If your mane is starting to wane, don’t wait around for a miracle baldness cure. Try these seven strategies to achieve thicker hair.
1. Use a thickening shampoo
Lots of shampoos claim to make your hair look thicker, but only one ingredient has been shown to truly preserve your pate: ketoconazole.
Try Nizoral A-D, the only non-prescription shampoo that contains ketoconazole. Lather up a quarter-sized dollop two or three times a week; any more could dry out your hair and cause breakage. Use non-irritating shampoo in between.
2. Ditch your comb
Constant combing and brushing can make thin hair look limp and flat. Instead, style with your fingers; you’ll add volume and texture.
3. Stop smoking
As if it weren’t bad enough already, smoking increases levels of hormones that can trigger hair loss, says research from the Harvard School of Public Health. Smoking also constricts the tiny blood vessels that supply the scalp, starving your hair of the nutrients it needs for growth.
4. Let your hair dry naturally
Human hair is three times weaker when it’s wet. So if you over-comb or towel-dry your wet hair, you may damage it and cause snapping—the last thing you want if you’re already a bit thin on top.
Instead, let your hair dry naturally, or gently pat it dry and style with your fingers to give it more texture.
5. Blow-dry your hair
You can also use a blow-dryer to give your fine hair more volume. But don’t flame-grill it or you’ll damage your hair’s natural proteins, making it brittle.
6. Wear a hat in the sun
Don’t let your head bake in scorching heat. Sunburn makes your hair brittle and fragile, and causes your scalp to produce a compound called superoxide. This triggers hair follicles to switch from a growth phase to a shedding one.
Related: 5 Foods That Stop Hair Loss
7. Get a better cut
Some guys try to deal with baldness by growing or parting their hair. But a shorter cut is always more flattering, so go for a classic or unstructured crop if you still have some hair to play with.
Both styles will help your hair look denser and draw attention toward your face—not your hair loss.
Additional reporting by Leah Zerbe
A version of this story originally appeared on MensHealth.co.uk.