The Secret Behind Vanessa Minnillo's Thick and Healthy Hair

12/13/2011 at 06:00 PM ET

Vanessa Minnillo Hair Secrets

When Vanessa Minnillo auditioned to be the host of ABC’s Wipeout, she landed the job with ease. But producers did have one concern about the newlywed‘s look.

“They told me, ‘You might need to change your hairstyle,'” she recalls to PEOPLE. “I was like, ‘What do you mean?’ And they showed me my audition tape, and when it got to a certain part of the day, I literally looked like I had a huge bald spot — my hair was thin on the front of my scalp.”

After a minor freak-out — “I was like, ‘Oh my gosh I’m that girl now. I’m 30, I’m losing my hair, getting adult acne, what is happening?'” she recalls — she turned to her hair stylist, Betsy Reyes, who suggested Nioxin‘s new hair-thickening spray, Diamax (available in February). “I’m obsessed with it,” Minnillo says of the product, designed to keep the scalp healthy. “It’s not a gimmick — it’s a treatment that’s topical that works immediately. It’s genius.”

Minnillo — who’s never had extensions, and plans to keep it that way — pumps about 15 spritzes throughout her wet hair each morning, massages her scalp and then blow-dries as usual. “I noticed a difference the first day, but it plateaus in two weeks and then you maintain your new thickness,” she shares.

“It’s a staple in my career,” Reyes adds. “I use it for men with hair loss, as well as people using hot irons every day, or people who have extensions, which pull on hair.” And thicker hair is generally healthier hair, the stylist explains. “It’s better protected from the sun and from heat.”

Thanks to the treatment, Minnillo is feeling better about her own hair — especially its appearance on camera. “The Wipeout producers are like, ‘Your hair looks great,'” she shares. “And I say, ‘I know!'”

–Kate Hogan


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