Behind the Chair: Managing Thick--And Thin--Hair
By Damien and Louis
Here are answers to two questions from Lustre readers. Read more about Damien and Louis here. And keep your questions coming!
Gretchen: I have very thick hair which tends to fall forward over my forehead. I prefer a style that keeps it off my face, and I like the look of movement or layers, rather than a smooth cap. Can you recommend a style for me that will enable me to deal with the volume of hair I have (I know that some will consider me lucky to have so much hair.) and be easy to style? If there are products that would be better for me, I would also appreciate that. Oh, yes, and I wear glasses.
Damien and Louis: Lucky you for having such thick hair even if it does present some styling challenges. There is a balance that needs to be achieved between having the hair too long where it is more apt to fall forward and having it too short where it will just bunch up in all the wrong places. Face framing layers would be your best option to relieve some of the heaviness but the layers should be kept relatively long especially near your eyes. Your stylist can always make adjustments a little at a time.
My styling recommendation would be for you to apply a sculpting gel, or soft hold gel in the front of your hair and let it "set" off your face. Blow drying tends to swell the hair and make it even thicker so just let it dry naturally. When it is completely dry you can run your fingers through it and that should break the set and have your hair fall softly without landing as much on your face. Now you show off those great eyeglasses!
Susan: What to do about hair that is thin on the ground due to failure to return vigorously after chemo loss and aging? Its natural state is somewhat wavy, and it is at this point predominately grey and short. One wishes to avoid chemicals.
Damien and Louis: Hair does go through a lot after treatments. The good news is that you made it. Depending on how long ago your treatments were will determine the future texture and quantity of hair. Usually within a year or two hair returns to normal and sometimes even thicker although the texture of the hair remains somewhat changed in terms of smoothness.
There are options as to more natural color treatments that coat the hair and impart shine that can restore some of the texture. They are called color moisturizers. These don't contain peroxide, etc that might concern you but they do stain the hair. You can also do low lights, a process of reintroducing some dark hair back in which also creates dimension and adds density to the hair. This is done with foils and the chemicals never touch the scalp.
As far as a style I would recommend that you consider growing the hair a bit to create an illusion of density. Micro extensions can also be added to create thickness without the use of glue or adhesives and is a very effective method of hair restoration. Not many people do this technique but the drawback is that the hair does not come in grey. Here is where you can add that darker hair without the use of any chemicals. Hair thickeners can also help. Milbon makes an incredible hair thickening mist applied before blow drying. Now if I only had the magic answer to what to do about aging.
PS from Louis: Of course I understand your concern regarding chemicals but I’m wondering if you’d feel better after consulting with your doctor? Many women experience changes in their hair, both density and texture post chemo as well as during the aging process. That doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your desired hair color by avoiding all chemicals. Many clients in your situation continue to achieve fantastic and flattering color that requires some level of chemical. There are quite a few gentle chemical processes and techniques that will not damage your hair, most of which will make your hair look and feel fuller and healthier. Low lights will minimize the gray without eliminating all of it, never touching your scalp and requiring infrequent maintenance. But if your desire is to be a dynamic redhead, blonde...that can be achieved using a diverse range of all-over hair color. Of course, you need to feel comfortable with whatever you decide to do. Best of luck to you!