can get stronger, that side of your hair can get thicker and hopefully there will be a little more progress, lengthwise. And how long should you wait before cutting/trimming again? So long as your ends are in good shape, try and give it at least three months. While that might seem like a long time at first, again, if you are intentional about caring for the thinner side, you might see enough growth that you won’t have to do anything super drastic with your shears.

6. Give it time.

Patience is a virtue and truer words could not have been spoken than when it comes to nurturing the thinner side of your hair. I’ll be honest and say that when it came to my right side “evening out”, it took a good nine months or so before I could see some real progress—but I did indeed see some. So, if you want your thinner side to get thicker, take these tips to heart, come up with a consistent hair care routine and give it some time. I’ll willing to bet your hair will get healthier and stronger if you do—on both sides of your head. #wink.

Share your own tips and tricks with us in the comments!