How I'm Fighting Back Against Hair Loss With Science And Magic

The 6 products that are helping my hair look thicker, either through chemistry or sheer illusion.
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Olivia S.
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The 6 products that are helping my hair look thicker, either through chemistry or sheer illusion.

Pre-life-revolution, I lost a lot of hair. I had a raging eating disorder combined with a drug addiction that left me malnourished, with a tendency to pluck my hairs out in anxiety, and I was too depressed to do anything about it. It was not hot, and it made me really freaking sad.

Washing my hair was incredibly upsetting because I would be treading in matted clumps before I finished conditioning. What I did have was limp and thin and dull, so I didn’t want to style it. I was too ashamed to go to the hairdresser, so I had gross split ends.

Emotionally, I was a mess, and to top it all off, my hair looked like crap. I felt disgusting and unfeminine and ashamed of what I was doing to my body. It sucked.

When I hit 24, my mother took me to the Aveda salon for a facial and bought me two of the biggest bottles of shampoo and conditioner I have ever seen. It was the first time I’d owned expensive shampoo without sulfates or parabens or whatever new carciogenic chemical they are cramming into everything to make it lather. I really believe in quality beauty products, but I wasn’t into spending money on shampoo because, duh, it only cleans your hair. HOW WRONG WAS I? (Sadly, very.)

To cut a long story short: I realized the error of my ways. My hair started to thicken and, because I only needed a tiny bit of the products, they lasted long enough to make the expense (OK, her expense, but you get what I mean) worthwhile. I shook off my shame and went to the hairdresser for the first time in six years. And now I’m obsessed with haircare.

I do a really good blowdry. A combination of wrist action and a rounded brush means that I can straighten my Jewish curls within a couple of minutes to give me volume. However, this is kind of counterproductive, as blow-drying and straightening your hair is obviously stupidly bad for it; so, to avoid ever returning to the situation that I was in before, I’m pretty product-happy right now.

I know that Hannah already mentioned Aveda’s new Invati range recently, but I’m going to shout out to them, too. The Scalp Revitalizer is ridiculously good.

I'd be willing to be the spokesmodel. 

I'd be willing to be the spokesmodel. 

You spray it onto your scalp liberally twice a day and massage it in. With ingredients like ginseng and vitamin E, it invigorates your scalp around the follicles, improves circulation, and helps keep your scalp itself healthy, which has helped my hair from dropping out of my head with disturbing frequency.

Do as I say, AND as I do.

Do as I say, AND as I do.

I also love Bumble and bumble Mending Masque for the (truly) damaged, which you leave on for 10 minutes after you shampoo and then rinse it out. It works at increasing elasticity, so it helps with my hair being gross and brittle but doesn’t flatten it down. Because I am still not back to copious amounts of hair, I like to use products that encourage volume.

This leads me on to Michael Van Clarke 3 More Inches Thickening Blow-dry Spray, which I use after I wash my hair and before I dry. It protects from heat but also penetrates the shaft (lol) to repair broken bonds, so it helps add volume but without leaving any residual tackiness or crispiness (which I hate).

When my hair is half-dried, I work through a tiny amount of Bumble and bumble Brilliantine to give my hair a little bit of separation and enhance volume but keep it from looking too "done." I might want to use 50 products, but I don’t want to look like I tried.

My products are literally living on the edge.

My products are literally living on the edge.

For the final illusions of health, I use something to give my hair a little healthy shine. At the moment, I love Color Wow Pop & Lock Crystallite Shellac, which I use, again, incredibly sparingly to give a glossy sheen. It comes in a weirdly holographic formula that looks amazing in the bottle, too (and obviously, those things matter to me).

Finally, because it’s summer and I might one day see the sun, I’ve started using Korres Hair Sun Protection, which has UV filters to protect from sun damage (because your hair needs an SPF, too) and vitamin B5 to hydrate. I mean, now that I’ve got some hair, the last thing I want is for the sun to frazzle it all away again.

So, have you ever lost your hair? What have you used to get it back, or at least make it look better? Are you one of the women who I live in constant envy of who has so much hair that they need to go to the hairdresser to get it thinned?