The key to successful regrowth? First, admit you have a problem. Each day you dwell in denial, you're losing precious time. The more hair you've lost, the less likely it is to all grow back. Telltale signs, like a wider part or a smaller ponytail, don't show up until you've lost nearly half your hair! Seek out trichologists and dermatologists or endocrinologists who specialize in hair problems. (A good place to start www.americanhairloss.org.
Last summer, I started visiting the Philip Kingsley hair clinic in New York City every week to strengthen the fragile wisps that were starting to sprout along my hairline as a result of my prescription treatments. There, I learned that physical as well as emotional stress can cause temporary thinning and make genetic hair loss worse. When 44-year-old fitness instructor Maria Santoro was hospitalized for a severe allergic reaction to her pneumonia medication, she lost 20 pounds in 10 days, and her chestnut waves started falling out in clumps. "People assumed I was anorexic," she says. "My body was in shock, and I felt really insecure because of my weight loss and thin hair. It was devastating."
Hair loss has a direct impact on psyche and morale, says Kingsley, who coined the phrase "bad hair day" 40 years ago. I spoke to 34-year-old breast-cancer survivor Courtney Hagen, who revealed that when she heard her diagnosis, her first fears were for her golden locks. "I had a double mastectomy, but I was more traumatized about losing my hair," she admits.
As for me, thanks to two years of regular treatment, I've finally reached the phase where regrowth is thicker every day. But the process has been arduous and pricey: Rogaine requires diligent use and $30 a month for the rest of my life. And some of my hormone-regulating prescriptions like Avodart, which I credit most for my good results and which costs more than $200 a month are not covered because if you take them while pregnant, they can harm the fetus's development. But I continue with my regimen because, for me, the risk is worth the remedy I'm not planning on pregnancy for a long, long time anyway. I also figure it'll be a lot easier to find a potential father with my full head of hair.
When it comes to hair, thin is never in. Thicken up with these hair helpers:
1. Kérastase Nutrients Densitive Daily Anti-Hair Thinning, Anti-Hair Loss Dietary Supplement
2. Nick Chavez Plump 'N Thick Leave-In Thickening Crème Conditioner
3. Shu Uemura Fiber Lift Protective Volumizer
4. Men's Rogaine Foam (many derms recommend it for women, too)
5. L'Oréal Professionnel Age Densiforce Shampoo
6. Philip Kingsley Scalp Tonic