And there I stood, in a darkened bathroom a vision of just a silhouette back-lighted by a dim hallway light with tears welling up in my eyes as I, for the first time, was staring not at the outlining of my body, but at the sheer horror of the four strips of hair flowing off my head that could have not contained more than 1.5 – 2 inches in width of hair each. That being a liberal estimate at best. It was about early-mid last year when I had to come and face the horrendous truth of what was once my long, bountiful Italian locks there was nothing left but a mere faded memory represented by a literal four strands of hair that were hanging on for dear life.
There are many ways in which thinning hair and hair loss can shape your life. In my case, it changed me from a young and vibrant, confident woman full of life into an insecure, shy and empty shell of what I used to be. I didn’t feel like me and it stopped me from doing many things I like. Basically, it stopped me from living my best life and it became increasingly harder to enjoy the everyday things. Like I said, I didn’t feel like me and it came to an alarming point where besides not wanting to leave the house to do errands or go visit family and friends, I didn’t want to go to work anymore either. Hair is such an important feature of the female appeal and I felt like I could not even remotely participate let alone compete on that front anymore.
In the grande scheme of things, my thinning hair/hair loss story is definitely not as worse-off as those of women who suffer from the same but under different circumstances or conditions. 30% of the female population suffers from hair loss caused by a variety of factors, which include life-threatening illnesses. I will fully own up and confess that part of my thinning hair and hair loss has been slowly building over a course of a decade while I participated in my fair share of heating tool abuse. In addition, last year I also took on a promotion that comes with its fair life share of stress, nothing out of the ordinary but I did notice quite a rapid increase of hair falling out even if I simply sneezed too forcefully. Another contributing factor was the grief and severe internal stress that ensued from the loss of both my grandparents, the people who raised me, 4 months apart almost 3 years ago.
Fast forward to one night in May last year. It was late and we both were laying in bed, he’s watching TV and I’m half asleep sliding in and out of consciousness when a commercial for the Keranique 30 Day Discovery Kit came on. My guy knew how incredibly sensitive I was when it came to my hair situation, but he nudged me awake and had me watch the commercial. As gently as he could he said “why don’t you give that a try?”. Being extremely skeptical towards supposed miracle growth systems, I scoffed at the notion and went straight to Google to unearth reviews that would inevitably inform me that none of it worked. Deep inside I was clinging on to the hope that there were more positive feedback than negative because for one, if it did work than I needed this in my life asap. Not only had I arrived at the stage where I nearly looked bald, but you know you’re thoroughly screwed when you invested money in hair extensions and there’s not enough hair on your scalp to hide the clips. Luckily, about 90% of the reviews I scoured through came back with good results, and the next day I was online ordering the discovery kit which arrived a few days later.
Now, we’re less than three months shy of the 1 year mark since I started my religious Keranique regimen and I am happy to report that my hair is no longer measured in four strands consisting of maybe 1.5 – 2 inches in width. While it’s not the full head of thick Italian hair I used to have, it’s been making great strides and the top half of my hair has gained more in volume as well as weight. The most significant improvement came about when the hair around my temples as well as on the left and right corners of the forehead started to grow back in. I now actually have temple hair again! Also, no more bald patches that I have to meticulously style in order to hide. In fact, there’s enough coverage now to where I can actually make use of my extensions investment. The lower half of my hair has yet to catch up as it’s still lacking in weight but at least more hair is present. Overall my hair does feel quite a bit thicker. I can now run my hand through the crown area without it being visible because there’s not enough hair to cover up my hand as was the issue previously. The biggest validation of that the system performs as it claims comes when my guy runs his hand through my hair and points out that it feels much thicker than before.
How I use the Keranique system
Being the least patient person in the world, which my guy is all too familiar with, it was because of him that I started a steady and consistent diet using the line’s basics. If I wanted to see any results I had to abide by the usage recommendations and simply wait it out. Twice a week I use the Scalp Stimulating Shampoo and Volumizing Keratin Conditioner. I assure that product is thoroughly massaged into both the scalp and strands of hair, giving each application about 5 minutes between rinses. The shampoo and conditioner combo makes my hair feel soft and thicker after washing without weighing it down and hair feels/looks fuller throughout the whole day. I was concerned that the ingredients found in the system would strip my hair of its color, but fortunately it didn’t and I find that my hair looks much shinier and healthier than it did before.
