7 Secrets to Styling Thin Hair

There are plenty of prescription medications and expensive treatments available for getting ahead of hair loss. But once you’ve tricked out your bathroom with the latest laser combs, guys with thinning hair still need a core basic care routine. With this in mind, we tapped Garrett Bryant, senior stylist at Arté Salon in New York, for some tips and tricks on shampooing and styling thin hair. What we got was a master class in contrarian hair care. “There's not much you can do to stop hair loss, or make hair grow back,” he notes. “But you can take the hair you do have and densify it. It all starts at the scalp.” Here are Bryant’s surprising tips for caring for and styling thin hair.

Shampoo More Often

“If you're losing your hair, you actually want to shampoo it more, not less. Most guys with thinning hair are afraid to touch their hair for fear that it’ll fall out faster. But the truth is you need to wash it every day to stimulate and energize your scalp. Shampooing more often will add volume, and help keep oiliness at bay. With excess oil you’ll see more separation between hair, and people will see more scalp. Stay away from shampoos that are supermoisturizing, as they will clog pores in your scalp.”

Rough Up Your Scalp

“When you’re shampooing, don't be afraid to really scrub the scalp with your fingertips. That'll get rid of loose skin particles, and exfoliate the scalp. This process will actually strengthen existing hair.”

Keep It Close-Cropped

“If you have thinning hair, it’s important not to let hair get too long on the sides and back, where your hair is naturally fullest. Instead, look at where hair is the thinnest—usually on the top—and leave your hair fuller and longer there. The key is a blended effect. Shorter sides should fade into longer hair on top. Matt Lauer provides a good example. He has thinning hair and keeps it super neat and faded on the sides. It’s proportionate, and it looks clean and never unkempt.”

Harness the Power of Wind

“Guys with thinning hair should blow out their hair to give it more oomph and volume. Rough it up with your fingers and give it some movement—the combination will help amp up the density of hair. Air-drying just leaves hair flatter.

Go to the Beach

“After you shampoo, work in a bit of leave-in conditioner formulated for thinning hair, and blow dry using a texturizing or mineralizing spray. The stuff has the effect of salt water, so you can get that great beach effect. Perfect beach hair comes from the salt opening up each hair cuticle and plumping up the hair. I like Liquid Fabric by Shu Uemura, but you can use any beach spray for wet or dry hair. It’ll give it that textured second day look even when you’re washing it every day.

Pick the Right Styling Product

“Make sure your styler isn’t something too greasy or waxy. I'd stay away from creams generally. Focus on things that are lightweight and come with a a matte finish, whether it's pomade or paste.

Treat and Protect Consistently

“In any regimen designed for thinning hair, consistency is key. You should use both a shampoo and conditioner that are formulated specifically for hair loss. Kerastase’s Capital Force Densifying Shampoo and Treatment Spray work together really well. They both deliver taurine to the hair—this actually targets a specific hormone in men that is responsible for hair loss. Together they’ll densify and strengthen hair if used consistently. They won't promote hair growth, but they’ll do a lot to slow down hair loss.”

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