Are you prone to hair loss? Rest assured: everyone loses between 50 and 100 a day on average depending on theAmerican Academy of Dermatology. While it is a natural process in most cases, it also happens that excessive hair loss conceals a more serious problem, such as hormonal imbalance, thyroid disease or slow metabolism. But very often, this phenomenon is simply due to bad daily habits. Here’s what not to do if you want to see more hair on your head than on your brush.
1. Yo-yo with diets
We go on a diet, we lose pounds, we take them back, then we go on a diet again. This is the famous “yo-yo effect”, a term coined by the clinical psychologist Kelly D. Brownell to describe weight cycles. “Inconsistent diets and poor nutrition create an imbalance in the scalp, which can be one of the causes of hair loss,” explains Chytra V Anandaesthetic dermatology consultant and CEO of Kosmoderma Clinics. In other words, it is essential to have a varied and balanced diet if you want your hair to be healthy. Choose lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains and healthy fats to meet all your vitamin, protein, iron and zinc needs. Not only will your hair thank you, but your heart and brain will too.
2. Wearing too tight a rubber band
Making ponytails too tight can have serious consequences. “If your hair is constantly pulled back, you’re going to see your hairline receding. Ultimately, this will damage the hair follicles and, in the worst case, lead to traction alopecia, i.e. irreparable destruction of the hair bulbs”, explains the Dr Anand. Unlike diet, it is better to change your hairdressing habits regularly. Thus, you will not only avoid monotony but also hair loss. And don’t forget that a good scrunchie makes all the difference: choose it preferably in cotton or pure silk.
3. Using heated appliances without protecting your hair
We know we shouldn’t do it, but we do it anyway. “The heat emitted by styling appliances destroys the thin outer layer of the hair by damaging the keratin. As a result, they are poorly hydrated and break more easily”, explains the Dr Anand. Is it really worth losing your hair for a blow-dry? Nope ! So before going with the hair dryer or straightening iron, remember to apply a heat-protective product to the lengths and ends.
4. Not washing your hair properly
Here are the golden rules to know: apply shampoo to the roots, conditioner to the ends and lengths, and above all, never use hot water. “The heat draws the moisture out of the hair. Due to the lack of hydration, they become dry and brittle, and eventually fall off”, explains the Dr Anand. Use lukewarm water, lather the shampoo well in the palms of your hands and massage the scalp very gently so as not to strip away the natural oils that nourish your hair. Finish with a jet of cold water to strengthen the hair’s protective barrier. If you shampoo too often, your scalp will produce more oils to protect itself, which will lead to more hair loss. Finally, no vigorous drying of the hair with a towel. Wet hair is fragile and should be treated gently. Choose a cotton towel for better absorption and remember: do not rub.
5. Pulling your hair out while brushing it
Brush your hair only when necessary. Detangle them carefully using a detangling spray, starting with the lengths rather than the roots so as not to tear them out. Use a wide comb on wet hair and a soft brush on dry hair. And above all, never use a brush on damp hair.
6. Forgetting to go to the hairdresser
A visit to the hairdresser is required every 8 weeks. Just cut a few millimeters to get rid of stunted hair. Just like plants, humans need a little pruning from time to time.
7. Use alcohol-based products
If your hair is dry and brittle, it may be because the products you are using have the wrong composition. Alcohol, for example, stays on the hair for a long time and can break the hair fiber when brushing. Choose alternatives with natural ingredients to tame your hair.
This is not new: stress is bad for your health. When the mind is overworked, the body releases cortisol. Secreted in excess, this hormone can lead to hormonal imbalances, disruption of the hair growth cycle, as well as inflammation. Know that at any time, 10 to 15% of the hair follicle is in the resting phase: the hair does not grow but does not fall either. Every two or three months, this resting hair comes off to make way for new ones. Stress-triggered hair loss is totally preventable, as long as we prioritize our mental health, take care of our bodies, and pay attention to what’s causing trouble in our bodies.
Translation by Sandra Proutry-Skrzypek
Article originally published on Vogue India.
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