For most women, the thought of losing your hair can be incredibly scary. Typically, people consider hair loss to be a men’s problem, but it’s actually quite common for women too. When I experienced a sudden loss of hair about four years ago, I was taken aback. Why was I all of a sudden losing way more hair than normal? And what on earth could I do to fix it?
The Ordinary released the Multi-Peptide Serum for Hair Density in 2019, but I wish it had come into my life sooner! Until I found it, I was scrambling for ideas. There are lots of expensive shampoos out there that claim to decrease fall out, but something didn’t feel right about paying that much for a product I was washing right out of my hair.
I tried Viviscal for a period, and while it seemed to make something of a difference, the overall thickness of my hair wasn’t even close to where it had been before The Great Loss. And hey, how did I lose all that hair anyway? Well pull up a figurative chair and take a seat, because it’s time for a short story.
My Trauma-Related Hair Loss
Come with me for a moment as we rewind all the way back to May 2016. Life was normal, and I didn’t have anything to stress me out excessively. That is, until I had another driver run her red light and smash into the driver’s side of my car while I was making a left turn. I was badly shaken, but I made an effort to keep going with life as normal. I had to fight for months afterward with her car insurance company to get my claim approved, which added a huge amount of stress on top of the physical trauma I had already experienced. (Thankfully I didn’t have severe injuries, just a small amount of whiplash.)
Four months later, I began to notice something strange by the end of my showers. I was losing almost triple the amount of hair that I normally would. It seemed I was constantly pulling huge clumps of hair out of the drain.
Initially I took it as an unusually heavy shedding phase, and I didn’t put much thought into it. But as time passed I noticed that my hair overall felt… thinner.
When I got my hair wet in the shower, the decrease in thickness became even more apparent. Just by how it felt in my hand and how it looked, I’d wager I lost somewhere around 30% of the volume that I’d had previously.
I never developed bald patches; it was mostly just an all-over thinning. This thinning was most apparent to me on top of my head near my part. There didn’t seem to be nearly as much fullness, and my part looked like it had widened. If my hair got even the tiniest bit oily, it looked super flat and fine on top. I started to feel self-conscious about it, even though I knew that most likely people wouldn’t notice it nearly as much as I did. However, the damage to my self-confidence was already done.
After about a month of losing unusual amounts of hair, I realized something was amiss and turned to Google for some answers. There are various reasons that women might begin to lose hair: family history (this tends to show up after the age of 40 or menopause), tight hairstyles, pregnancy, or medications. I discovered that an extreme shock to the body can cause something called telogen effluvium, which is an increase in hair shedding. The shock triggers a disturbance in the hair cycle, which forces a significant portion of the hair (generally around 30%) into the resting phase. After the four-month resting phase passes, the extra resting hair will begin to fall out.
I was able to conclude that having a car come barreling towards me at 45 mph and total my vehicle had, in fact, been enough to shock my poor body.
After a couple of months the extreme hair loss petered out, and I was left questioning how the heck I could get it back.
Denser Hair With The Ordinary’s Multi-Peptide Serum?
I should mention that with telogen effluvium your hair does have the potential to grow back, and *usually* it will do so. However, oftentimes it won’t return to the same level it was before.
Upon its release, I knew I wanted to try The Ordinary’s Multi-Peptide Serum for Hair Density. “Denser” was precisely what I was shooting for with my hair.
A quick rundown of the ingredients:
Water, Propanediol, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Caffeine, Biotinoyl Tripeptide-1, Acetyl Tetrapeptide-3, Larix Europaea Wood Extract, Pisum Sativum Extract, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Triticum Vulgare Germ Extract, Glycine Soja Germ Extract, Trifolium Pratense Flower Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Apigenin, Oleanolic Acid, Arginine, Glycine, Calcium Gluconate, Zinc Chloride, Lactic Acid, Gluconolactone, Dextran, Maltodextrin, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Xanthan gum, Pentylene Glycol, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Polysorbate 20, PPG-26-Buteth-26, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Sodium Metabisulfite, Sodium Benzoate, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin.
There are some trademarked ingredients of note in the formula. First there is REDENSYL™, which contains Larix Europaea Wood Extract and Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract. This complex is aimed towards stem cells and human fibroblasts from the dermal papilla to address hair density. Next there’s Procapil™ (Acetyl Tetrapeptide-3 and Trifolium Pratense Flower Extract from the ingredients list), which is a peptide complex that increases blood flow to the scalp. The extra blood flow helps nourish the hair, which in turn helps thicken it. BAICAPIL™ contains Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Triticum Vulgare Germ Extract, and Glycine Soja Germ Extract, which increase hair density. AnaGain™ is based on organic pea sprouts (Pisum Sativum Extract), and it stimulates certain signal molecules in the dermal papilla needed to reactivate hair growth. Additionally, the formula contains 1% High-Solubility Caffeine, which blocks DHT (one of the causes of genetic hair loss). Lactic Acid is an AHA that gently exfoliates your scalp, gets rid of excess sebum, and promotes microcirculation.
