Preventative Hair Loss Care
HOW TO PREVENT HAIR LOSS
In a typical day, we each shed around 50-150 strands of hair. Factors like genetics, stress, hormones, nutrition, seasonal changes, health and medical illness can cause hair to thin and shed in excess. Preventative care requires examining all facets of a woman's lifestyle to detect the cause of hair loss and implement the best treatment course.
Our hair cells, follicles and cuticles are integral components to hair growth. When one or more of them become compromised, hair thinning, shedding and fall is a natural, biological reaction. Like many of the body's complex functions and systems, follicles can recover and resume growth in many cases. While some hair loss conditions are irreversible and others are treatable, preventative care helps you retain strands, improve scalp health, and reinvigorate your hair.
ACCESSING THE CAUSE OF YOUR HAIR LOSS
A dermatologist will ask the right questions to pinpoint the cause of hair loss. Depending on whether the issue is a temporary disruption caused by childbirth, stress or dieting, your dermatologist may recommend that you also see a nutritionist, medical doctor, endocrinologist, or mental health professional.
Preventative care for hair loss requires the detection and assessment of existing triggers and potential conditions.
There are several ways to detect the cause of hair loss, including:
- A DNA test to determine if there is a genetic predisposition to hair loss.
- An investigation of medical and family history, stress levels, nutrition, exercise routine, and any recent, significant life events.
- In some cases, doctors may conduct a Hair-Pull Test. The doctor will grasp a small portion of your hair and gently pull along the length of the hair shaft to assess how many strands shed.
- Lab work and blood tests can determine if any nutritional deficiencies, abnormalities or hormonal imbalances are present.
- A comparison of your hair against the Sinclair Scale or Ludwig Baldness Scale helps to identify the type and severity of the thinning or hair loss.
HOW TO PREVENT FURTHER HAIR LOSS
Preventative care for hair loss, hair thinning, or excessive hair shedding involves creating a healthy environment for your scalp. Your scalp acts as the soil in the flowerbed that produces a healthy crop of hair. Without the right environmental assistance, hair breaks, thins and falls out.
To best prevent hair loss, it's essential to take a holistic, comprehensive, 360 approach that addresses physical, mental, and emotional health and wellbeing. Implementing the following strategies can enhance scalp health, help you retain hair, prevent hair loss, and fall in love with your hair again.
Physical & Emotional Health
Your physical and emotional wellbeing respond directly to your daily lifestyle habits. Unfortunately, emotional wellbeing is an area of health that's often overlooked. To maintain optimal health requires devoting attention to both your physical and emotional health.
Here's what you can do:
Does exercise seem to be the remedy for all ailments? In many ways, it is. Exercise not only improves your quality of life, but it fosters the mobility of nutrients, oxygen and blood through your body. Hair follicles depend on healthy blood circulation to regulate the hair growth cycle. Exercise also minimizes stress and benefits emotional and mental wellbeing by regulating stress hormones.
Manage stress level:
Stress accounts for 75-90% of all human diseases, according to a study by Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. Considering this fact, it should come as no surprise that acute and chronic stress can cause hair loss. To minimize stress, consult with a mental health provider, seek counsel from a therapist, soak in a bath, practice meditation and yoga, or carve out allocated time every day to do something that welcomes calm, joy, and peace. Your body—and hair—will thank you.
Food is fuel, and what we fuel ourselves with impacts our physical health, appearance and confidence. Maintaining a well-balanced diet will not only feel wonderful now, but it will generate long term health benefits. A diet rich in proteins, leafy greens, and omega fatty acids ensures your body receives essential vitamins and nutrients to thrive. Your hair loves protein, iron, lipids, minerals and B-vitamins, which are all abundant in healthy, complex food sources. If you struggle to meet your daily intake of nutrients, supplements can help tremendously. First, consult with your doctor or nutritionist for guidance on a nutrition and supplementation plan.
In addition to the body's need for nutrients, is its need for water. We are comprised of 60% water, and when we fail to drink two liters of water a day, we become dehydrated, our skin dries, we feel fatigued and, in many cases, our hair falls out. Bottom line: water and healthy nutrition are a power couple that supports physical and emotional wellbeing.
Washing, Conditioning & Drying Hair
Maintaining a healthy scalp environment requires regular washing and conditioning. Doing so will eliminate product buildup that clogs hair follicles, effectively inhibiting hair growth. Mechanical hair loss is the result of ongoing tension and pulling at the hair follicles.
Daily beauty routines matter, and implementing the following strategies can create an optimal scalp environment conducive to healthy hair growth.
- Use INTACT, an Anti Hair Shedding Treatment, prior to washing hair. This pre-wash treatment retains and protects hair from the stress and pulling of washing and styling hair by securing hair on the scalp and minimizing shedding up to 77% after just one use.
- Avoid products filled with ingredients like alcohol, silicons, and polymers that weigh hair down.
- Choose products that contain biotin, panthenol, and enriching emollients that minimize dryness, nourish the roots, and improve bounce and elasticity.
- If you have build-up from water minerals, chlorine or salt, a demineralizing shampoo can help to break down and wash away residue, or attach a water purifier to your shower head.
- Use a leave-in conditioner to detangle and minimize hair friction while combing hair.
- Dry damp hair by gently squeezing hair, and use a microfiber towel to absorb water from hair, rather than rubbing or pulling at hair to dry it.
- Comb hair with a wide-tooth comb, starting at the ends and gently working your way up to the roots.
- Be consistent with topical treatments and cosmetic solutions. You'll experience the best results by following the manufacturer's guidance for dosage and frequency.
The way we interact with our hair every day can either support a healthy mane or cause long-term, irreversible damage. To avoid scarring and damaged hair follicles, bring awareness to how you handle, manage and style your hair daily.
Here's what you can do:
- When possible, avoid using hot styling tools like curling irons, flat irons and blow dryers. If you can't avoid hot tools, use the lowest temperature setting available to reduce stress, tension, breakage and brittleness. Alternatively, a thermal protectant can add an extra layer of protection between the heat source and your hair.
- Coloring, bleaching, and highlighting hair are non-negotiable for many women. We understand—you've got a signature look that you love, and you shouldn't have to sacrifice your identity to have healthy hair. Still, chemical processes demand extreme caution as they can severely compromise your hair health. Repeated chemical exposure causes stress to the scalp, irritation, redness, breakage and hair loss. Consult with your stylist about alternative, natural styling options to maintain your identity, preserve the scalp, and love your hairstyle without damaging strands.
- Give your hair the day off from tight updos and ponytails. Hairstyles that pull and tug at the follicles add stress to the scalp and can cause Traction Alopecia, a hair loss condition resulting from repeated mechanical pulling and tightening. Instead, wear loose styles or hold hair back with soft scarves, scrunchies or non-elastic hair ties.
- If you wear hair extensions, schedule gaps of time to wear a different style, which will relieve your scalp of the weight and pressure from extensions. Constant tugging from tight extensions can cause Traction Alopecia, which can lead to irreversible Scarring Alopecia.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR HAIR
Practice daily preventative care to preserve strands, restore hair follicles, and create a healthy scalp environment that enables you to love your hair for the long haul.