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Real Help for Thinning Hair in Women Over 50

I’m struggling with thinning hair…and I’m not alone. My hair is baby fine and poker-straight so I don’t have much “wiggle room” to hide fallout. It’s not life-threatening for sure, but it’s a blow to my confidence and feelings of femininity.

Add turning silver to the mix, and I struggle to just cover my forehead!

Real Help for Thinning Hair in Women Over 50
You can see right through my bangs to my hairline, which makes it appear even thinner.

It started falling out like crazy back in January. Some blood work showed my Thyroid was partly to blame, but female pattern baldness is also playing a role. It took me several weeks to realize how serious the loss was. One day, the clogged shower drain made it all too obvious.

My doctor told me to start using the men’s Rogaine 5% formula. She said the women’s 2% wasn’t strong enough and there was no reason I shouldn’t use the men’s. I started with the foam, then quickly switched to the liquid because it was much easier to get directly on my scalp. I order this 3 month supply from Amazon because it’s the best price I’ve found anywhere. I know there are generics, but the original is working for me and I’m not going to mess with progress!

The good news is I’m showing signs of regrowth and the fallout has slowed down. The bad news is, the new hair is downy soft, silver, and very hard to see.

So this is my new routine:

Brush gently with a boar’s bristle brush to stimulate my hair follicles.

Shampoo daily with Nioxin #4 to help stimulate hair growth.

Towel dry and apply Rogaine.

Blow-dry as usual.

Finish with a spray of Kevin Murphy Doo Over dry finishing spray, to add volume.

 

Voila! I am taking a few extra steps these days, but very happy with the results. Finding this Madison Reed Root Touch Up was the exact magic elixir I needed to add, to help my hair appear thicker.

Do you struggle with thinning hair?

 

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53 Comments

  1. Did you experience hair fallout when you first started the Rogaine 5% solution? I am hesitant to start because I’m afraid of the initial “fallout” that some people experience.
    Also, how much biotin do you take per day. I have not started biotin yet either.
    I am 49 years old & am pre-menopausal. In addition, I suffer from low thyroid, which I successfully have monitored by an endocrinologist however my family does have a history of female hair thinning.

    1. I didn’t experience extra fall out when I began the Rogaine. It did continue falling out at the original rate for several months until the Rogaine kicked in. I take 5,000 mg of Biotin daily. Be aware you must stop taking it a week before getting thyroid tests done because it affects the test results. I hope it helps you too! I’m so sorry you’re struggling with this. It’s very upsetting. Let me know how it goes.

      1. I was using biotin. It didn’t work. My hair dresser said use collagen. Which biotin has none. I have psoriatic arthritis and the medicine is what’s making my hair fall out. Good luck I wish you the best!

  2. Have you ever tried doing an egg and coconut oil mask on your hair. You will notice a difference immediately. You take 2 eggs and mix them with 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. I use a coconut oil mask from Majestic Pure that I ordered from Amazon. Then I fill that into a clear plastic squeeze bottle and apply it to the root of my hair first and then all over. I apply it to my dry hair but some people advice doing it on damp hair. Then put on a shower cap and wait 20-30 minutes before rinsing it out. Make sure to rinse out with lukewarm to cold water since you don’t want to cook the protein or you will be picking cooked egg out of your hair. Then make sure to apply a good conditioner, I use Kerastase Paris Resistance Ciment and then air dry my hair.

    Trust me I was amazed with how my hair was thicker in just one treatment. If you are going to blow dry your hair then just apply some Kerastase Paris Resistance Ciment Thermique to your towel before using the hair dryer to protect your hair from heat damage. They say to do this once a month but I have done it 3 times already 1 week apart and my hair is noticeably fuller, shinier and the best part is that it is a very inexpensive treatment for thinning hair. You can also do this with olive oil instead of the coconut oil but I found I preferred the faint smell of coconut in my hair since when I did it the first 2 times with olive oil, I could smell the egg in my hair. It goes away but still I felt I preferred the coconut oil

    This works because the proteins in the egg help to nourish the hair follicle and build up the protein in the hair, thickening it. The coconut oil contains a fatty acid called lauric acid which promotes hair growth and strengthens the hair. Use them together and you will get the best results. I first used the coconut oil mask by itself and didn’t see the immediate results I did when combined with egg. The egg is the key ingredient in this mask since it will thicken your hair better than anything else I have ever tried.

    1. This sounds awesome! And it makes total sense why! Good tip on the cool rinse 🙂 I know I’d prefer the coconut scent too so that’s what I’ll use. Thank you so much for sharing this. My hair is thinner than ever after our holiday. Xx

      1. Last year my hair was thining and I just picked up a bottle of the Rogaine and Used the whole bottle. Which took about 6 months to use. I just moved and have had a bit of trauma in my life ,and hair started thinking again. So thanks for the reminder to start using again.My hair has always been fine. But when stress hits hard the hair starts to fall out. Rogaine does do the trick.thanks for reminding me to start using it again.

