From supplements to diet, experts share how to thicken and grow your hair

Hair is a big deal.

For some, it is intrinsically linked to self-image and confidence. While for others, hair is a form of self-expression and catharsis.

You see, there’s a reason why the hairdresser’s chair is the first port of call following a break-up.

There’s a reason why people take such pride in it, why they care for it, spend hundreds of pounds on products and often hurt when it’s gone.

Hair is just that important. And it seems that a common goal among the masses is having a lot of it.

Thick, voluminous and shiny hair is the goal but unfortunately, not everyone is born blessed in that department.

Plus, if you are one of the millions who enjoy heat styling or bi-monthly bleach appointments, that goal is even harder to reach.

Meanwhile, thinning or brittle hair can occur at any age without any warning. It wreaks havoc with confidence and it can be difficult to know where to start when beginning a hair restoration journey.

With the sheer volume of internal and external products, the task can become complex.

So what should one be doing/eating/taking to help hair grow and thicken?

Before embarking on any hair care regime, nutritionist Ellie Busby says uncovering the cause of the hair damage or loss is key.

‘It’s a very individual issue,’ she tells Metro.co.uk. ‘Your needs are different to someone else’s. If you’re struggling with thin hair I’d recommend seeing a nutritionist to find out what’s going on and how best to improve your hair.

‘A DNA test is also important because it can tell you whether you have a higher need for nutrients like iron, vitamin D, zinc and omega-3.’

Ellie explains that in many individuals with thinning hair, biotin is the missing element.

‘A study cited by Dr Ralph M. Trüeb in The International Journal of Trichology found that biotin deficiency was present in 38% of women complaining of hair loss,’ she says. ‘So making sure you’re getting enough of all these nutrients is important for hair growth, thickness and health.’

When it comes to supplements Ellie recommends focusing on the nutrient you are lacking, whether that be biotin or vitamin B12.

‘There is also evidence that supplementing cysteine (an amino acid) can improve hair growth rate,’ she adds. ‘A combination of L-cysteine, vitamin A and gelatin resulted in an increase of the hair density by 6.9% in some.’

However, Ellie notes that one of the best ways to help hair health is through diet.

‘I would highly recommend protein because it provides amino acids important for hair health,’ she advises. ‘Hair is made out of a protein called ‘keratin’. To make keratin, you need to eat protein.

‘Oats and sunflower seeds are fantastic because they are high in the amino acid cysteine. While foods high in iron such as tofu, spinach, and lentils are vital because iron is very important to the production of red blood cells.

‘If you are low in iron, your body can’t deliver oxygen to your hair, which makes it weak and causes it to die off.’

Hair specialist and co-owner of Gallagher & Washington salon, Olivia Gallagher, often recommends both vitamin A and C to her clients.

‘I’d really recommend taking Vitamin A,’ she says. ‘This helps to moisturise the scalp and keep hair strong and healthy. While vitamin C helps your body absorb the iron that’s necessary for hair growth.’

Olivia points out that fine hair can be genetic and only so much can be done. Nevertheless, she does believe a solid treatment process can improve the overall condition of the hair.

‘Bain Densite by Kerastase is amazing for very fine hair,’ she advises. ‘And I would follow that by Kerastase’ 6 week Specifique thinning treatment.

‘Then to increase hair growth, I would use Kerastase’ Bain Extentioniste, Fondant Extentioniste and Extentioniste Thermique which will guarantee an increase in hair length.’

Yet, one of Olivia’s most important tips is a simple, impactful switch.

‘Please use a silk hair bobble to tie your hair back,’ she stresses.

‘They cause less breakage on the hair, especially on the hairline where you can cause traction alopecia when your hair is pulled back too tightly.

‘I promise, you or your hair won’t regret that purchase.’

Supplements and haircare

Solar Biotin capsules

Get them for £22.99 at Holland & Barrett.

Holland & Barrett Vitamin A soft gel capsules

Get them for £6.99 at Holland & Barrett.

Solgar L-Cysteine capsules

Buy them for approx £12.88 at Evergreen.

Kérastase Densifique Bain Densite 

Get it for £19.95 at Look Fantastic.

Kérastase Specifique Cure Anti-Chute Treatment

Get it for £123.25 at Look Fantastic.

Kérastase Resistance Extentioniste Trio

Get it for approx £46.65 at Millies.

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