Stronger hair
July 31, 2013 8:23 AM   Subscribe

A guy here with very fine hair and a ponytail. I would like to collect all my hair in the ponytail but the sides never gets long enough. Is there anything I can do to get it stronger and longer? Much annoyed by flying hair when the top is down.
posted by Ferrari328 to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
With wispier hair, the actual act of pulling it back into a ponytail can cause stress breakage, unfortunately, which in turn creates more flyaways. You can keep it healthy & strong by shampooing it less frequently and letting it get a little bit oily, which should cut down a bit on the flyaways.

It might not be up your alley but you could use some kind of product to goop it up a little so it stays sleek against your head when pulled back? The downside of this is when you take it out of the ponytail, it will still be head-shaped until you comb it out.

Plain elastic headbands are also an option.
posted by elizardbits at 8:28 AM on July 31, 2013

This is exactly what bobby pins are for. They come in all different colors to match your hair, and you can find matte ones that blend in to the point of not being noticeable at all.

To keep your hair strong, use conditioner in place of shampoo.
posted by rada at 8:29 AM on July 31, 2013 [1 favorite]

To have thick healthy hair, start with the inside. I find that taking fish oil (Coromega is an excellent brand that doesn't taste fishy or give you fishy burps/aftertaste) and getting plenty of protein and B vitamins all help keep my hair strong and shiny. (If you are a vegan you'll need B12 supplements and to make absolutely sure you get enough protein.) I take prenatal vitamins - be sure and get the kind that doesn't have iron; that extra iron can be harmful to men. VitaFusion makes a good brand.

Treat your hair gently - use a mild shampoo, always condition afterwards, use a wide-tooth comb to detangle your hair, don't yank the brush or comb through it.

Be sure that your hair elastics aren't part of the problem. I like Sephora's cloth-covered hair elastics, which are gentle on the hair. Whatever you do, don't use rubber bands! And don't skin your hair back super-tight (like a ballet dancer) because that can cause hair breakage and loss.

Ultimately you will have to deal with the hair that Nature and genetics dealt you - some people just have naturally thicker and stronger hair than others. But you can make the most of what you have.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 8:33 AM on July 31, 2013 [1 favorite]

elizardbits is right, the whole active ponytailing thing breaks and stresses hair. One of the things "they" recommend is to move your ponytail so that your hair doesn't always get stressed at the same point. Of course, unless you are a particularly ballsy dude, you probably have little to no interest in rocking a high ponytail or side ponytail from day to day.

Make sure whatever ponytail holder you use is fabric covered and has no metal parts (NO RUBBER BANDS EVER). I would also recommend a hairband like this to keep the whispies in place.

One of the things that will help smooth things down is to lotion up your hands in hand lotion, just like a normal hand lotion amount, and then sweep your palms over the sides of your hair, slicking it back and adding just a bit of moisture.

Always use conditioner.
posted by phunniemee at 8:36 AM on July 31, 2013 [1 favorite]

You could also just pull it back and do little viking rockstar braids with whatever doesn't fit.
posted by elizardbits at 8:42 AM on July 31, 2013 [2 favorites]

Just to emphasize, never EVER use rubberbands, they break your hair --- which may be what's causing those shorter strands on the side: not 'the hair doesn't grow' but 'the hair is broken off'.

Instead, maybe use one of those clips that's like a flat piece with a 2-3 inch rod through it.
posted by easily confused at 10:34 AM on July 31, 2013

My hair (and nails) tends to get stronger and grow faster when I take biotin.
posted by jaguar at 12:51 PM on July 31, 2013

eat well!

avocado and other vegetables do wonders for your hair, I didn't really realise this until my friend kept telling me how shiny my hair is when my winter avocado addiction creeps up.

washing hair is another culprit; people tend to overwash it, it's honestly not neccessary to wash it more than every three days or so, especially if your hair is thin. maybe try not using shampoo at all and just water? it really works, I did it for a full six months and my hair has honestly been stronger since. I'm back to shampoo though, but my hair naturally gets kinda greasy.

also, try not to wash with hot water, do lukewarm and finish it off with an ice cold rinse.

leave in conditioners are great too.

and finally, castor oil supposedly speeds up hair growth. i didn't believe it myself at first, but I tried it for a few months, and the hair grew out really strong and fast.

I'm not a crazy hair person, but I believe these ocassional hair experiments and a healthy diet really improved my hair the past years; I don't loose any hair in the shower, which I guess is a good sign.
posted by ahtlast93 at 1:14 PM on July 31, 2013

I haven't tried it, but I've heard amazing things about the supplement Viviscal.
posted by kribensa at 8:59 AM on August 2, 2013

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