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Post in Best Hair Ever

Thinning hair product recs (oily scalp too) - what’s helped you?

Hi! Due to recent stress (my father passed away recently & huge clumps of hair began falling out in during the last few months. I’m talking like small hamsters had spontaneously manifested in my drain every time I took a shower), I have woefully thinning hair. As in one can see my bare scalp in patches no matter how I style it, & I have to use products like Toppik hair powder to camouflage it lest people ask indiscreet questions. (I’ve done the lab work, seen a dr etc—I also had this issue before due to medical issues which cleared up.) I have a front-facing job where appearance is crucial, & extensions aren’t recommended at this time due to the potential of traction alopecia. I haven’t been caring for my hair/scalp in the past months much & that has contributed to it for sure. Sorry for the novel!


If anyone has struggled with seriously thinning hair, what has helped you the most? Lifestyle changes, styling/shampoo/texturizing etc products (I know there aren’t any miracle serums out there & Rogaine is not an option for me). For reference, I’m mixed Korean/European (Caucasian) & inherited my father’s fine hair type. Oily scalp, Virgin hair, & I used to prefer a very voluminous layered & teased ‘Cosmo girl’ look but alas no longer 😞 I’m scared to go to a salon for a cut as I’m so embarrassed. I know how idiotic that sounds…I’m new to the California Bay Area so if anyone has any recs for talented, sympathetic hairdressers that would be appreciated!


here are my current products / makeshift solutions for hair thinning. Do PLEASE share yours!! Sephora or otherwise 

-since I have oily scalp and haven’t been washing/caring for it per usual—&any buildup can inhibit hair follicles & hence inhibit growth, there’s the transitive property for you—I tend to use clarifying shampoos. I go thru a lot of Bumble & Bumble Sunday, this Dove charcoal one which isn’t harsh, & I just discovered the Kerastase scrub for oily hair on Sephora & it feels incredible plus gets all the buildup I’ve pathetically been accumulating. (Christoph Robin salt scrub is great but it kind of is irritating for me)

-Oribe texturizing spray. Kinda makes it look like I’ve got a meager bit of volume but I’m still getting the technique down. Recommended

-Toppik in Medium Brown, but it stains fingers if you touch it. Not the new fun vortex. 

-I like the Verb Ghost Conditioner since it’s lightweight & silicone free (silicones can irritate my skin). I apply it before shampoo, which I’ve done since I was 16. Ps I’m so annoyed they changed the formula for the Aussie 3 min miracle hair mask 😞

-Serums/topicals: a friend gave me a Sunday Riley scalp clarifying…thing (it’s in a pink bottle) & though I’d bought it before, I realised I’d just been using it haphazardly & not leaving it in long enough (pin hair up, leave on for a bit then wash off). It’s great at descaling. A less pricey alternative is The Ordinary glycolic acid toner which comes in the massive siracha-looking bottle! 

-Okay, hear me out. Nizoral dandruff shampoo is often rec’d for hair loss, right, cos of its anti-fungal properties. It can be a bit harsh. Monistat (yes—the tube for infections) has a similar antifungal active & mechanism of action. I heard about this & thought ‘what the…’, but honestly, do a search on it—since it is intended for sensitive regions, smearing it on one’s scalp can yield beneficial results. Apparently. 
-Castor oil, etc is a bit heavy for my hair type. If it works for you that’s awesome & I’m jealous!

-Nutrition: started taking vit D & a B complex again; I know I ought to get more iron in my diet as well. Will start BioSil (note: this is not biotin) in a bit. Viviscal gave me an allergic reaction 😞 I noticed Sephora started carrying Vital Collagen marine collagen & I’m thinking of purchasing it!! Psyched. also the Kerastase Clay mask thing for oily scalps (idk if it will do anything but it looks like it would feel lovely??) if anyone has experience with the Oribe clarifying foam shampoo or the Christoph Robin rose volumizing paste hit me up. I’m not a snob, I like drugstore finds as much as anyone (plus ‘sometimes things that are expensive are worse’) but I really feel like treating myself to some luxury when I’m down you know? 

-I bought the ColorWow root cover-up but sadly it won’t cover the thinning area (think monk’s to sure on center of head). I would recommend it for those who have a thinning part though. 

for everyone suffering thru this my heart goes out to you 💙




Re: Thinning hair product recs (oily scalp too) - what’s helped you?

@thomasinaC I'm so sorry for your loss and that you're going through this ❤ 

Warning - this is LONG!

I'm 41, have always had baby fine hair that doesn't hold a style or maintain volume for more than 10 min and, if I don't want to wear my hair in a ponytail that gets progressively dirtier throughout Day 2, I need to wash daily. 


Last year, when I turned 40, I noticed an inordinate amount of hair loss in the shower, not the usual small bunches of strands but, multiple clumps.  My scalp isn't visible but at the rate I'm going, that day may come soon. At the same time, I  also noticed that my scalp was becoming extra greasy and I started to large flakes, a new experience for me.  I tried dandruff shampoos at all prices, salt scalp scrubs, rubber manual scalp scrubbers, anti-itch scalp serums and countless detox treatments and nothing worked.


