20 essential tips to prevent, and treat, excessive hair loss
Losing around 100 strands of hair is normal, but to prevent excessive hair fall, there are some important steps that you need to incorporate into your lifestyle and hair-care regimen. (Source: Thinkstock Images)
It’s sad, but true that we all suffer from the ‘hair here, hair there and hair everywhere, other than where we want’ syndrome. In fact, with sedentary lifestyles and increasing stress levels, the number of men and women going in for hair treatments and post-menopausal hair fall and solutions to Male Pattern Baldness is increasing. This is also connected with hormonal changes and the growing use of hair dyes. But that does not mean all hope is lost. If you’re concerned about hair loss — and that’s a justifiable concern — do not attempt self-medication, and head to a dermatologist instead. But remember, losing around 100 strands of hair every day is normal, so don’t fret if it’s around that number. In the meanwhile, there are steps that you can take and tips that you can follow to ensure that you’re not investing in a good wig anytime soon.
Here are 20 tips and tricks to make sure your long locks, stay just that:
1. Do not use an anti-dandruff shampoo on a regular basis, especially the over-the-counter ones, as they can lead to early greying and also damage hair roots and shafts. Once a week in areas with high humidity or dryness, and once a month for cold climate regions should be the rule.
2. If you colour your hair, then make sure you keep a gap of 2-3 months before recolouring, once it runs out. Let there be a chemical-free period, allowing your hair to naturally breathe.
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3. Do not get multiple treatments like colouring and straightening at the same time. Give your hair some rest. Either go for one or give a gap of around four weeks between two treatments so that the hair cycle can change; and, in the meantime, you can boost hair immunity by including more Vitamin H (in egg whites, bananas, sprouts and green vegetables) in your diet. It’s a biotin that is important for hair-building. Also, pantothenic acid (available in spinach and green vegetables) will help in same. Men should not gels or creams regularly, since they are made of chemicals as well. Once in a while, like once in a month, is fine. But it’s better to stick to water.
Do not get multiple treatments like colouring and straightening at the same time. Give your hair some rest and a chemical-free period. (Source: Thinkstock Images)
4. Do not comb wet hair rigorously. Patience is the key for your wet tresses because wet hair tends to shed more easily, so avoid combing your hair soon after head bath.
5. Do not use a lot of home packs, like vinegar and egg, etc., for your hair in one go. Use them once a month at the most. Also, remember not to mix henna with vinegar. Contrary to popular belief that the more you oil your hair, it’s better, you should actually oil your hair once in 2-3 months. In fact, if you suffer from excessive hair loss, then avoid oiling your hair altogether since the weak roots can lead to aggravating the condition.
Also see: 4 steps — How to keep away from split-ends and frizzy hair
6. Do not use hair styling gels or straightening gels ever. And if, for some reason, you are forced to use them, then include more protein in your diet for the next 10 days, and stick to simple shampoos, using products that have lesser amounts of chemical and avoiding further heat damage to your hair for the next few days.
7. Using hair sunscreens is not necessary, but a leave-on conditioner can be applied on dry, damaged hair 2-3 times a week. This regimen can be followed by both men and women. Just remember, apply the conditioner at the hair ends, not the roots.
Do not tumble dry your hair; also, don’t bend your head down while drying (or even cleaning) your hair, since that causes excessive damage to the roots, and can lead to loss of follicles. (Source: Thinkstock Images)
8. Use a wide-toothed comb if you suffer from high volumes of hair fall, and avoid using a combing brush or small comb. Desist your comb with others, especially when you don’t know if the other has a scalp condition or not. This is especially relevant for college students and school kids.
9. If you have scalp psoriasis and dandruff as well, then do not oil your hair. Oil feeds the malassezia yeast, which is the causative organism for this dandruff, using it will make the situation worse, even if it has a temporary feel-good factor.
10. If you have long hair, then don’t tie it up in a bun at all times. Doing so can lead to traction alopecia, thus, leading to gradual hair loss. Let your hair down, literally, and allow it to breathe. Similarly, if you tie a ponytail, it should not be very tight. And avoid tying your hair while sleeping.
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11. Keep switching your shampoo every few months, or even weekly, to prevent resistance and excess chemical damage for both men and women; those living in places with high humidity levels should use an anti-dandruff shampoo once a week. In fact, you can keep alternating between two shampoos.
12. Do not tumble dry your hair; also, don’t bend your head down while drying (or even cleaning) your hair, since that causes excessive damage to the roots, and can lead to loss of follicles.
13. Do not pick up hair serums from market without consulting with a dermatologist first — you may not need it, which can cause more damage than.
Keep switching your shampoo every few months, or even weekly, to prevent resistance and excess chemical damage. In fact, you can keep alternating between two shampoos. (Source: Thinkstock Images)
14. Similar to shampoos, if you use hair dyes, then keep alternating the brand every other month, and take care to use only ammonia-free ones. If you can switch to vegetable hair dyes, that is the best.
15. Do not go for a hair transplant at a very early age as you stand to lose the donor area (which is the back of your head). Your own hair is much better, irrespective of volume. But if the area of balding is significant and you would really like to then opt for hair-line restorations, and also go for the Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)-stem cell infusion — but that’s only after the age of 25. It’s important to note here, that for women, hair transplant is nigh impossible.
16. Make getting a haircut a quarterly ritual, not an annual one. If there isn’t significant growth, then at least get a trim so as to have a healthy hair growth and to get rid of the split ends.
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17. Do not tie your hair immediately after a head bath, that is, when your hair is wet. This is because the shafts of hair are weak at the time and strong pulls to your hair can lead to excessive hair fall.
18. Post-pregnancy hair fall is a common issue, so don’t stress about it because those tresses WILL grow back. Also, during lactation, consult your dermatologist and fix up a treatment regime for yourself.
19. Do not use a home hair-straightening iron more than twice a month; also, when iron pressing your hair, always start from the bottom-up, and move fast — essentially, avoid the blast of heat hitting a specific part of your hair for a longer time.
20. Do not leave the head rollers on your hair overnight. The maximum time they should be in your hair is 3-4 hours.