  3. Hi Jennifer,

    I just discovered you on Twitter. Great post about thinning hair. Also, love your site!

    I also have straight, baby fine, thin hair. It’s been such a hassle all of my life!! I recently got a sample of the Madison Reed root touch up and it does help a lot. Love it!

    Now that I’m over 50 my hair has really thinned out around the hairline around my face…temples and sides. So in September I started using Rogaine. I have a question though….

    Don’t you find the liquid Rogaine too greasy? It makes my thinning hair look flat and stringy.

    I found a Women’s 5% Rogaine form that melts on contact with your warm scalp. I generally use this at night, but if I do forget and have to use it in the morning – my hair still looks decent because the foam has a bit of alcohol and it and it dries without any greasy residue.

    I found it at my local drugstore but I’ll bet it will be cheaper at Amazon…I’ll have to check it out.

    Thanks for your candid posts and pictures.
    Linda

    P.S. Regarding the chin hairs – have you considered using Bio-Identical hormones. You might want to check with your doctor about that.

    1. I have not found it oily. I worried that the foam seemed to get in my hair and not too much on my scalp. I just run the dropper up my scalp in 4-5 lines, from forehead to top of head.
      I do wash my hair daily so maybe that’s why it doesn’t seem to weigh my hair down!
      Welcome, I’m glad you’re here!!

  4. Hi Jennifer! I found your blog via Elizabeth LaContessa! I wrote a blog post yesterday about my struggles with fallout. Mine is far worse but it’s good to know that this is an issue that more and more women are coming forward and speaking about. Hopefully something can be done.
    I’m going to read your other posts because I can see that I’m immediately becoming a fan!

    1. The difference is subtle in the photo’s, but oh what an amazing difference to me! Priceless for my confidence too.

  5. Thank you for sharing this product! I’ve had a challenge with thinning hair for almost 10 years (I’m 56). I use Rogaine every day which I think has helped some. Recently my hairdresser suggested I try a product called Viviscal Hair Fibers. It comes in several shades. Style your hair as usual, then sprinkle the fibers over the thinning area. It does a great job of blending and adhering to your own hair and also hiding the scalp.

  6. Posting this article on the gluten-thyroid connection and autoimmunity.

    https://chriskresser.com/the-gluten-thyroid-connection/

    Treat the underlying condition?

    Alopecia, a different kind of hair loss, is known to be an autoimmune disorder. I wonder if it’s also thyroid related. Also hard on the self-esteem, as silver-dollar size clumps of hair fall out overnight. Not fun, speaking from experience.

    I wonder if there’s an undiagnosed thyroid epidemic among us women.

    1. I am also gluten intolerant! My husband had alopecia, it’s awful. I’m so sorry you’re struggling with it!! He used to have cortisone shots and took pills for years, When he stopped ALL his hair fell out.
      Hashimoto’s (thyroiditis) is an autoimmune condition just as aolopecia is. Our bodies are making antibodies to ourselves!! They have diagnosed me with Hashimoto’s, which flairs up all the time.

      1. I have Hashimoto also..they tell me that is contributing to hair loss but I don’t buy what they say….

      2. I believe my doctor and attribute my hair loss to my Thyroid. Hashimoto’s disease causes my Thyroid to swing violently between Hypo and Hyper thyroid which requires careful monitoring by a skilled endocrinologist. A regular GP is not equipped to treat it competently.

  7. I’ve enjoyed getting to know you Jennifer, and I find your tips helpful. I agree – this post was especially transparent. So I feel safe to share my struggle. I have recently gone off my hormone replacement therapy and now find hair growing from my chin. Like you, this is not a very feminine feeling! Any suggestions?

    1. Thank you for sharing Sheri! My chin hair is epic. I recommend Electrolysis. It takes several (many) sessions but is permanent…for each individual hair. I am in need of a new round for the newest crop. Honestly? It’s a constant battle I fight daily with tweezers and a strong maynifying mirror.

  8. I never thought of using mine for brows, which are sparse. Hmmm. Food for thought. I just used it on my roots. my silver temples are really disco silver.

  9. Even with my massive volume of hair I, too, am starting to see some thinning on top. I also color to cover gray so your insights on Rogaine and the root touch up are of great interest to me. Thank you for sharing your experience with these products.

    Rena
    http://www.finewhateverblog.com

  10. Jennifer,

    Thanks so much for sharing this with us! I’ve been trying the dry shampoo technique you mentioned a couple of weeks ago and love the results! Now I need to get some Madison Reed powder to help too.

    P.S. Your hair looks great!

