Hair loss can be devastating. It’s a shock to the system when you look in the mirror one day and realize your crowning glory isn’t quite as glorious as it once was. Most of us came into this world without much on top. But it’s safe to say when we leave it one day we’d prefer it be with a full head of hair.
Contrary to popular belief it’s not just men who suffer with this condition either. In fact, according to the American Hair Loss Association women account for up to 40 percent of hair loss sufferers here in the United States.
Thinning hair or hair loss is stressful no matter who you are. But for women thinning hair can really do a number on your self-esteem.
There can be a variety of causes for thinning hair including genetics and medications you’re taking. But before you make an appointment to see the dermatologist there are some simple changes you can make to your regular haircare routine that could help halt the hair loss.
Hair loss can be halted when you drop these “bad” habits
For a healthier head of hair let’s take a look at what NOT to do…
1. Tight ponytails and buns:
It’s fine to sport a flirty ponytail or an elegant bun from time to time. But if you wear your hair back in a tight ponytail or bun day after day it can take a toll on your hair.
Hairstyles that cause tension, twist your hair, or require lots on pins and clips to stay in place put a lot of pressure on the hair shaft. This can cause them to break off.
Wear your hair down or loosely pulled back more often. Save the ponies and buns for special occasions.
2. Washing it every day:
If your mom was anything like mine you were taught to keep your hair squeaky clean, which meant washing it every single day. But the fact is if your hair literally squeaks after you wash it you’ve likely stripped it of the natural oils that keep it healthy.
To make matters worse shampoos and other hair products often contain harsh chemicals that can dry your hair out even more leaving it unprotected, and far more likely to break and fall out.
Try skipping a day between washings. If that goes well consider adding in another day off, or even two.
3. Using harsh products:
When you do wash your hair, or style it, pay close attention to the products you’re using. Haircare products are often filled with harsh chemicals that may make your hair look great in the short term, but are doing long term damage.
Using them regularly can lead to irritation, drying, thinning and breakage.
Take a look at the labels on your products and consider pitching any that contain the following ingredients, which could be standing in the way of your healthy head of hair…
- sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)
- sodium laureth sulfate (SLES)
- polyethylene glycol (PEG)
- propylene glycol (PG)
- dimethicone, mineral oil
- isopropyl alcohol
Do a little online research and make the switch to gentler, safer haircare products. An excellent resource is the Environmental Working Group’s “Skin Deep” database.
4. Using a hairdryer:
Don’t worry I’m not going to tell you that you have to toss your hairdryer. There are times when blow drying your hair is necessary such as when it’s cold outside or you’re doing your hair for a special occasion.
But the fact is using a hairdryer can be damaging, especially if your hair is already dry or brittle. And exposing your hair to hot air every single time you wash it could be contributing to your hair thinning.
Switch to air drying whenever it’s convenient. And when you do use the hairdryer keep the heat on the low setting and consider using a diffuser attachment to help minimize damage. And be careful to not overuse other heat styling devices such as curling irons and flat irons, which can also harm your hair.
Are you guilty of any of these haircare mistakes? Making these four simple changes could put you on the road to a healthier thicker head of hair.
Next week I’ll tackle how what you eat could be playing a role in your thinning hair, and reveal how diet or supplements could be the key to restoring your crowning glory.