“Can you give me thinning hair that makes me look older?” said no woman ever to her stylist. Thick, vibrant hair is a hallmark of youth and vitality, which is why we all want it. Shampoo commercials promise us luscious locks—plus, watch any red carpet event, and you can bet that a majority of the celebs are rocking extensions in order to fake that fullness. “Many of our brides wear clip-on extensions for the same reason our celebrity clients wear them,” notes Lauren E. Hack, beauty guru at LAUREN+VANESSA, “because your hair will look amazing.”

Sadly, as we add more candles to the birthday cake, our hair can lose some of this lusciousness. “As we age, hair decreases in density and the individual hair strands become thinner,” says Tsippora Shainhouse, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist in Beverly Hills and a clinical instructor at the University of Southern California. Individual hair strands have a two to seven year life cycle, but as we get older, the hair follicle shrinks and the rate of hair growth slows down, says Shainhouse. “The hairs produced become much finer, until, eventually, the follicle can even stop producing new hairs,” she says. Yikes. Luckily, there are steps you can take to preserve your strands. Here are five ways to deal with thinning hair.