    1. Thank you Cheryl. The power of illusion is just that…powerful! The two combined is awesome.Let me know how you like the Madison Reed.

  11. My mother experienced severe hair loss as she aged, she started taking 5mg to 10 mg a day of Biotin, it really works. I suggest you look into trying Biotin.

    1. Thanks Jill! I do take Biotin but forgot to mention it in my post! I have taken it for many years, but this recent, dramatic hairloss, seems unaffected by it.

  12. Thank you so much for the helpful post. Many of us suffer from thinning hair. Do you wash your hair every day?

    1. I do wash daily. I’ve been told hair loss is not from washing and it’s important to stimulate our hair folicles with gentle brushing and washing.

  13. You help so many people by being transparent. Thanks! I had not heard of this company… I will check them out because I am gluten-free and at some point I might need eyebrow help. Thanks!

    1. You’re most welcome Stephanie. My gluten intolerance issue is serious…so this was great to find in a product I find so helpful!

  14. I’m in the exact same situation. Because my breast cancer was estrogen positive–estrogen fuels the growth of any random cells in my body–I need to check that out before I start using Rogaine. Anything that messes with my hormone levels scares me. xoxo, Brenda

  15. Hi Jennifer,
    Thanks so much for the information. Is there a special promo code for the free shipping? You had mentioned it in your article, but the $5.00 shipping cost shoes up (need a promo code). Thanks for your help.

    Diana

    1. Hi Diana,
      The free shipping is for first time customers. If you are still struggling to make it work online, they encourage you to reach out to their color team at http://bit.ly/FBCommCC. Let me know if this helps!

  16. Thanks Jennifer, for the update. You look beautiful. Remember the days when we could get up, pull our long hair back with a ribbon, do makeup and go? I admire your tenacity to do all of this. And am fascinated by the Madison Reed product. I do Biotin. I can’t use the Rogaine and over the years have used Nioxin with little change. Right now I seem to be in a good pattern with no more thinning. We will see.

    1. I do remember those days…and they’re long gone for me Beth. No makeup? Not happening for me. A pattern of no thinning is awesome! I will cross my fingers for you…and me!

    2. Why can’t you use Rogaine if you don’t mind my asking..my DR.suggested I use the 5% but I read side effects and didn’t use it. I’m 78 and had so much hair when younger and now, it’s really thin…this site has been so informative..

      Thanks..any suggestions, help is appreciated..

  17. Awesome article, Jennifer! Thanks for sharing these details…my hair is thinning on top too….rest is full ??? I didn’t pay much attention to M and R at the conference, but love their shampoo/conditioner samples and now this! It doesn’t drip residue! And I could use on my eyebrows! That’s huge as mine are thin and barely there! The best testament is from people we know and trust…I’m so glad I got to meet you at BAM and appreciate you sharing personal pictures and concerns!

    1. I love it for my eyebrows!! No dust falling..stays where I put it…awesome product! I’m so glad I got to meet you too.

  18. Thanks for the tip on the root touch-up powder! My hair is growing back in around the hairline but it is very light and I look bald…yikes! Low lights would definitely help. Good idea using the touch-up powder on eyebrows too. The regime of biotin, primrose oil and saw palmetto is working for me. I also have been researching horsetail, which is claimed to produce good results.

  19. I started taking Biotin 5000 mcg sublingual daily for paper thin, brittle nails. Instead of helping the nails, my hair is growing like crazy. I’m in my early 60’s.

    1. I’m taking the Biotin but my nails are still horrible!! Lucky you… Thanks so much for sharing Joy! We all learn from each other.

  20. Jennifer, I completely understand your concerns about thinning hair. I have the same issues- fine, straight hair that has thinned significantly in the last years. Thanks for sharing your routine. Any tips are appreciated!! Your hair looks lovely. I have not started Rogaine yet but I do take Biotin daily & I have seen an improvement. Quality hair products & a good cut have helped as well. Thx!

    1. I do take Biotin daily too. The Rogaine has been a miracle for me. It’s not cheap, so buying it online helps! Good luck!

  21. I also have thin, fine hair so I know to some degree what you’re dealing with. I’ve tried Nioxin shampoo and it made my scalp itch, so I’m now using a Pantene shampoo that’s supposed to help give a fuller look and also prevent breakage. So far I like it! I have been able to use the Nioxin Thickening Spray for styling and it works well. Now if I could just slow the hair growth on my chin…
    Thank you for sharing your experience in this area that so many of us struggle with. I hope the Rogaine continues to work for you! And just so you know, you’re still gorgeous Dahhhling!

    1. I will check into the Nioxin thickening spray Thanks!!
      Ah…the chin hair. I swear mine grows like it’s on steroids. I recommend electrolysis. I am due for another round myself. In the mean time I use a great magnifying mirror and strong tweezers!

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