Hair loss can be a difficult and emotional experience, but you don’t have to suffer it alone. You can take several steps to prevent hair loss and keep your locks looking healthy.
Regular hair washing
Regularly washing your hair can help prevent hair loss by maintaining a healthy and clean scalp. The key is to use a gentle shampoo, as harsher formulas can dry out your hair and make it prone to breakage, ultimately leading to hair loss.
Avoid hairstyles that pull on the hair
Hair is indeed flexible, but it has its limits. Excessive stretching can cause permanent damage.
Hairstyles such as cornrows, tight braids, and ponytails have the potential to pull your hair away from the scalp. This can weaken the bond between your hair and scalp over time.
It’s advisable to use gentle styling and avoid tight braids or ponytails that may strain the hair roots to prevent excessive shedding.
Avoid high-heat hair styling tools
When styling your hair, it’s best to let it air dry to prevent scalp irritation. Avoid using heat stylers such as curling or straightening irons if possible, as they can damage or break the hair shaft.
Heat styling dehydrates your hair follicles and makes them more prone to damage. Over time, hair dryers, straighteners, and curling irons can harm your hair by causing moisture in the hair shafts to expand.
Avoid harsh treatments
Chemical treatments, such as perms or hair coloring, can harm your hair and scalp. Procedures like bleaching, for instance, damage the hair by breaking down protein molecules.
If you’re concerned about hair loss, limiting your use of highlights, dye, peroxide treatments, and perms is advisable. Consider discussing alternatives with your stylist, such as organic hair dyes or those free from ammonia, peroxide, or para-phenylenediamine (PPD).
Protecting hair while sleeping
A silk or satin pillowcase can effectively minimize hair breakage caused by friction, tangling, and tugging. It’s important to avoid sleeping with wet hair as it can weaken the strands and increase the risk of breakage.
When hair is damp, it becomes more susceptible to damage.
Choose a gentle shampoo that’s mild and suited for your hair
Shampoo serves the purpose of cleansing your hair by removing dirt and excess oil. However, avoiding overwashing is important as it can potentially damage your hair.
Some shampoo ingredients have been associated with frizz, dryness of the scalp, and fragile hair. While there is no evidence suggesting that specific shampoo ingredients cause hair loss, they may impact the overall health of your hair.
If you notice excessive dryness or frizziness, consider using a shampoo that is as close to all-natural as possible to improve the condition of your hair.
Use a soft brush made from natural fibers
Using a gentle brush with natural fibers can enhance and maintain healthy oil levels in your hair. The keratin proteins in your hair are arranged like shingles on a roof, so gently brushing them in one direction, starting from the top and going to the ends, can contribute to smoothing and conditioning the hair cuticle.
By brushing your hair daily, you can also minimize the occurrence of hair clumps in your shower drain.
Use coconut oil for damaged hair
Coconut oil has the potential to safeguard hair from damage caused by grooming and exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light. The existence of lauric acid in coconut oil aids in binding protein within the hair, protecting against breakage at both the root and strand levels.
Massaging coconut oil onto the scalp can also stimulate improved blood circulation and facilitate hair regrowth.
Use olive oil
Olive oil is a versatile remedy for nourishing and protecting hair, preventing dryness and breakage. It is a vital integral of the Mediterranean diet and is also known to slow genetic hair loss potentially.
For an effective treatment, gently massage a few tablespoons of olive oil into your hair, leaving it to soak for 30 minutes before rinsing it out. Incorporating this exercise into your hair care routine can work wonders for maintaining healthy and vibrant locks.
Trying low-level laser therapy
Low-level laser light therapy (LLLT), called red light therapy, is a cutting-edge treatment for various skin concerns. By utilizing low-wavelength red light, this therapy efficiently stimulates cell growth, promoting skin rejuvenation and addressing a range of skin issues.
Home Remedies for Hair Loss
If you’re worried about hair loss, trying a home remedy could help prevent further hair fall. However, getting a proper diagnosis and identifying the leading cause of your hair loss is crucial to ensure effective treatment.
Proper hair development and growth require various vitamins and minerals. Nutrient deficiency can contribute to hair loss.
Supplementing with vitamin D may alleviate symptoms of genetic hair loss or telogen effluvium, but more research is needed for a conclusive understanding. Iron supplementation can help alleviate symptoms in iron-deficient individuals.
Additionally, supplementing with vitamin C may benefit individuals with low iron intake. Currently, there is insufficient evidence to support the notion that supplementation of the following can effectively address hair loss:
folic acid (vitamin B9)
riboflavin (vitamin B2)
Excessive vitamin A or selenium intake may lead to hair loss, although further research is required. Scientists are investigating the potential benefits of iron or zinc supplementation for individuals with alopecia areata.
Purchasing supplements from reliable sources is important, as they are not evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Essential oils are natural plant extracts that may have properties to promote hair growth. However, current evidence is primarily based on personal experiences, and no studies provide sufficient evidence to support the use of any essential oil for treating hair loss in humans.
Some essential oils used for hair growth include:
Hair scalp massage
Scalp massages have been suggested to stimulate hair growth by improving circulation and gene expression. However, it’s important to note that the evidence supporting this claim needs to be improved.