The Multi-Peptide Serum is a leave-in treatment that you ideally apply at night. According to the directions, you apply a few drops to a clean, dry scalp and massage it in.
Personally, I use a dropper full and distribute it around my head. I generally start in and around my part and then move out from there. I try to be careful not to put too much around my part, because it can have the tendency to look greasy (though the formula itself isn’t greasy at all). Even if I can see it on my hair initially, by the morning any sign of it is completely gone and my scalp feels normal. The product is watery with a small bit of stickiness to it if you get it on your hands.
Initially I used this every night, but now I follow a two nights on, one night off schedule. It works well with my washing schedule, which at this point is every third day.
This serum is simple to use, and I like that my hair doesn’t get weighed down by it. It’s easy to quickly apply before bed and then let it do its magic!
Was The Ordinary’s Multi-Peptide Hair Serum able to increase my hair density? From what I can tell, I believe it did.
I took some before and after pictures that focus on my part, since it’s the most visible place to see changes, as well as the main area that I wanted to see improvement. The before photo was taken in September 2019, and the after photos were taken in May 2020. Between those dates I used approximately 1 3/4 bottles of the hair serum.
Before I saw the comparison between the photos, I already felt that my part had begun to fill in well, and it looked less sparse than before. My hair overall feels much healthier, and it has a nice shine/softness to it.
The first photo on the left is before, and the middle and right photos are after. If you look in the main body of the part, especially towards the middle, my part is much narrower and looks better filled in overall.
While I’m inclined to believe that the multi-peptide serum did indeed make a difference for me, I do have to remember that correlation does not always equal causation. It could be that my hair washing habits also had an effect, or perhaps it’s just finally reaching a natural stage of regrowth after nearly four years.
Bearing those things in mind, I’d still be inclined to suggest this to others. I think that it increased the density and thickness of my hair over the past five months that I’ve used it, and I’m completely satisfied with the results. I plan on continuing to use it in the coming months!
At $17.90 for a 60 ml bottle, this serum is an absolute steal compared to other hair thickening/loss prevention products out there. (To see another review of an amazingly affordable and effective The Ordinary Product, check out my post about the 100% Hemi-Squalane!) Considering the results I’ve seen with the Multi-Peptide Serum, I’d highly recommend checking it out if you are looking to address hair density/thickness issues.
Disclaimer: All opinions are my own. This post was not sponsored, nor does it contain any affiliate links. All links provided are solely for the convenience of the reader.
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Hello! I was wondering if it works for scalp eczema, and if so, for how long did you have to use it before seeing any results?
Hi Iona! I don’t have scalp eczema actually, so unfortunately I wouldn’t be able to give you a good timeline for that! I hope you’re able to find a product that works well for you!
I also have Telogen Effluvium, and this products seems to be making my hair shed more. I’ve used it in the past so I have faith that it will work, I’m just hoping all the resting hair is coming out so the new can grow.
I would guess if you’re still in the midst of it, likely nothing is going to stop it from coming out☹️ I used this significantly after my hair loss, around 3 years later! It’s taken about that long for my hair to work it’s way back to its normal thickness, and this serum gave it sort of a boost at the end?
Do you apply it even on days when you do not wash your hair? Im just curious about it’s effectiveness on the scalp in between washes (I currently wash my hair/scalp every second day). Thank you 🙂
I will stilll usually apply it on the second day after not washing, but if I happen to stretch it out to 3 days I won’t then. I generally avoid it at that point because I have fine hair that is starting to get oily at that point anyway, so I don’t want to weigh it down. I would expect that it could still be effective so long as you didn’t have dry shampoo or anything of that sort in there to block access to properly soaking in! Hope this helps! ^_^
Hello. Love the review. May I know how many months exactly for you to finish one bottle?
Hi! It usually takes about 5 months.
Hello, do you think it will make my hair shed more after stopping it? Thanks
Hi! I don’t think this will stop hair shedding necessarily. While it does have an ingredient meant to block genetic hair loss, otherwise this mainly promotes new hair growth.
Thanks for the post, I just bought it, I trust the Ordinary products, but I was not sure how to use it, do you think it would work for men too? he washes his hair every day. Thanks in advance.
Hi! It should most definitely work for both men and women☺️ From what I understand, it’s best to apply to a dry scalp. I like to do it right before bed so it has time to sort of soak in, disperse, and dry overnight. That way I don’t have any wetness near my roots in the morning!
Thanks for the review. I’ve had a bottle of this, unopened, for several months thinking it wouldn’t work, but why did I buy it. Your review has encouraged me to try it. Hope I get the same results.
That’s awesome!! I’m so happy to hear it, and I hope that it will work well for you too!