In the beauty industry, hair thinning is referred to as “miniaturization,” the slow but steady process of shrinking hair follicles that produce weaker strands no longer able to reach their maximum growth potential. It’s a condition that more than one-third of females are expected to experience by the time they exit their 30s—whether they know it or not. “A lot of women see these short, thin hairs at their temples and think it is breakage or just the way their hair is—but for many, this could be a sign of hair miniaturization,” says Lars Skjoth, founder and lead scientist behind Harklinikken, the Danish-born clinic that’s gained a cult following among European royalty and Hollywood elites for its customized hair-restoration treatments. “[It’s a sign] the hair that replaces the previous one is not as thick and is actual thinning.”
Once a category (and conversation) dominated by male statistics, the American Hair Loss Association reports that nearly 40 percent of the country’s hair-loss sufferers are in fact, women. Triggers, unsurprisingly, include (but are not limited to) everything from hormone shifts, often following pregnancy, to stress and emotional trauma, illness, overuse of hot tools or chemical treatments, and, of course, age. “As we age, most hair is reduced either in the form of balding, receding, or thinning,” says dermatologist Dr. Dendy Engelman, who increasingly sees afflicted female clients at her Manhattan-based practice. “Genetics, as well as life changes, contribute to the [overall] interference of hair growth.” And unfortunately, like most other health-related issues, the longer one waits to address the problem, the harder it is to treat.
However, thanks to a wave of new supplements, in-office treatments, and at-home solutions (like a light-up, energy-emitting head crown), the ability to tackle rising concerns over the threat of long-term loss is finally in sight. Here are five ways to achieve a thicker, healthier head of hair.
Go the Natural Route
It’s no surprise that day-to-day products applied directly to the scalp are as important as a carefully curated skin-care regimen. Similarly, Sadick advises that focusing on “clean” recipes free of fragrances and harmful toxins, parabens, and sulfates can be vital. “These [toxic] ingredients irritate and inflame the scalp, deplete beneficial nutrients, and ultimately sabotage the natural hair cycle,” he says. Harklinikken’s signature Hair Extract relies on a natural plant- and milk-based formula that’s customized to each client’s scalp and hair health. “Nothing is premade,” Skjoth says of each of his extract’s proprietary three-step fermentation process. After a consultation online or at a brick-and-mortar location, like their newly opened clinic at Manhattan’s Core Club, the team first confirms whether or not a person is an ideal candidate for their product (they do not work with patients suffering from certain forms of alopecia caused by scarring or autoimmune conditions). If accepted, the ritual of application becomes paramount. Massaged daily onto clean, dry hair, the results are then carefully documented with micro photographs of the scalp that quantify the exact number of new strands per square inch every month or so. For those who want to go the natural route without the commitment to checking in, Oille’s new Hemp + Sea Kelp Organic Hair Serum and Fig + Yarrow’s Hair + Scalp Tonic nourish follicles with organic oils like rosemary, which recent studies have found to be as effective at stimulating hair growth as the active chemical ingredient in Rogaine, minoxidil.