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Hair loss in women – tips for colouring

WebMD Feature
Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks

When your hair is thinning you’ll want to do everything you can to protect what you’ve got but at the same time trying to make it look as good as possible.

Don’t give up on colour. It doesn’t always damage your hair and it can make a real difference to the look of it, giving it a thicker appearance and texture. You just need to treat your tresses with care and kindness.

Go pro

When it comes to colouring hair that’s thinning it’s best to have it done professionally in a salon by someone who knows exactly what they are doing.

"You can absolutely colour hair that is prone to thinning," says Jo Hansford, who runs one of the UK’s leading hair salons and is an expert in colouring. "An experienced colourist will recommend the safest products for your hair."

Don’t go too dark

Stick to a shade and colour that is lighter, and is a similar shade to your scalp if possible.

"Dark, block colour is brutal on thinning hair," says top hair expert Scott Cornwall, "as you can see the scalp through it.”

"Colouring the hair a lighter shade can actually give the appearance of more body and volume as it plumps the hair shaft and adds extra texture," advises Anabel Kingsley, trichologist and haircare expert at Philip Kingsley.

Block or highlights

Will an overall colour or different shades work best? It’s all down to individual choice, your particular hair and what your stylist recommends.

Scott says: "Hair will look better with multi-tonal highlights in light shades to give a texture change."

To bleach or not?

It’s best not to go crazy with the bleach if your hair is thinning. All over bleach for thinning hair is never a good idea.

Marilyn Sherlock, chairman of the Institute for Trichologists, says: "Steer away from harsh bleaches and maybe opt for a semi-permanent colour that lasts 2 to 3 months."

In some instances bleach may be possible for use in highlights says Scott. "It depends on the individual hair condition or quality, but sometimes bleach can be used on thinning hair if it’s done expertly in a salon as it plumps up the strands and makes hair look thicker."

Scott says: "Never put bleach onto hair that’s already been bleached and always back it up with a good quality hair care regime."

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