Nevertheless, standardized scalp massage results in increased hair thickness by indulging in a soothing scalp massage can be a pleasurable experience, offering relaxation and tranquillity, regardless of its effectiveness in promoting hair growth.
Your diet plays a role in hair loss. Consuming foods abundant in antioxidants helps combat oxidative stress, which damages hair follicles and leads to hair loss.
Colorful vegetables and fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, beans, legumes, spinach, and kale are excellent sources of antioxidants. On the other hand, sugar, processed fats, preservatives, and alcohol contribute to oxidative stress. Keep this in mind to prevent hair loss.
Smoking can harm hair cells, leading to brittle follicles and an increased risk of premature greying and hair loss. Quitting is challenging, but a doctor can assist with a tailored smoking cessation plan.
Types of Hair Loss
There are various types of hair loss known as alopecia:
Alopecia, a condition commonly affecting children and young adults, is characterized by sudden onset and patchy hair loss. This condition may sometimes progress to complete baldness, known as alopecia totalis.
However, it is worth noting that approximately 90% of individuals with this condition experience hair regrowth within a few years.
This condition results in the loss of all body hair, including eyelashes, eyebrows, and pubic hair.
Male pattern baldness is a genetic condition affecting both men and women. Men may experience hair loss in their teens or early 20s, with a receding hairline and moderate disappearance of hair from the crown and frontal scalp.
On the other hand, women with female pattern hair loss typically experience noticeable thinning in their 40s or later, with a general thinning over the entire scalp and the most further hair loss at the crown.
Central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia
This is the predominant type experienced by Black women. It typically presents as a small area of hair loss in the center of the scalp, which gradually expands over time.
Hair thinning is a natural occurrence that often happens as we age. Over time, more hair follicles enter the resting phase, resulting in shorter and fewer remaining hairs.
Inflammatory skin conditions, like cellulitis, folliculitis, acne, and certain skin disorders such as lupus and lichen planus, can lead to permanent hair loss due to scarring that impairs hair regeneration.
Telogen effluvium is a temporary condition that leads to hair thinning. It occurs when a significant number of hairs enter the resting phase simultaneously, resulting in shedding and subsequent thinning.
Excessive use of hot combs and tightly woven, tightly pulled hairstyles can lead to permanent hair loss.
Trichotillomania, commonly observed in children, is a psychological disorder characterized by the compulsion to pull out one’s own hair.
Causes of Hair Loss
The reason why certain hair follicle have a shorter growth period than others remains a mystery to doctors. However, several factors can potentially contribute to hair loss:
Hormones: Such as high levels of androgens (male hormones produced by both men and women)
Genes: Both male and female parental influences may affect an individual’s likelihood of developing male or female pattern baldness.
Stress, illness, and childbirth: Stress can cause temporary hair loss. Hair loss occurs due to ringworm, a fungal infection.
Drugs: Certain medications, such as chemotherapy drugs for cancer, blood thinners, beta-adrenergic blockers for birth control pills, and blood pressure, can cause temporary hair loss.
Burns, injuries, and X-rays: Temporary hair loss can occur, and hair growth typically resumes after healing unless a scar forms where regrowth is impossible.
Autoimmune disease: Alopecia areata may cause hair loss when the immune system affects the hair follicles. In most instances, the hair grows back, although it may temporarily be refined and lighter before returning to its normal color and thickness.
Cosmetic procedures: Factors like excessive shampooing, perms, bleaching, and hair dyeing can lead to hair thinning by weakening and making it brittle. Additionally, running hair picks through tight curls, tight braiding, and using rollers or hot curlers can cause damage and breakage.It’s important to note that these procedures do not cause baldness. Hair grows back generally once the underlying issue is addressed. However, severe damage to the hair or scalp can result in permanent bald patches.
Medical conditions: Medical conditions like thyroid disease, diabetes, lupus, eating disorders, iron deficiency anemia, and anemia can lead to excessive hair loss. In most instances, treating the underlying condition can help hair regrowth, except in cancer treatment or scarring conditions like some forms of lichen planus, lupus, or follicular disorders.
Diet: A low-protein or severely calorie-restricted diet can cause significant hair loss.
Vitamin deficiencies: Lack of vitamins A, B, C, D, E, iron, and zinc can cause of hair loss.
When To See a Doctor
It’s important to seek medical advice if you experience drastic or sudden hair loss. This could be the result of an underlying medical condition requiring treatment.
Additionally, it’s important to visit a doctor if home remedies and dietary changes have not helped with restoring hair growth after six months or more. A doctor will check for signs of infection, hormonal imbalance, or other conditions that could be causing hair loss.
Various underlying factors can cause hair loss; not all are related to age or genetics. Reviewing your lifestyle, diet, and health habits may help you identify potential causes that can often be treated with simple life changes or medical treatments.
Some treatments may stop hair loss or slow hair loss and even help you regrow some of your hair. Home remedies, dietary changes and lifestyle, and over-the-counter medication may enhance the appearance of overall thinning hair.
Remember, results take time, and everyone is unique. Be patient, proactive in managing underlying causes, and consult a doctor if needed.
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