My hair is thinning. It has been for some time now. I don't really talk about it because everyone always says they don't notice, that I'm imagining it. But I know it's real. My previously full-er, denser, wavy hair (I was never Rapunzel) just isn't what it used to be.
For as long as it's been thinning, I've been trying out the best in volumizing and thickening products. Only styling products though—never dedicated shampoos or conditioners. Styling products is where I've always gotten more bang for my buck—the biggest effect on my final look as opposed to hopes and wishes in my shower routine. So, I've settled for the cheapest, least damaging shampoo that would cleanse my hair without weighing it down. I've avoided words like moisture, shine, and conditioning like the plague. Basically anything that promises that illusive Garnier-commercial-like hair.
Over the past year, Emily Ferber's been on a mission to find a volumizing shampoo that works for me. Her reasoning: Healthy hair should, theoretically, start in the shower. And yet, none have moved me. One left a residue in my hair that I didn't notice until my hand got stuck in a gunky, residue-y mess while blow drying. I wondered if I'd forgotten to wash it out... But then I remembered: I'm losing my hair, not my memory.
Back in October, she passed me Renessence Follicle Forever Strengthening Shampoo on recommendation from Jordan Blackmore, Marc Jacobs' hair guy and co-owner of Three Squares Studio. The packaging is unassuming and I'd been let down before, so my hopes were low. The brand promises a physician-formulated blend of ingredients that anchor the hair you have and help remove buildup in the way of the hair you don't. It's also safe for color—so my Spoke & Weal highlights finally wouldn't have to go brassy.
I know what they say about assuming things, but what do they say about having low expectations for hair loss shampoos? The difference in my hair was immediate. I noticed a natural fullness and hair that looked and felt cleaner for longer. When I think about it, it makes sense: If my hair is getting more air, it's not as close to my scalp absorbing all that oil. I could easily go every other day without washing my hair, a goal that hasn't superseded my desire for fuller hair, but certainly doesn't hurt. As such, my full routine has changed. Pun 100% intended. Routine as follows:
Step 1: Brush hair before entering shower; this will help you avoid brushing through knots in your wet hair, which could result in more fall out.
Step 2: Wash with Renessence Follicle Forever Strengthening Shampoo. I fill my palm with it and make sure to really massage into my scalp, especially the places that fall the flattest and get the oiliest. For me, that's by my ears and where my part meets the back of my head.
Step 3: Condition (ends only) with L'Oréal EverPure Volume Conditioner (sulfate-free, anti-fade system, UV filters, lovely rosemary mint scent).
Step 4: Douse head in Bedhead Superstar Queen For A Day Thickening Spray. The bottle is huge, the smell not so great, but the volume is unmatched. After blow-drying, my hair is big and thick without feeling sticky or ratty. Bedhead, please make a travel-size because I can't afford to keep Amazon Prime-ing it to various destinations. The Renessence shampoo, however, is easily decanted into a Muji bottle.
Read more of Melissa's trials in testing products here.