Sometimes, hair can be like throwing a lame party: despite your hopeful expectations and best preparations, it still falls a little flat. Thankfully, there’s no reason to have hair remorse anymore, certainly not with the products, tools, tricks, and nutritional supplements available on the market today. Now, the party, well, that may be another story…
According to the February 2010 issue of Elle magazine, the Langer lab (at MIT) has discovered poly beta amino ester-1, an ingredient that coats each hair shaft with “thickening points” that work like Post-It notes: grabbing at one another, leaving pockets of space between hairs, but also separating and re-grabbing easily. In essence, this means you get all of the punch (volume) with none of the crunch (stickiness) – pretty amazing stuff! The ingredient is available in Living Proof Full Thickening Cream ($24.00, Amazon.com) – just apply a small amount to your hair, and style as usual, but with lasting volume. Done!
If your physician OK’s it, taking a supplement of biotin can help strengthen your hair and nails, as biotin deficiencies have been demonstrated in clinical research studies to exacerbate brittle nails and fragile hair. My personal favorite is GNC Hair, Skin, and Nails Formula ($16.25, Amazon.com), which is replete with 1000 mcg of biotin. However, keep in mind that hair thickness is somewhat subject to genetic limitations; that is, if your mother, father, and siblings have thin hair, even ensuring against biotin deficiency with a supplement cannot make your hair thicker than its genetic-based limit. That said, some of the styling products listed here can make your hair appear thicker, despite genetic limitations.
Oribe, hairstylist and perhaps the father of the Holy Grail of Voluminous Hair, shares the following tips for voluminous hair in this month’s Elle:
When all else fails, or if you’re just looking for a quick fix, try Jessica Simpson hairdo Hair Extensions ($50.56 – $250.00, Amazon.com). When I went through some personal trauma a few years ago (bad break-up, death in the family, starting med school – all at once!), I immediately started losing clumps of hair. It completely freaked me out – and lemme tell ya, it wasn’t pretty for anyone else, either! Thankfully, these hair extensions came to the rescue. I just separated my hair in the back, secured the top portion with a butterfly clip, clipped in the extensions, and then released the top portion of my hair from the clip. In the beginning, it took about 10 minutes to perfect, but by the end of the first month, I could literally get this within 2 minutes. Six months later, my hair had stopped falling out, and I no longer needed the extensions, but I still hold a soft spot in my heart for them. One caveat: even with diligent daily care (spray-cleaning and regular brushing), the clips started to fall out and the hair started to look ratty after about 5 months, so don’t look into this as a lifetime investment. It is better used for special occasions only, or expect to buy another after 4-5 months.
I have been getting a shine treatment every 2 months for the past 4 months now, and I looooove it. The cellophane treatment actually works by depositing glossing agents into the hair shaft, making hair appear shinier and thicker, and feel smoother and silkier. I pay $30.00 for mine at the local MasterCuts, and I can’t stop raving about it!
Style like a pro: dry hair pulling upward from the root a round brush; use a thickening cream; apply Velcro rollers while your hair is still hot; take rollers out while your head is upside down; backcomb a little at the root; take down with fingers; spray (optional).