Do Treatments Make Your Hair Grow Thicker?

Disclaimer: Two of three factors is out of your control. 

Ah, to have a full head of thick, luscious hair, for the rest of our lives… a girl can dream, right? So much so that we look to scores of products out in the market promising to make our hair grow thicker with each passing day.

Being victims of product-spam with all of these options however can get really overwhelming. Most of the time it’s a tricky thing discerning the snake oil from what’s truly effective, but we’re here to hopefully provide some insight. So before you panic that your ponytail is feeling too skinny for your taste as of late, read on:

Treatments to Make Hair Grow Thicker

Apart from our genes and certain physical or emotional stressors like pregnancy, illness, stress, chemo, and general nutrition, our fullness is pretty much what we’re born with, barring any prostheses or transplants later in life. Additionally, the rate of hair growth is pretty standard—around 1/2 inch a month, or (a sort of underwhelming) six inches a year. While some people laud the effects of certain hair growth supplements and topical ointments, for the most part, they don’t really have any empirical science to back them up. “Hair’s growth rate and length is directly related to your genetic code,” affirms Unilever’s R&D Senior Manager for Hair in North America, Leon-van Gorkom. He does offer a seasonal caveat: “There are a few scientific studies showing that hair grows slower in the winter months,” he adds, “However, if any, the difference between summer and winter is very small and unlikely to be noticeable.”

hair grow thicker dark brunette
The trifecta: genetics, nutrition and hormones. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

At-Home Solutions

So what’s left for us to do, other than pray that we’ve hit the genetic lottery? Some stylists and experts recommend deep conditioning treatments as an easy home remedy. These can have two major benefits for those looking to make hair grow thicker, or at least mimic fullness: One, conditioning treatments help intensely nourish the hair shaft, preventing it from breakage; and two, they help bring hair back to its optimal condition, thus reducing the need for heat tools or more manipulation—two key factors in maintaining density.

As for those popular vitamin supplements, it’s mostly the case for maintaining good nutrition. These pills usually feature fish oils and marine proteins as their main ingredients, which can help encourage a healthy growth process. There are also some studies that suggest certain hormonal medication, like birth control pills, can cause changes in hair growth, so it’s always best to seek medical advice if you feel your ponytail is feeling a bit skinnier than usual. Good luck!

Looking for more hair care tips? Check out the more ways to encourage hair growth with little fuss.