I’m not even joking when I say that this post has been in the works for almost 3 years. Even the photos I shot for this post years ago were when I had mega long hair! When I initially started writing this post years ago I wasn’t really sure why my hair was falling out. All I knew is that my hair was falling out at a rapid rate. My goal for this post about the best products for hair growth was to be a resource for others who are experiencing hair loss just like I was. Which meant I really needed to do my research, have tests done, and figure out exactly why I was experiencing such dramatic hair loss in my early 3os.
Sadly, I do not have before and after photos but you can see the new growth in these photos; especially the opening photo! I honestly didn’t even realize the extent of the hair loss because I had hair extensions for years and it really masked the extent of the hair loss. But don’t let that deter you from trusting what I am saying on what steps I took that dramatically helped me get my hair to grow back healthier and thicker than ever. You can actually somewhat see some of the new growth in these photos around my scalp.
I also wasn’t one of those people complaining about my hair loss on Instagram or social media. This was something that was so personal to me that I didn’t feel like it was appropriate until I knew the facts. About a year after I started this post I got turned off from even posting my story because a handful of bloggers came out of the woodwork talking about their hair loss in the most unbelievable and overdramatic way. It was almost hard to even believe what they were saying even worked for them because they didn’t give it a sufficient amount of time and their suggestions were almost comical. To each their own, though.
Hair regrowth does not come overnight. It takes weeks, even months depending on what is going on inside your body that is the cause of the hair loss. Whether it be stress, postpartum hair loss, health issues, etc. There are so many reasons why someone could be losing their hair and everyone’s treatment plan could be totally different.
This post is all about what worked for me. The past 3+ years have been a trial and error of testing out different products of what helped me. And after these 3 years, I finally feel confident in taking the time to write this post and share my tips because my hair is healthier and thicker than it has ever been. Even if you don’t have dramatic hair loss or hair loss in general , these tips will help you have healthier and thicker hair.
I want to also preface this by stating that I am not a doctor. These products have worked miracles for me. If you have significant hair loss or thinning I would recommend consulting with your doctor or dermatologist for an exact diagnosis.
Best Products for Hair Growth
Let’s start from the beginning; when I first noticed my hair loss. My hair is extremely fine and it wasn’t anything shocking to see quite a bit fall out because it was so long and I would go days without washing it. A few years ago I decided to stop taking my birth control after 16 years. While this was a blessing in many aspects, it wreaked havoc on my body when I stopped taking it. Unbeknownst to me, going off of birth control completely wrecked my hormones.
After about 9-10 months of being off of birth control the hair extension craze started. I still wasn’t really aware at how bad my hair had been falling out but decided to try out extensions. These aren’t your typical tape in extensions but actually tied onto a row of your own hair. I did an entire blog post on theses extensions here.
Don’t get me wrong. I loved these extensions and swore that I would never go without them! They made my hair so much thicker, as you can see in these photos. I ended up having NBR extensions for over 3 years. But every time we would take them out I would noticed how thin my hair was. My hair stylist and friend suggested it was probably because I was used to how thick my hair was with extensions.
The moment I knew something was wrong was the day that I decided to chop all of my hair off. This was a little over a year and half ago. I had Tiffany take my extensions out and I went home to decide whether or not I wanted them put back in. My head and hair hadn’t had a break in 3 long years. When I got home, I was extremely depressed at how my hair looked. It was so thin and I knew there was an issue.
The next morning I opted to keep the extensions out and just cut all of my hair off to have a fresh start. We cut almost 13 inches off which I ended up donating. After that day I was even more determined to figure out a routine that was going to get my hair back in shape. Below are the exact products I use and how I use them.
The first thing I did was make an appointment with my dermatologist. She looked over my scalp thoroughly and came to the conclusion this was most likely the result of a few different things. First being the hormonal change from quitting my birth control, second the hair extensions wreaked havoc on my scalp and almost traumatized my hair follicles, and third and the most concerning was stress. She stated that there is quite a bit of new growth and no specific bald spots on my scalp. The condition is called Telogen Effluvium which is a reversible condition in which hair falls out after a stressful experience, shock or traumatic event.
