Saturday, March 23, 2013

Thin hair. Sick of it! My Hair Regrowth Journey

Hi Beauties! 

I'm editing this post to reflect the results, so no-one is operating under any illusions here. This regime did not end up working for me. I suspect a few things: perhaps the clogged follicles are not actually an issue for me; the salicylic acid may have caused my hair to become brittle and fall out and break easier; the soapnuts shampoo damaged my hair.

I'm not sure what it is, but here's a link to the conclusions.

With that caveat, please feel free to read this entire post! This regime may help you if you are indeed suffering from clogged scalp follicles.

Y'all, I write a lot about my hair. It's always been thin, but after I had the baby, it's been really unbearably thin. Compared to a lot of women, my hair issues may seem petty, but it's driving me crazy! I am going into full-on HAIR THICKENING MODE!

According to my research, there are several factors that can cause women's hair to get thinner. Since my problem appears to be scalp-wide (v. in certain areas, like male-pattern baldness), and given my propensity for clogged pores on my face, I'm inclined to think the problem is an overproduction of oleic acid in my scalp hair follicles. Too much or too-thick sebum can cause the follicles to become clogged. This will cause the hairs to become thinner, and eventually to stop growing in that follicle. The linoleic acid content in sebum is what gives it its viscosity, allowing it to behave in a healthy way (lubricating the follicle, scalp, and hair). A deficiency in linoleic acid is compensated for by an increase in oleic acid in the sebum. Oleic acid is thicker and dryer than linoleic acid and clogs the follicles much more readily. This is the concept behind my facial regime for clogged pores.

So hemp oil contributes linoleic acid to the sebum when applied topically to the skin, and balances the body's oleic/linoleic acid content when taken internally. Could this work on my scalp? I'm going to try it! And what about salicylic acid to dissolve the clogs that are already there? I can't feel any clogs, but I don't know if that means there are none... more research to be done.

Hemp also contains ceramides, which strengthen the cuticle, supporting the hair shaft.

The Journal of Investigative Dermatology reports that Gamma-linolenic acid inhibits 5-alpha-reductase. This is the enzyme that causes the follicles to shut down in male pattern baldness and many females all-over thinning and eventual baldness. Hemp oil is a good source of gamma-linolenic acid as well as linoleic acid, and is a good choice for this type of thinning hair as well.

Hemp is high in arachidonic acid. A deficiency of this fatty acid is implicated in hair loss.

Also, I want to focus on pH. Like your facial skin, there is an acid mantle on your scalp. This should be slightly acidic, at between 4.5 and 5.5. This level of acidity closely matches that of the sebum (usually at 5), and creates an atmosphere that discourages bacteria and fungi from proliferating. When something alkaline is applied to the hair, it causes the cuticle to lift. When something acidic is applied, it causes the cuticles to close, protecting the hair from damage and insurgents. Soap is alkaline. It should not be used on the hair or face in my opinion, as it disrupts and can destroy the acid mantle. Maintaining the proper pH on your scalp will be vital to its health. Hemp oil has a pH of approximately 6.14, and SA has a pH of 2.97 or so. It will be important to make sure the SA products are tempered with a pH balancer.

THIS IS GOING TO WORK! You are all welcome to come on this journey with me. I will post embarrassing photos! It'll be fun!


Proposed Regime


Scalp massage with hemp oil (twice a week)
Salicylic acid scalp toner (daily?)
Salicylic acid hair mask (once a month)
Hemp hot oil treatment (once a month)


1 tblsp hemp oil every day
1 tblsp blackstrap molasses every day


Salicylic Acid Scalp Toner

1/2 tsp salicylic acid dissolved in 1 tsp alcohol
distilled water
3 drops rosemary essential oil
1 drop Triethanolamine (the pH balancer)

spritz onto scalp, distribute gently with fingers, leave on.

Salicylic Acid Scalp Treatment

1/4 tsp salicylic acid dissolved in 1/2 tsp alcohol
3 tablespoons honey or molasses

Apply to scalp, massage gently, leave on for 40 minutes, rinse off and shampoo

Ingredients/Why it's GOING TO WORK!

Hemp oil to make the sebum thinner, hopefully preventing clogs
Salicylic acid to get rid of the clogs that are already there or that may form in the future
Blackstrap molasses to increase the body's copper and trace mineral content, which is beneficial for the hair.
Front Strands

The Journey!

We're going to do this all scientific.  

DAY 1, March 23, 2013

Morning, unwashed hair. 

The strands at the very front of my head measure 11 inches from hairline to tip.

The temples are fairly well covered with very fine baby hairs. This area measures 1.5 inches from front to back and 4 inches from top (part) to bottom. This section was almost empty for many months, maybe even two years after my baby was born. He's 4 now.

My Left Temple
My Right Temple

My Left Side
My Right Side

The back looks pretty darn dismal.



  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Interesting! I wonder about using salyicylic acid in your hair, though. Wouldn't it make your hair brittle and prone to breakage? Let us know how it goes!

    1. Hi Laura! Thank you so much for visiting! I wonder the same thing. I've seen some anecdotal evidence that it doesn't hurt. I've not come across one that says it did. I'm inclined to think it won't unless maybe if used in huge quantities. It's soluble in oil, which makes it a good dissolver of oily or fatty yuckiness in/on the scalp and hair. But it won't dissolve solids, apparently. I've not seen any actual studies, though, so this is not really solid. I'm willing to risk it. I will report back!

  3. I'm dying to see an update on how this is working for you. The pictures that you posted could have been pictures of my head. Unfortunately, I come from a long line of thin haired people and the older I get, the more it keeps falling out and I look more bald (I just turned 35). As you are already aware, this is totally frustrating.

