How to add va-va-voom to your hair in time for the tress stressing days of autumn
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Thick, lustrous hair is widely regarded as a positive for both sexes. For women, it’s often inextricably bound up in the feminine ideal; and for men, it’s still a shorthand reference to virility and masculine power.
But what if you don’t have naturally voluminous locks, or if your once plentiful waves are now struggling a little against nature’s low tide?
A certain amount of hair loss is perfectly normal, of course, as each follicle produces around 20 new hairs in its lifespan, each being shed and replaced when they reach their optimum growth.
As you age, your hair can also lose some of its natural volume as the diameter of the hairs themselves gets smaller and the resulting thinner, weaker strands break before reaching the length achieved by their younger, wider counterparts.
But just because it’s a natural process, it doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do to pump some volume back into your hair. Leading hair specialist Aveda has launched a new set of products and salon treatments after carrying out the first ever National Hair Thinning Survey and discovering that women are just as concerned about hair loss and thinning as most men.
‘Women globally are concerned with thinning hair, yet only a quarter acts on it,’ explained Marianne Knutson of Aveda. ‘We also discovered that people are very interested in natural treatments, which inspired us to enter the anti-ageing hair category with high-performing botanical-derived solutions.’
But it’s not all about what products you put in your hair, it’s also about the nutrients you put in your body. Lack of volume can be a sign of low iron levels, which can be aided by supplements and diet changes (green, leafy things work wonders), or insufficient protein and B vitamins, which you can get from good quality meat, eggs, cheese, nuts, fish, beans and wholemeal bread.
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And, of course, a lot can be achieved with a clever cut and colour. According to stylist Alain Pichon of L’Oreal Paris, adding curls or waves gives the appearance of greater volume, while sticking to natural shades – preferably in the mid to dark blonde range – is the most flattering option (dark colours emphasise any thinning against your scalp).
And finally, an incredibly simple tip is to take a long, hard look at your brush.
‘Check to see if it has rough areas that could damage cuticles,’ said Alain. ‘A natural bristle brush is a gentler, wiser choice.’