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VG rx:

hold on to
your hair

In our VG Rx series, The Violet Files enlists the best doctors in the business to dispense targeted beauty prescriptions. This week: how to combat hair loss.

Written By JESSICA PRINCE ERLICH

Q: HOW CAN I STOP MY HAIR FROM THINNING?

A: “Thinning hair is a huge concern for women that requires a multipronged approach,” says Dr. Joshua Zeichner, a leading New York City dermatologist. Whether you’re battling Father Time (our total strand count naturally depletes by age 40) or genetically induced female pattern hair loss (widening of the part caused by thinning in the frontal hairline and crown), it’s crucial to take action inside and out. Update your diet to include a variety of fresh fish and leafy greens. “It’s the number-one way to provide your body with the building blocks to produce healthy hairs,” says Zeichner. Partial to carbs? Supplements can also help yield stronger locks in a matter of weeks. Zeichner advises clinically studied capsules like Viviscal or Nutrafol. Both vitamins contain fish proteins, which can help prevent breakage and boost shine, and “may promote new growth with no downside,” Zeichner reports.

For postmenopausal women or those not planning on pregnancy, ask your doctor about a prescription for finasteride, the generic form of Propecia. “Some women will see new growth, and the majority will maintain what hair they already have,” says Zeichner. “It’s an improvement because if you weren’t on it, you’d still be losing hair.” (Note: Women considering pregnancy should avoid finasteride because of an associated risk of birth defects.) As for what you can do topically, the FDA-approved medication Minoxidil (the active ingredient in products like Rogaine) is still the gold standard for a long-term root boost. Explains Zeichner: “It helps dilate the blood vessels in order to increase blood flow to the scalp and lengthens the active phase of hair growth.” No matter what method you choose, stay committed to a routine and practice patience. Like all good things in life, thick tresses are worth waiting for.