How to give thinning locks an instant boost: Mother who lost hair due to stress and pregnancy shares her tips – from adding a fringe to going darker
- Hairdresser Emily Williams, 33, from Bristol, suffered hair loss twice in her life
- Emily shared her tips for making thin hair look thicker, including getting a fringe
- While experts shared advice for aiding growth, such as putting thyme on scalp
A hairdresser who suffered hair loss due to stress and post-pregnancy hormones has shared her tips for making your hair look instantly thicker.
Emily Williams, 33, from Bristol, took pride in her long hair and was devastated when it first started to fall out in her early 20s. At the time she was going through a bad breakup, was stressed at work and was moving between rented accommodation.
Years later, after her hair had recovered, Emily once again lost clumps of her hair. This time it was caused by the ‘shedding’ that typically happens a few months after giving birth.
While Emily relied on hair extensions the first time she lost her hair, after her baby was born she took steps to make her hair as healthy and as thick as could be, including adding a fringe and opting for a darker shade.
Emily Williams, who suffered hair loss due to stress and post-pregnancy hormones has shared her tips for making your hair look instantly thicker. Pictured, Emily showing how her hair fell out in clumps from halfway down after the birth of her child (left) and today (right)
Emily Williams (pictured), 33, from Bristol revealed she has suffered hair loss twice in her life, once in her early twenties after a break-up and again after giving birth to her son
HAIR LOSS CAUSED BY STRESS
Emily, who also works as a makeup artist, said her hair was her ‘pride and joy’ and she was absolutely devastated to see her long locks start coming falling out in the shower, particularly after working in hair salons for her whole life.
The make-up artist said she first began losing her hair in her early 20s after going through a breakup and becoming stressed in a job which she ‘didn’t like’.
She told FEMAIL: ‘My first experience of hair loss was when I was in my early 20s. I had just had a breakup and was moving from shared room to shared room and on top of that I was stressed with a job I didn’t like.
‘I noticed that my head began to tingle from time to time and over the next few months I saw it begin to shed.
EMILY’S TOP TIPS FOR MAKING THIN HAIR SEEM THICKER
- Cut your hair shorter to make your hair appear and feel thicker
- Add a fringe to ‘thicken up the front of your hair’ – and it will look great when your hair is tied up
- Dye your hair a darker shade to help your hair appear thicker
- Wash your hair daily or every other day. She said it is a misconception that washing hair often will cause hair loss and said regular washing stops any loss being a ‘shock’
- Add professionally done highlights to ‘swell hair cuticles’ and make each strand feel thicker
- Lay off the heat. Avoid blowdrying with high heat and tension from hairbrushes
- Ditch the straighteners: Straight hair can make hair appear finer. Go for curls to make the hair look fuller with more volume
- Invest in a heatless curl tool or use the dressing gown trick
- Use volume powders to give a ‘root lift’ (but they leave a sticky residue on hair so need to be washed out)
- Use colour root spray or powder to make hair density look thicker
- Use extensions, wigs or hair toppers – but extensions can cause more hair loss if fitted incorrectly
- Be confident!
‘I remember I was very upset at the time, I had worked In hair salons all my life and my long hair was my pride and joy, to see it coming out in the shower and in my hairbrush was very distressing for me.
‘We know hair loss is caused by stress but then stressing about the hair loss certainly won’t help matters, so it can be a vicious cycle.’
But Emily admitted that she turned to hair extensions to cover up her hair loss, rather than looking for remedies to help her hair grow back stronger.
She said that she used both clip-in extensions and bonded extensions and would continually have them put back in despite her hair needing a ‘break’.
She continued: ‘Rather then look for remedies I ran straight to hair extensions. Adding in as many bonds as I could. Worst mistake I could have made.
‘Over the years I relied on them and when it was time to have a break, my hair was so damaged and fine naturally I would have them put straight back in with either clip ins or bonded.
Emily continued to use hair extensions into her late 20s because she felt more ‘confident’ when she wore them and believed she wouldn’t get any ‘male attention’ if she wasn’t wearing extensions.
She said: ‘My love hate relationship with extensions went on until my late 20s where by then I would only use clips in on nights out.
‘I would never have dreamed of going on a night out without them, they gave me so much confidence when glammed up, I thought without them I wouldn’t get any male attention and no one would look at me twice.
‘My hair had always been one of my best features I wasn’t ready to let go of that.
‘In the week while I was working I would style my hair in a way which made it appear thicker, being in the industry I knew all the tips.’
Gradually over the next few years, Emily used extensions less and less and her hair began to recover, becoming the healthiest it had been ‘in years’.
Emily said her hair was her ‘pride and joy’ and she was absolutely devastated to see her long locks start coming falling out in the shower (left and right: before and after hair thinning)
POST-PARTUM HAIR LOSS
After she fell pregnant with her son in 2018, her hair became the ‘longest and thickest’ it had ever been, which gave her much more confidence.
She explained: ‘In 2018 I fell pregnant with my son, as a hairdresser I know while being pregnant your hair doesn’t go through the usual shedding stage and the follicle holds onto the hair until after you give birth.
‘This meant my hair was the longest and thickest it had ever been I was so happy and confident.’
But after giving birth, Emily said her hair came out ‘all in one go’ and she became very self-conscious about her hair loss.
She continued: ‘Usually around 3 months after giving birth all the hair that should have shed away naturally through my pregnancy months came out all in one go and my god didn’t it just.
‘It kept coming and coming and my hair was without a doubt the thinnest it had ever been. I was so self conscious again but I had a little bundle of joy that this time I didn’t let it consume me where it had done before.
‘My mind set had changed and looking after my new baby was my priority.
