In your 20s, everyone praises you about your luscious locks. But you take that for granted by straightening, braiding, perming and even bleaching it – not once, twice but thrice.
In your 30s, you stop receiving compliments about your hair. You start spending more time getting hair out of your hair brush.
In your 40s, you start examining your scalp more closely in the mirror.
Ladies, we feel you.
But take heart to know that everyone – regardless of age – experiences hair shedding to a certain degree. We lose about 80 strands of hair every day.
So there’s nothing hair-raising about seeing a couple of strands of hair strewn over pillowcases, the floor and in the shower. If you do, however, begin to lose more hair than usual or if you notice that your hair isn’t growing back the way it should, it might be a cause for concern.
It is difficult to pinpoint the exact cause for thinning hair as hair fall can be triggered by a myriad of reasons. Genes, stress, poor nutrition, hormonal changes and environmental pollutants are just some of the possible factors behind those panicking hair strands in the brush.
Now that you know what triggers hair loss, here are some tips to prevent and deal with thinning hair to regain your crowning glory.
Hair is made of protein so be sure to include an adequate amount of protein rich foods in your diet. As a rule of thumb, try to have at least a palm sized portion of protein at breakfast and lunch. Examples of protein packed foods include eggs, meat, lentils and nuts.
Crash diets could in turn result in a deficiency in vital nutrients like Vitamin A, B12, E and minerals like iron which are essential for hair growth. This lack of nutrients can cause your hair to grow at a slower pace and put a halt in the growth of new hairs. Additionally, when you deprive your body of fat, sebum production is affected. Without this protective layer of oil, the skin and hair becomes dry and prone to damage. When the scalp gets damaged, hair loss occurs. Similarly, dryness and damage to the hair strand can cause the hair to fall out. If you want to go on a diet, ensure that you are achieving a healthy nutritional intake.
Before you get in the shower, use a detangler brush or wide toothed comb to comb through your hair to get rid of tangles. Combing your hair when it is wet will cause clumps of hair to get entangled in the hair brush.
If you are a hair chameleon who loves to change your hair colour, this seemingly innocuous habit could be the reason behind your hair loss. Most permanent colourants, be it salon products or box dyes contain hydrogen peroxide. This chemical lightens hair by breaking down the melanin in the hair shaft. Regular use of hydrogen peroxide could cause damage your hair follicle and lead to hair breakage and loss. Space out your hair colouring and colour your hair until you’ve let it ‘rest’ for at least 7-9 weeks.
For long lustrous locks, use shampoos that are free of parabens, synthetic fragrances and sodium laurel sulphates (SLS). Chemicals like SLS strips away natural oils from the scalp and cause hair fall. Aside from hair fall, when your scalp is stripped off its natural oils, your hair follicles gets clogged, in turn leading to other icky problems like itching and lice. When looking for a shampoo, look for something that will get rid of environmental pollutants, perspiration and styling products but at the same time hydrate your scalp. We recommend using the Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Oil Micro-exfoliating shampoo that detoxifies, soothes and balances the scalp.
Hair fall can also be brought on by extreme stress. When you are under pressure, your body gets flooded with the hormone, cortisol. When this happens, other hormone levels fluctuate in response, leading to hair fall. Thankfully, hair will usually grow back after the stressful event has occurred. To manage your stress, consider meditating or taking up a sport like yoga.
Do you typically pull your hair into a tight top knot or ponytail? You might want to consider switching up your go-to look if you are experiencing hair loss. To prevent your hair from falling out, avoid hairstyles that place stress on your follicles and damage the hair shaft. Also, steer clear of heavy styling creams and serums that may weigh down the hair.
You know what they say, you are what you eat. If you want gorgeous locks, you might want to skip out on that donut. Some studies have discovered a correlation between sugar and hair loss. The body processes sugary treats by producing more insulin, giving rise to higher androgen levels. Androgen is a hormone that can cause the hair follicles to shrink, speeding up the hair loss process.
Every now and then, take a break from your heat styling tools. Heat weakens the hair proteins and causes hair to fall out. If you do need to use a blow dryer or a flat iron, always remember to use a heat protectant before styling your hair.
This is one bad habit most of us are guilty of. When you run your fingers through your hair or twirl your locks around your fingers, you might accidentally snap or damage your hair from the friction. Additionally, by playing with your hair, you are stripping your scalp off its natural oils, leading to dry, fragile and weak hair.