In Quest Of: Good Hair
I have never met a woman who liked the hair she was born with. Women with curly hair wish it was straight, women with fine hair wish it was thick. Women with thick, straight hair should be satisfied — but I’ve heard them complain too. Maybe they would like some waves. Maybe they don’t care for the color they were born with.
The thing about hair is that it’s easy to change and if you make a mistake, you don’t have to live with it for very long. At least, that’s how I felt when I was younger.
I personally spent an entire decade forcing my super-straight, fine hair into tight little curls via perm. This was the 1980s, when that was considered stylish. Besides, I don’t have the patience for blow drying, and the perm made it possible to look good after a simple shampoo.
But when the 80s ended, I noticed something funny about the part at the top of my head: it had become wider. I did not pay it much attention at first, but as time passed, the rift at the top of my forehead grew and I was faced with a sad realization: My hair was thinning. Actually, I had developed a receding hairline.
At first, I blamed the chemicals in the perms. I let my hair grow into its natural straight, limp state and waited for the old fullness to return. Instead, the bald patch at the top became noticeably thinner. I had my hairdresser give me bangs. I hate bangs, but they are my version of a combover. I wonder if Donald Trump feels the same way about his hair, which is now a reliable laugh line for every comedian in the country? Of course, Trump could choose to forego combing his hair over the front of his head if he wanted. Bald is acceptable on men, and can even be sexy. (Ask Bruce Willis. Or my husband.)
I’m lucky: the thinned out hair is confined to the area adjacent to my forehead. I’ve got plenty left on the rest of my scalp. But if I don’t have my bangs combed just right, there is definite baldness there, which is not a becoming look. So I keep the bangs trimmed just right (and freak out if a hairdresser has the insane idea that layering them is a good idea). And seek out anything that might stop my hairline from receding further.
I tried Rogaine – but thanks to the position of my bald spot, I was unable to keep the stuff from dripping into my eyes, so I abandoned that pretty quickly. I’ve taken vitamins – which didn’t hurt, but didn’t help the situation, either. Shampoos and treatments for thinning hair just make it frizzy. And for years, I’ve eyed these laser combs that purport to promote hair regrowth, but at $300 and up, I’m not about to try it.
Because while hope springs eternal, I know deep down that these just don’t work.
Despite that, a few months ago I found myself shelling out some good money for some pricey Aveda products that promised to make a difference. The company promises that their Invati line will give you thicker, fuller hair. You just have to use the products faithfully for 90 days.
I purchased the set of shampoo, conditioner and scalp treatment – a 30-day supply – on sale for $90. Before my husband reads this and goes nuts, I want to point out that both the shampoo and conditioner lasted me a whopping 10 weeks, so it’s not as expensive as you would think. Or maybe I just did not use enough. The scalp treatment was a total waste of my time; I had the same issue with it as the Rogaine and stopped using it after a couple of weeks.
Did I grow new thatches of thick, luxurious hair? No. Did it work better than the Pantene Volume stuff I buy way cheap at Costco? It might be my imagination, but I think it did. All I know is that while I was using it, I felt like the bald spot at the top of my head was easier to hide. I also liked the way the stuff smells, and felt good about using products that purport to be green, with fewer chemicals and herbs and essential oils that are certified organic.
Will I buy the Invati again? Probably — but only when I earn a nice, fat check from one of my various freelancing endeavors.
My thinning hair problem appears to be hereditary. My mom also lost hair as she aged, and owns at least one hairpiece. Some day, I may inherit it from her. In the meantime, it’s bangs… and shopping for a good hat.
DISCLOSURE: We have no business relationship with Aveda or any other company or person mentioned in this article and received no compensation for this post.