‘I did decide however to do everything I could to keep the hair I had on my head as healthy as I could and promote the new hair to grow just as healthy.’
HOW SHE TACKLED HAIR LOSS
Emily (pictured now) warned people who suffer from stress-induced hair loss that there is not much you can do to reverse it ‘overnight’ but said the best thing you can do is ‘not worry’
After giving birth, Emily said her hair came out ‘all in one go’ (pictured left and right with thinning hair) and she became very self-conscious about her hair loss
Emily decided she was going to tackle her hair loss, rather than resorting to hair extensions for a second time, and invested in hair care, used a hair mask once a week, and tried to eat a healthy and varied diet.
She also saw a trichologist, who treat problems of the hair scalp and hair follicles, at Phillip Kingsley and had a blood test to check her levels of iron and ferritin.
Speaking about the blood test, she explained: ‘If these are low it’s usually the explanation for hair loss. And my ferritin was very low so I was recommended a hair vitamin that I still regularly take.’
Emily also began stimulating her hair follicles with a massage brush every single day in the shower with conditioner and stopped using heat products, such as a hairdryer, on her hair regularly.
The hairdresser also stopped using normal hairbands, which she said ‘create friction and damage’, and invested in a silk pillow case.
She also boldly decided to get her hair cut as she felt there was no ‘point’ having long hair if it was ‘wispy’ due to her postpartum hair.
She continued: ‘When my new hair started growing back through after my postpartum hair loss it was shocking to see the amount of new hair I had.
‘My hair was growing in two layers I had a short layer at the root a few inches long and then the rest of my hair was past my shoulders but looked so thin.
‘I was on the verge of looking like I had a mullet. Not the look I wanted.
‘I decided to have the chop and cut it to a blunt bob so that the hair could all grow down together and there wasn’t a dramatic difference in lengths.
‘Now a few years later, my hair is the best it has looked.’
Natural remedies experts swear by
Personal online hair stylist Lauren Croker shared her top remedies for encouraging hair growth and preventing hair loss.
The owner of Styled by LC’s top tips including putting Greek yoghurt and thyme on your scalp, as well as doing ‘hair yoga’.
PUT THYME ESSENTIAL OIL ON YOUR SCALP
Why?: Thyme helps prevent hair loss and encourages regrowth by stimulating the blood flow to hair follicles under the skin’s surface.
How?: Mix 2 drops with coconut oil and give your scalp a really good massage. Leave on for 10 minutes then shampoo and condition like normal.
Why?: It contains a high amount of vitamin A, Vitamin C and Silica. Silica is a key component of making sure your regrowth hair is strong.
How?: If you are not keen on plain cucumber try dipping it in hummus.
PUT GREEK YOGHURT WITH LEMON AND HONEY ON YOUR SCALP
Why?: Used since ancient Greek times, Greek yoghurt contains a lot of protein and lactic acid which helps promote hair growth. The honey brings in an antioxidant aspect which helps strong regrowth and the Lemon will stop you from suffering with a dry scalp as it keeps your skin at the correct PH.
How?: Mix 2 tablespoons of regular supermarket bought Greek yoghurt with 1 tablespoon of honey and 1 tablespoon of lemon. Massage this onto your scalp and smooth it down your hair to your roots. Leave on for 30 minutes. Rinse off with cold water which will close the pores.
DO ‘HAIR LOSS’ YOGA
Why?: Yoga is a fantastic way of getting your body to relax which in turn will help with your stress levels. There are certain Yoga poses that focus particularly on helping with hair loss.
How?: Any pose that focuses on bending forward will increase the blood circulation and oxygen to the scalp which in turn will stimulate the hair follicles. Focusing on the breathing element of Yoga also helps to move more oxygen around the body which again, will help promote healthy hair growth. Rubbing your nails together also stimulates blood flow and you can do this anywhere or anytime!
EAT MORE EGGS
Why?: It is a well known fact that vitamin deficiency plays a huge part in maintaining healthy hair growth. Eggs contain many vitamins including Iron. They are also rich in protein and contain biotin which helps hair grow (as well as strengthening brittle fingernails)
How?: There are so many ways to eat eggs! My favorite is scrambled eggs with Nduja sausage on top of some ciabatta bread….yum!
USE A SILK HAIR TURBAN
Why?: Think about how many times we toss and turn during the night. If our hair is not in a good condition then all of that friction will cause breakage or knots, which in turn will mean you will need to pull on the hair with a brush to get them out. The Slip hair turban which is made with 100% silk will protect your hair during the night and will also promote natural oils in the hair which ultimately will result in stronger, healthier hair.
How?: Just before you go to sleep, twist your hair and put it on top of your head. Then place the turban over your head, making sure all you hair is covered. Then enjoy lovely, knot free hair in the morning!
USE ROOT COVER UP
Why?: When we suffer from hair loss we can sometimes find our hairline has receded or that we have a sparse covering of hair in certain areas. The clever Color Wow Root Cover Up will disguise all of this. The special formula creates a completely natural look and feel and is even waterproof so you can go about your everyday life without worrying about any embarrassing mishaps. You can even go swimming!
How?: It couldn’t be easier to use. The kit comes with a little brush to help you apply just the right amount. Hold the hair taught around the area you wish to cover and push the brush down firmly on the roots.
USE PHILIP KINGSLEY’S ELASTICIZER
Why?: Originally created especially for Audrey Hepburn when she noticed her hair was in awful condition from all the styling she was having done on film sets. It is packed with loads of brilliant ingredients and you will start to see results in the condition of your hair after just one use.
How?: Use the Elasticizer before you wash your hair. Work it into your damp hair from the mid secretions to the roots. Leave on for 20-30 mins, overnight if you wish, and then wash out.
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