Besides the initial embarrassment, it was actually kind of scary when I broke down and started using minoxidil as a last desperate measure to save my hair a few years ago. I worried I would sprout hair on my chest or grow a beard or something.
Thank goodness nothing like that happened. I believe the minoxidil did coax a few more hairs to grow on my head, but even if that's just wishful thinking, at the very least it stopped the thinning.
Through the number of responses to articles I've written on my experience, I realized how common the problem of thinning hair is for women my age, and yet how very little has been done to find causes or solutions. There's a lot of hearsay and rumors about different products, but very little science behind any of it, and there can be some pretty serious side effects with a few of the supplements.
Why do we bother? You can cover up flabby arms or age spots or even wrinkles pretty easily, but unless you wear a wig or a hat, your hair is exposed for the world to see.
Even the least-vain of us cringe when we have a bad hair day, so when it becomes a struggle just to keep your scalp from shining through your hair, we cross our fingers and try product and product, hoping for a miracle.
So when I heard about a Vibrant Influencer network campaign for a new line of products by Redken aimed at thinning hair, I signed up, despite being a little cynical from previous experience with products that didn't live up to their claims.
I figured it was a win-win situation: I would receive free products to try, plus get paid a small fee for posting about my experience!
(Never fear - the opinions expressed in this post are my own. I am in no way affiliated with Redken and do not earn a commission or percent of sales.)
So... on to my review.
I've been using the products for about a month now. I received four of Redken's new Cerafill thinning hair solutions: the Defy Shampoo, Defy Conditioner, Dense Fx (a "hair diameter thickening" treatment,) and the Texture Effect hair and scalp refresher.
I can't say I've noticed a difference in the actual thickness of my hair, but I know from using minoxidil that actual growth takes more than a month. But I think the products do make my hair appear thicker, and it also seems healthier than it did a month ago.
At first I wasn't crazy about the smell of the products, but they grew on me, and I like them now, although I'd still prefer scentless. At least it's a clean, fresh smell, not perfumy.
The shampoo lathers and rinses easily. The conditioner felt warm and tingly after a few minutes. My hair felt conditioned without being weighed down, which is a problem with many conditioners on thin, fine hair. But a good conditioner is necessary, especially if you color your hair or use heat to style it, as I do.
I wasn't sure how much of the Dense Fx to use at first, but figured it out after the first couple of days, lightly spraying at the base of my roots and gently fluffing it through my hair with my fingers. It worked great as a volumizer. It's promoted as a growth stimulator, but again, I don't think a month is long enough to tell if it's made a difference or not.
The Texture Effect really did freshen my hair. I've used dry shampoos before - I think this is similar - but I always felt they were just gunking up my hair. This was more energizing and made my hair look like it did when I first styled it.
Redken says the products are safe to use along with minoxidil (they even have their own version) and on color-treated and chemically-treated hair, and from my experience, that's true. My hair feels better than it did a month ago.
My takeaway? I plan to continue using them. I can't vouch for the claims that Redken's Cerafill line promotes new growth of hair, but I do believe they are good products for thin hair, for keeping it healthy and helping it look as thick as possible.
And that's more than I can say for some of the other products I've tried!