I finally figured out what the issue was and it sounds a lot like what you've experienced-- I live in NYC and have been working from home since March of last year, right after I turned 40; I'm a Talent Acquisition Director for a financial services firm, a highly visible role, but working remotely allowed me to be lazy so I washed my hair maybe 2x a week, used an embarrassing amount of dry shampoo and my hair was in a ponytail for almost a year straight. I also went from getting my hair cut every 8 weeks to 2x in a year (Covid is only partially to blame).  I basically went from taking care of my hair daily to ignoring it for close to 18 months, then overloading it with drying and stripping products that just made my scalp produce more and more oil and flakes.  


What finally helped was getting back into my former routine, even though I'm still working from home, and switch from harsh treatments to hydrating ones.  I wash at least every other day, usually with Paul Mitchell Awaphuwi shampoo but the Olaplex shampoo is good once a week and if I need a clarifying shampoo, I'll use the clear one from Neutrogena or Head and Shoulders with Argan Oil once a week.  I apply conditioner after every wash, any moisturizing formula will do and I apply a hair mask once a week, I like Voir's Rhythm of the Rain but the drugstore has good options too.  If I need to style my hair, I'll use the Sebastian Preset conditioner because it gives my hair texture.  I make sure to brush my hair thoroughly twice a day and get regular haircuts.  


Stress, utterly neglecting my hair and excessive treatments led to my problems and I wouldn't be at all surprised if yours are a result of a lack of self care due to the grief and stress of your father's passing, plus the subsequent anxiety about your appearance.  If you devote the next 3-4 weeks to a scaled back, gentle, moisturizing and pampering routine, I think you'll see a reduction in hair loss and oil production.  I definitely suggest seeing a stylist, they know how to cut and style to minimize thinning hair; maybe look for someone that has experience working with clients that have female pattern baldness or medically induced hair loss but don't be embarrassed. 


In the meantime, I like the IGK Beach Day texturizing spray, no sea salt, and the Sebastian Preset conditioner as both give my hair enough grit without feeling sticky or dirty, I just don't use them together. It's possible that your hair gets healthy but doesn't grow back and a stylist can help you make the most of what you have.  In regards to hair regrowth options, only a few have been proven somewhat effective, Rogaine is one and Nioxin is another but it seems to be better at providing fullness than regrowth.  What has been proven not to work is castor oil and the only studies showing collagen supplements to be effective are done by supplement companies themselves; clinical trials have not shown evidence that it helps with hair loss.  There are many studies on hair loss but outside of hair transplants, scientists haven't been able to get solid results from anything yet.  


As I stated at the beginning, this was a massively long response and I don't blame you if you checked out after the 2nd paragraph but, if you did get this far, please know that you're beautiful with and without hair and that while thus problem is stressful, actually reducing stress itself is half the battle.  Do not hesitate to message me directly with questions.  Best of luck!! ❤❤



Re: Thinning hair product recs (oily scalp too) - what’s helped you?

I am sorry to hear about your loss @thomasinaC . It must be rough moving to a new area and having to start over. Anyway I can recommend some products that have worked for me. Like you I found the Christophe Robin Mini Purifying Scalp Scrub with Sea Salt 2.5 oz/ 75 mL too rough on my scalp also. What I recommend is Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Oil Micro-exfoliating Scalp Scrub Shampoo . The peppermint oil is very soothing on my scalp. Also if you have enough points there is a travel sized set available in the Rewards Bazaar for 500 points. Also I had 4” of roots showing during the pandemic and Rita Hazan Root Concealer really covered my roots in the most natural way possible. 
I have the opposite problem that I have a lot of thick wavy hair that I only wash once a week, but I am hoping that someone here can recommend a good hair stylist in the Bay Area.

Re: Thinning hair product recs (oily scalp too) - what’s helped you?

@thomasinaC  I am so sorry to hear about your father. Virtual hugs. 

Ive been going through the same. My hair was coming out in clumps. Some was because of my hormones some probably stress. A few things that worked for me was adding collagen to my coffee every morning. I went for a haircut a week ago and my hairdresser couldn’t believe how much my hair grew. I also started using The Ordinary Multi-Peptide Serum for Hair Density 2 oz/ 60 mL  I have a few spots where I wanted to fill in and this definitely helped me. I’ve been noticing so many baby hair lately. Giving it more time I’m hoping my thin hair will get more full. 

I really hope you find something that works. 

hugs 🤗 

Re: Thinning hair product recs (oily scalp too) - what’s helped you?

 @You’re an absolute love. Thanks for replying. I’ve had the Vital Collagens marine in my cart for a while—I’ve heard excellent things about collagen promoting hair growth, & I prefer marine to bovine so I’m happy Sephora carries it. 
thank you for your condolences. It’s admittedly been a rough few months. My hair falling out was kind of the last straw… 
(I know I should get better nutrition in general & will do. Omega-3s& that. ) I’ll check out the Ordinary peptide serum—if anything it should prove a soothing ritual. 
thanks for your kind words. People here are so encouraging and wonderful. 🌈

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