    Off to research some of the ingredients you mentioned (like where I can get em) and to see what you've already posted on this top!

    Can't wait to see your results!

    1. Hi Elizabeth! THIN HAIR!!! SO MADDENING!

      I was planning on posting monthly update pics, so you can see my progress on the 23rd! Coming soon!

      After about 3 weeks, my hair looks a lot better. It actually looks thicker and has a lot more body. I think this may be because the SA is clearing some junk off my scalp and my roots are standing up a little straighter on my head. I can't tell yet if I have any new growth... pics will tell!

      Thank you so much for visiting!

  4. How has this been working for you so far? about two years ago, I lost a lot of hair on the top of my head, due to stress of a break up and its never really come back, its so embarrasing and it is so depressing, most nights it makes me want to cry, Ive stopped straightening it and dying it, I've bought black castor oil and tried that aswel and olive oils and others, the castor oil hasnt had much of an effect but i cant use it as often as it says too. Generally straight after i wash it and let it dry naturally it looks really good and full, but after one sleep, its ruined and back to looking awful. :(

    1. O ruisin, I'm so sorry you're going through this. Wow. So, I wonder if we can get to the bottom of why you're having this problem. If it's stress related, it's hormonal. The hormones disrupt the natural hair cycle (growth, stasis, release). I'm not as familiar with treating that problem, but I do believe you would require some internal substance to treat that. You could see a doctor about that and get some tests performed. I did that, but they found that everything was okay, so it wasn't hormonal. If it's not hormonal, you can treat it using the above methods. Honestly, I go back and forth on whether it's working or not. My hair is in great shape and seems fuller, but I'm not sure if I'm getting new/thicker growth or if my hair and scalp are so clean that the hairs are standing up more. It's been almost 5 months now. I'll post some pics really soon with my progress.

      Try this method, ruisin. It can't hurt, and it could help. At the very least you'll have a really clean, healthy scalp, which leads to healthier hair. I would stop using the castor oil and olive oil and switch to hemp oil. Hemp will have the same effect on your scalp as it would on your face. It provides linoleic acid to your sebum to make it more fluid and less dry and cloggy. Castor and olive (especially olive) are high in oleic acid, which makes your sebum much drier and more prone to clogs, which inhibits hair growth.

      Please let me know what you decide to do. I'm thinking of you, Ruisin.

  5. I have exactly the same issues as you have faced, I get alot of comedones no matter what I use on my skin ( I have spent so much money of products which work beautifully for others but never for me ) I ALWAYS break out with whiteheads. For the past few days I have stopped using my skincare and guess what no acne so you have given me alot to think about with regards to sebum plugs etc, I will give your regime a go.

    As for hair, I have the same issues with thinning hair my scalp always feel gunky so I think you are onto something with the Sal acid. I have suspected for some time that oiling my hair ( almond and olive oil are not the best things for my hair )
    I Would love to see a progress update on where you are with the hair regimen

    Peace and blessings from the UK. Best regards Azra

    1. Hi Azra! Thank you so much for visiting. Hemp ROCKS for whiteheads. Please try it and let me know how it goes for you.

      Olive oil has a lot of oleic acid in it, which causes thicker/cloggier sebum, so you probably could switch to hemp and have very good results!

      I've just posted my results. Unfortunately I'm feeling a bit discouraged as of now, but I'm going to keep on going!

      Love from America!

  6. i want to try this, can you tell me exactly what i am doing?, not sure about ph balancer?, how much distilled water, i dont want to really screw up my hair

  7. I am 24 year old and i am losing my hairs from my foreheads
    Can you suggest some good therapy so that i can help to stop hair falling.

    thank you

  8. Did it work? My hair is curly bit thinning about the same. Drives me crazy and I feelnmore like a balding man every day. /: I also have a son, 15 months, and I'm 27.

    1. Christa, I am so sorry to say it did not work. It's so frustrating!!! I'm going to try other things, though, and will keep everyone posted...

  9. I am not bald, but I see I am balding or to the point that you can see my scalp from a certain angle, just wanted to ensure the fullness of my hair. I ordered the Shielo Volume Shampoo product because I felt my hair might have been thinning slightly and wanted to take a preventative measure. I ordered Shielo 3 months ago and I still have at least 1/3 of the bottle left. It really lasts a long time and just a small amount lathers up to a lot. The Shielo Volume has improved my hair thickness and am completely satisfied with the price paid since it lasted for so long.

  10. It's sad to know it didn’t work for you. That’s truly frustrating given that you’ve invested so much time on this solution. Anyway, I hope you don't give up trying. If none of the handmade products work, consider some feasible medical solutions.-- Dr. Sara Salas

  11. Body Hair transplant is easily available in all over cities of India with cheap rate and latest techniques.

  12. Excellent tips! Those are really beneficial and I hope lots of people will stumble upon your blog and learn from it. There are indeed lots of solutions with regard to hair loss. We should simply let our resiliency be informed by creativity while at it. Thanks for the share!

    Glenn Lowe @ Knight and Sanders

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  14. I didn't work? That must've been quite disappointing. Well, I believe you could still find other ways on how you can make your hair thick and healthy again. With so many alternative methods that are available now in the market, it's only a matter of time. Speaking of which, have you tried new methods recently? Let us know!

    Evelyn Barrett @ Good Look Ink

    1. Evelyn, I finally broke down and started using Minoxidil 5% and it's actually working. I feel kind of like a traitor to my boho cause!