A while back I incorporated the Micro-Exfoliating Follicle Revitalizing Mask, which is a pre-shampoo treatment. 2 times a week I utilize this as a deep conditioning treatment. First, I dampen my hair and apply product at the scalp, gently massaging the product into it. Then I wrap my head in a towel and allow it to sit for 10 minutes before I step into the shower and go through my shampoo and conditioner ritual. Basically what this mask does is gently exfoliates the scalp to help accelerate surface cell turnover, unclog follicles and remove buildup on the scalp that can not only weight hair down but also stunts its grow. I was never aware that buildup on the scalp could halt your hair from growing and since I started using this mask my hair has been growing much more persistent than prior. I.e., my natural roots show up much quicker in dire need of a touch-up.
For after care, I use the Lift & Repair Treatment Spray. This spray is more meant as a styling product but I personally like to use it as a leave-in conditioner after washing. I spray to the roots of my hair and then using my fingers will distribute product through to the ends making sure to get between strands so every bit is covered. It seals split ends and strengthens the hair shaft all the while giving hair more boost and body. This is also great to use on its own as a styling product since it does act as a heat protectant and has 24-hour frizz control.
The piece de resistance definitely has to be the Hair Regrowth Treatment with Minoxdil. I use this twice a day, every day, on what I know to be problem areas. This treatment is formulated with minoxidil—the only FDA approved ingredient that treats hair loss. What this treatment does is reactivate hair follicles to stimulate hair growth. It’s very easy to use with the easy precision nozzle and does not have a scent so you can spray this on before work or whatever and not have it interfere with your perfume. This spray is my ultimate holy grail. Whenever I start to run low a stage of mild panic is induced because I don’t want to skip this, period. I truly believe most of my hair regrowth was contributed by this spray alone.
How I Style My Hair
These days I have completely given up the heating tool addiction. While in very rare circumstances I may bring out the flat iron, I have taken a liking to naturally styling my hair. For example, on wash days I will braid my still wet hair before going to bed and by morning time I have nice voluminous waves. On between days I actually roll my hair up in these Drybar High Tops Self-Grip Rollers. They are low-maintenance no-heat rollers that roll easily into hair and stay in place without clips or clamps. Before I use the rollers I will massage the Keranique Thickening & Texturizing Mousse from scalp to ends. The combination of the two gives my hair instant volume and body without the potential damages of using heat.
How My Hair Looks These Days
Now comes the part I’m really nervous about because it’s so personal. Unfortunately I did not bother to take a before image when I started the treatment in May of 2016. I was so beyond skeptical that this system would ever work that I already doomed it as a fail from the beginning. Luckily for me my low expectations were sorely crushed when after a few months major improvements started to take shape. This, to me, is about as good as my hair has been in over two years. There’s a lot more density to it and nearly doesn’t look as stringy as it did prior. In below image my hair in its entirety is swept to one side and TRUST me when I say that my hair consisted of only half of that last year. Which is why how it feels and looks today is a small victory on my end. It’s definitely still not where I would like it to be in terms of weight and overall thickness, especially in the lower region, but at least it has started to thicken around the scalp. At this point it’s just a matter of time waiting for it to grow evenly with the rest of my hair. Also, unless I straighten my hair this is exactly what it looks like if I only brush it. I don’t like how ratty it looks not styled at all but it’s still better than hair falling out.
Another front where my hair has improved has been the dirty factor. The reason why my hair always seemed to separate into strips that mimicked cartoon hair or how it always looked so disgustingly stringy was because it got greasy so quick for whatever reason. A problem I had never encountered before. Due to it becoming dirty so quickly it caused my hair to look even thinner and prior to using Keranique’s shampoo and conditioner, more of my hair ended up in the drain versus what stayed on my head. I basically was in a no-win situation. It was greasy so a wash was needed – however, I couldn’t wash it because I’d lose more hair. Nowadays I can get almost an entire week before it needs to be washed which is amazing.
I have been using the Keranique treatment system for close to 1 year now, and it has been transformative to say the least. Not just in terms of my appearance, but also in that most of my previously lost confidence has returned as well. The joy and almost breath of relief I get every morning when I walk into the bathroom and see myself sporting an acceptable head of hair as opposed to four sad strands is absolutely indescribable. I only wish I had discovered Keranique sooner.
Many thanks to Keranique for providing these samples. As always, opinions are my own.