I think it might be safe to say that a lot of us have a love-hate relationship with our hair. And we have different feelings about what we wish our hair could do. For me, I've always loved that my hair is pretty low-maintenance. I have stick-straight Asian hair, so I don't have to use a flat iron, and I air-dry it most days. I also wish it were thicker. Hair loss runs in my family, so I have a complex about all the strands I shed throughout the day. And it can't hold a curl or style to save its life, so I've always wished for perfect beachy waves that didn't disappear within three hours. You might feel the complete opposite about your own hair.
However, I think that there's one thing we can all agree on when it comes to our hair: We want it to be healthy and strong. But there are some things that are stopping you from making sure your hair is at peak health. According to The Cleveland Clinic, there are some reasons your hair might be damaged, including inadequate nutrition, health problems, genetics, age, and major life events (like undergoing surgery or having a baby).
So yes, sometimes the state of your hair is out of your control, but there are some lifestyle changes you can make to strengthen it. The American Academy of Dermatology gives a number of ways to mitigate hair loss. Some include avoiding hot oil treatments and at-home hair treatments (like coloring or perming); limiting your use of hot tools; using the lowest heat setting on your hair dryer or letting your hair dry naturally; not wearing tight, pulled-back hairstyles; not smoking; and eating healthy. It's important to note that if you're experiencing alarming hair loss, you should talk to your doctor or dermatologist to see if it's a sign of something more serious.
And there are some ways you can give your hair an extra boost. You can take supplements (after consulting with your doctor), treat damaged hair, and make sure you're getting all the right hair-healthy nutrients. We rounded up a few products to try that might help strengthen your hair below.
These gummies are my go-to for hair growth. Containing biotin, folic acid, zinc, and fo-ti, the supplements really worked for me. After taking them every day for three months, I started to notice that my hair felt fuller and stronger, and there were all these new baby hairs popping up. Now they're part of my daily supplement ritual.
Who What Wear contributor Adrienne Faurote credits Nutrafol for helping her fine, fragile hair become denser and stronger. The formula contains natural, medical-grade ingredients like ashwagandha, curcumin, saw palmetto, marine collagen, and biotin to promote hair health.
This daily supplement helps with stress and nutritional deficiencies, which in turn makes your hair healthier and thicker. Ingredients include biotin, kelp, saw palmetto, and adaptogens. It's recommended to take four capsules per day—most users see results in 90 days.
B-vitamin biotin can be beneficial for people with hair issues. It improves hair growth and inflammation, according to The Cleveland Clinic. This one from Sports Research has a whopping 18,000 rating and 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon. It's vegan and contains no soy, gluten, or carrageenan.
There's a reason Viviscal's hair supplements are a cult favorite: They really work to strengthen fine thinning hair. Ingredients include AminoMar (an exclusive marine complex to nourish hair), biotin, vitamin C, and iron. It's recommended to take to tablets daily for a minimum of three to six months.
Editor-favorite haircare brand Ouai has its own hair supplements, which contain biotin, silica, ashwagandha, and amino acids. The pills work to hydrate, promote healthy hair, and prevent breakage. And it's good for all different types of hair.
Masks are really important for treating damaged or dried out hair, so your strands have a chance to grow. Redken's mask made our sister site Who What Wear's list of the best for damaged hair. It provides intense conditioning that can last you for up to three weeks.
Olaplex's formula will strengthen your hair from the inside out by treating damaged locks, protecting the hair structure, and improving its texture and appearance. It's recommended to use once or twice a week—apply on damp hair, leave on for 10 minutes, and rinse.
If you're dealing with damaged hair from coloring treatments or hot tools, Ouai's masque is a good option. It will repair and protect hair while also mending split ends. For hair that's super coarse, it's recommended to use daily after shampooing.
Your dried-out hair will thank you after using this deep-conditioning mask. It will leave your hair feeling soft and looking shiny. You can even use it daily as a conditioner if your hair is in need of EXTRA care.
Associate beauty editor Courtney Higgs has been using this mask for 10 years when she's gone overboard with heat styling. The nourishing mask is formulated with monoi oil and bamboo water to strengthen and hydrate.
Made for dehydrated, damaged hair, Kiehl's mask keeps your strands conditioned and moisturized through ingredients like avocado oil, lemon extract, and olive fruit oil. For dry or damaged hair, it's recommended to use weekly; and for severely damaged hair, use it after shampooing.
Argan oil is known for many hair benefits, including moisturizing, reducing hair breakage and frizz, and adding shine. Moroccanoil's treatment will do all of that plus help with detangling and speed up the blow-drying process.
Apply this treatment before you shampoo to smooth and condition hair and stimulate the scalp. Ingredients include rosemary leaf oil, avocado oil, safflower seed oil, vitamin E, and omega-6 fatty acids.
This leave-in hair and scalp serum stimulates hair growth and protects hair against breakage. After shampooing and towel-drying, apply two drops (fine hair) or four drops (thick hair). It doesn't require rinsing.
If you don't want to take biotin supplements, you can opt to try biotin shampoo. The formula contains the hair-enriching ingredient to thicken and volumize hair. Essential oils cleanse the hair and even prevent dandruff.
Adding a few drops of this serum to your clean, dry scalp can help you on your quest for thicker and healthier hair. It has ingredients that improve hair density and increase blood flow to the scalp, nourishing hair.
Let this serum work its magic while you sleep. Its ingredients promote cell renewal and energizes your scalp to encourage hair growth, while also creating shine and taming frizz. Apply a drop to your scalp and massage in—then all you have to do is drift off to dreamland.
When we spoke to nutritionist Robin Foroutan, MD, RDN, HHC, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, about foods for hair health, she recommended spinach. It's packed with iron because it oxygenates your blood, which is necessary for hair growth.
Make sure you're getting enough protein—the American Academy of Dermatology says that when the body doesn't get enough, it can start to ration it, which can lead to a shutdown in hair growth. One way to get protein? Through beans.
This article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be used in the place of advice of your physician or other medical professionals. You should always consult with your doctor or healthcare provider first with any health-related questions. See our full health disclaimer here.