I know for a fact stress is a huge issue in my life. A couple years ago I had worked with EverlyWell to take their Metabolism Test which also tests cortisol (stress) levels. Let me tell you, my cortisol was literally off the charts high. Sadly, nothing in regards to reducing my stress has really changed in 2020. If anything, it’s even worse than normal.
I opted to change my diet and started exercising more frequently. I knew this would overall make me a healthier person inside and out and would help my scalp health as well.
The hunt for hair vitamins began. I remember a friend talking about Sugar Bear Hear so I ordered a few bottles to test out. Those seemed to work great for a year or so but felt that I needed to try something different so my body wasn’t immune to one supplement. Then, I stumbled across Viviscal. This is what I am still using after a couple of years and absolutely swear by them! Tula also just came out with a new hair vitamin that I am anxious to try. Use code DTKASHLEY for 15% off at Tula.
In addition to taking hair supplements I started researching the best scalp stimulating shampoo. After months of searching I ended up going with Keranique’s products. I use their Scalp Stimulating Shampoo each and every time I wash my hair, which is every few days. I always lather the shampoo on my head, massage it into my scalp and leave on for at least 3-5 minutes.
Once I am out of the shower I use the Keranique Hair Regrowth Treatment Spray. I only spray this around the crown of my face and in the front portion of where I part my hair. These are the spots that I have noticed the most drastic hair loss. I suggest spraying on any area of your head that has thinning hair.
Also, invest in a hair towel. I use the Aquis Lisse Luxe Hair Towel. These towels are much gentler on your hair than a basic bath towel. They are made with innovative fabric woven from ultra-fine fibers to create a lightweight material with water wicking capabilities that is gentle on your hair.
Purchase a great detangling spray too. The less you pull on your hair while brushing the better. Once my hair is washed, sprayed with the Treatment Spray, I will wrap it up in the Aquis towel while I do my make-up. Once I’m done I will unwrap my hair and spray it with the Dry Bar Prep Rally detangling spray. When you are brushing your hair, hold the hair by the root and brush down. This way you aren’t putting pressure on your hair follicles and scalp.
Using less heat on your scalp is better for your overall scalp health and keeping your hair out of a pony tail as much as you can will also help.
After using these products for years I still see new growth weekly. I can personally say that this regimen has worked wonders for my scalp and hair.
Let’s talk hair facts.
Losing 50-100 strands a day is completely normal. If you don’t wash your hair for days at a time, be prepared for at least 300-500 hairs to fall out depending on how many days it has been. My dermatologist said 3-4 days worth of hair looks like a small dog in the sink.
Hair that hasn’t been shampooed in days will accumulate and come out more when you are actually washing your hair.
Consider the phase of life you are in. Did you just have a baby? Have you experienced a traumatic event? Are you overly stressed? Is your diet bad? If nothing extraordinary has happened then make an appointment with your doctor to get your blood work done. They will check your thyroid, hormonal issues, etc. If your blood work is normal, start with topical product like shampoo or Rogaine. Keep in mind, once you start these products you can’t stop or your hair will fall back into the catagen phase.
Understand the hair growth stages. Anagen, Telogen, Catagen (active, resting, falling out). Anything you do on a topical level will take those follicles that are resting or falling out and will bump to an active stage. Whatever stage they were in prior, the day you stop using these products it will revert to that stage. ie – catagen stage will go back to catagen, etc. so If you are not ready to commit to one of those things then don’t start.
Shockingly enough, stress level is what more people experience hair loss from.
Let’s get to know a little more about stress level hair loss. During this time 2 hormones are combining. One is on your scalp all the time. 5alpha-reductase combine with hormones on your scalp that elevate during high stress times. Testosterone elevates when you are super stressed. Try taking stress vitamins, doing yoga, etc. to calm yourself.
Try to stay away from heavier shampoos and conditioners that could clog your scalp and cause sebum buildup/plugs. Sebum = scalp oil. Products like dry shampoo buildup can cause this as well as not washing your hair as frequently.
Hold off on any type of hair extensions that attach to the hair such as tape in extensions or hand tied extensions.. Try options like clip in hair extensions that you wear for a short period of time and can take out after a few hours. The Halo is another great option that has become popular over the recent years.
What do you think are the best products for hair growth? Let me know in a comment below!