For those who remember watching Felicity (early 90s), you probably remember Keri Russell’s beautiful curls (see photo far left). Never has a haircut caused so much publicity - when Russell’s character chopped off her long ringlets, fans actually petitioned the WB network. Often times, a hair style is associated with an individual. For example, Jennifer Aniston’s medium layered cut was a subject of great demand during the peak of Friends. And you cannot help but picture flowing locks when you think of Gisele Bundchen or Jessica Simpson. Not surprisingly, the “hair industry” is a big profiting business. We all (men and women) want thick, luxurious hair. This demand has made way for miracle products such as “hair thickeners.” But how much of this “miracle” is hype and how much of it is real? More specifically, how do hair thickeners work?
How Do Hair Thickeners Work: The Technology
The technologies involved in hair thickening cover a wide range including products that remove heavy oil from hair to ones that trap moisture in the hair shaft to increase volume. The majority of hair thickeners work by attracting polymers (positively charged) to the hair shaft (negatively charged) to cause a thicker appearance. This may sound like a simple technique, but for someone with thinning or light hair, the difference can be significant. These products come in sprays or cream and may require additional work, such as blow drying, to achieve maximum results.
How Do Hair Thickeners Work: The Myths
True to its name, hair thickeners give the appearance of thicker hair. The keyword here is “appearance.” Hair thickeners do not re-grow hair or delay the onset/progression of hair loss. Thus, continuous usage is necessary to maintain the effect. If you are interested in a product that re-grows hair, look for products such as Propecia (finasteride) or Rogaine (minoxidil). The first is a daily prescription while the later is an over-the-counter topical solution.
Modern hair thickeners are not spray-on pigments (like those seen on Ron Popeil infomercials). Outdated hair thickener technologies include wool fibers, scalp makeup, or spray-on pigment. Heavy rain and perspiration can cause the dye in these products to be released and run down your face/neck. Oops. As you can image, the limitation for these products is high.
How Do Hair Thickeners Work: The Products
The below product reviews are not a complete representative of what is available on the market, but can serve as a starter in your research for a hair thickener.
Kerasome: Product is made of “ground and sterilized real human hair,” and is available in seven different colors. The ground hair is suspended in light adhesive solution and is applied to your scalp like a lotion. A short session with the blow dryer will cause the hair particles to adhere to your own hair and scalp. To release the product, shampoo your hair. The manufacturer of Kerasome claims that their product is imperceptible to the naked eye, even at close distance. They offer a 30 day promotional free trial.
Toppik: Apparently, it is Hollywood’s best kept secret! Tiny color matched hair fibers are applied to the thinning region of your scalp. The fibers will intertwine with your own hair via static electricity and magnify your hair fiber. Because these molecular bonds are strong, the fiber stays attached even through strong winds and rain exposure. Fox 13 investigated the effectiveness of Toppik and the results are amazing! You can purchase Toppik at SallyBeauty.com ($24.99 for 10g). For a better uderstanding of the product, view this video demonstration showing how Toppik works.
Couvre: The technique behind Couvre is similar to the ones mentioned above, however, consumer reviews are all over the place. Couvre Protein Hair Expander ($9.99 amazon.com) clings to damp hair and swells to the hair shaft upon exposure to heat (with a blow dryer). A quick study online shows that around 50% of users ranked this product as “the best” while a good 30% are not satisfied with the product at all. You can also try their Masking Lotion. It eliminates the contrast between your thinning hair and scalp.
Nanogen: Nanogen hair building fibers hide hair loss by forming a bond with existing hair in order to conceal baldness, and make hair look fuller and thicker. It comes in 10 different shades for good color match. To use, you simply sprinkle the keratin hair fibers onto any areas of baldness or thinning and blend it into your hair with your fingers. For extra hold, you can spray on a "locking mist" that helps keep fibers in place. The product looks natural, and since it is only a baldness/thinning concealer, you can use other baldness treatments like Rogaine along with it. User reviews have been positive. You can purchase Nanogen hair building fibers ($25 for 12.5g) and associated products at OnlyHairLoss.com.
Other Hair Thickeners To Consider: Fullmore, Dermatch, Morebody, and Top Brass.
Some of the above products can also be found on Amazon.com or at professional hair salons (though probably for a higher price). As you can tell, there are numerous hair thickener agents on the market and results can vary. Furthermore, a product that works for one type of hair may not work for another. When in doubt, get a professional referral.
Recommended Site: OnlyHairLoss.com has over 100 hair loss treatments to choose from.
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