The thinning hair blues and what you can do

Advancing years are sometimes accompanied by a retreating hairline. For some, a genetic predisposition for hair loss can cause the hair to thin out. Disease, hormonal imbalances, malnutrition and medical treatments such as chemotherapy can also lead to hair loss, according to the Mayo Clinic. Some individuals have plenty of hair that happens to be fine in texture and thus prone to damage. Some respond by wearing wigs or toupees, while others turn to implants or weaves to restore their natural hair. But a few simple hair care tips can help many thin-haired people preserve and beautify the hair they still have.

In most cases, shampooing and conditioning the hair can safely add body to hair, but certain volumizers can make the hair brittle in the process. (Beeswax, an ingredient in some volumizers, often serves as the culprit in such cases.) A salon-quality mousse or other volumizing product, applied to the roots and dried while a brush holds the hair taut, can add volume to hair without hurting it. Hair coloring products can also give the appearance of a denser head of hair, but these products should be selected and applied by a professional, especially since products containing peroxide or ammonia can do more harm than good.

People with thin or fine-textured hair should proceed carefully when curling or applying heat to thin hair. Curling irons, for instance, can damage the hair by overheating it. A permanent wave may sound like an easy way to add volume to thinning hair, but in fact the chemicals used in most permanents can do severe damage unless applied with a light hand by a skilled professional. Curl-relaxing products should be avoided at all cost -- the ingredients are simply too damaging for fine hair. But with a little common sense and caution, even a thinning head of hair can still look healthy and beautiful.

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