Ever noticed your hair thinning and falling out more than usual? Perhaps you come from a long line of women who begin to lose their hair as soon as they hit age 40, and you’re worried that the same may be true for you.
Many factors can cause hair loss in women.. For some, stress is a significant factor, and genetics may play a pivotal role for others. Whatever the reason, hair damage can be truly frustrating.
However, hair damage doesn’t have to be inevitable. Keep reading to explore some of the most common concerns about hair loss and damage and discover how you can maintain full, luscious hair.
Most Common Causes of Hair Damage
We’ve been discussing how hair damage always has a root cause. These causes can be internal or external, and identifying the right one is the first step in solving this problem. It’s a good idea to start by considering the most common causes of hair damage, listed below.
Vitamins play a significant role in growing healthy hair. For example, the retinol in Vitamin A promotes sebum secretion, preventing hair breakage. Vitamin C also helps the body absorb the right amount of iron, which is necessary for healthy hair growth.
Incorporating these vitamins into your diet isn’t as difficult as it sounds. They are present in most of our regular dietary options, but you’ll need to be intentional about eating healthy to get more vitamins. A balanced diet that includes proteins and antioxidants will also help boost hair growth, so plan your menus to include a variety of fresh ingredients.
Both physical and emotional stressors can affect your overall hair health. Studies prove that there is a causal link between stress and hair loss in many women.
Please note that stress, in this case, can be both physical and emotional. If you’ve been feeling a little out of whack lately, now may be the time to take a step back to relax. Getting more sleep and exercise and blocking out time for meditation are great first steps towards combating stress.e. Identify your stressors and avoid them until you feel equipped enough to face them head-on.
Chemicals in relaxers, hair dyes, and perms are often a main culprit in hair damage. While we don’t think totally avoiding these products is necessary,, we encourage moderation. For instance, we don’t encourage dyeing your hair immediately after relaxing it. Give your hair enough time to recover from one product’s chemical effects before applying another.
Washing your hair regularly can keep it healthy, but excessive washing has the opposite effect.. Exposing your hair to water frequently can erode the natural sebum present in your scalp. This leads to dry and frizzy hair, which causes split ends and breakage.
Try adding co-washing to your hair care regimen. What exactly is co-washing? This term refers to both the process and the substance used to wash your hair. The “co” in the name stands for conditioner, which is always involved in co-washing.. In layman’s words, co-washing is the process of occasionally swapping out your shampoo with a single solution that can clean and condition your hair simultaneously (keeping hair extra nourished and moisturized). What are the benefits? Co-washing has multiple uses. Most importantly, it can gently cleanse hair that is generally dry. It also works as a technique to revitalize curls if you follow the appropriate co-washing steps. It can improve curl definition, add shine, make hair smoother, minimize hair breakage, and detangle hair. While shampoo is best for some hair, co-washing is a preferable alternative for curly hair that requires a lot of moisture. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t use shampoo, but it is essential to choose the right product. Alongside your shampoo, you can incorporate co-washing into your usual hair-washing routine. There are several co-washes for different curl types, just like numerous products for curly hair. Some include thicker or lighter oils geared towards different curly types. Look for the best co-wash for your hair type, and don’t be afraid to experiment with several options to determine what works best.
Too Much Heat
Excessive use of a hairdryer, hair straightener, and hot combs all contribute to the breakdown of natural hair, causing permanent damage to the scalp and hair structure. Too much heat can break down the bond holding your hair together. Air-drying after a wash is one of the best options to preserve hair health.
NB: UV rays from the sun can also cause hair damage. You can use a scarf or hat to protect your hair from prolonged exposure to the sun.
Some common habits may also hurt our hair. The following are a few major culprits:
- Dehydration: Not drinking enough water can cause your hair to lose its natural shine and luscious texture. Remember: just like plants, people thrive off of water.
- Towel drying your hair immediately after a wash: Rather than rubbing vigorously with a towel, gently pat your hair and wrap the towel lightly around your head to absorb the excess moisture. Instead of using a traditional towel, opt for a microfiber towel or t-shirt towel.
- Sleeping on a cotton pillowcase: Cotton absorbs moisture from the hair. Instead, use a satin pillowcase or wear a satin scarf or bonnet before going to bed to keep moisture locked in.
- Wearing tight ponytails: Let your hair down often to reduce the pressure on your scalp and roots. Any excessive tension on the hair, especially your edges, can cause damage and loss.
Best Ways to Treat Hair Damage
Once you’ve identified the reason for your hair damage, it’s time to treat it. Below are some of the best treatment options.
As you likely already know, dry hair is more vulnerable to damage. We recommend getting a good moisturizing shampoo and conditioner (free of radical chemicals) to treat damaged hair. Products using essential oils and free of sulfate should be at the top of your list. If you’re having trouble deciding, ask your hairstylist for their favorite picks.
After washing your hair with shampoo and conditioner, finalize the process with some oil treatment to seal in moisture. We recommend using coconut, olive, or jojoba oils.
For proper scalp treatment, use a deep conditioning mask made of natural fats and oils. Common effective ingredients used in masks are coconut oil, avocado, shea butter, aloe vera, etc. You may buy a product with these ingredients or make your mask from scratch.
Divide your hair evenly and apply the mask generously while gently massaging your scalp. Cover your hair after applying the mask and allow the product to permeate deeply into your hair for about thirty minutes. You may apply heat to the process by sitting under the dryer for optimum results.
Develop A Hair Care Regimen and Stick to It
Your hair care regimen should involve the treatments discussed above. We recommend washing your hair once a week and moisturizing daily. You can also do deep conditioning on wash days..
It’s important to allow enough time for your hair care regimen to work before switching products or changing your hairstylist. Hair recovery is a gradual process. Stick with it.
Even though you’re experiencing hair damage, the situation is not permanent.. A few adjustments in your lifestyle and hair care routine will get you your desired results in little to no time. However, if you notice that the problem persists, reach out to a professional for expert advice. Depending on your needs, you can reach out to any of the following:
- Dermatologist: A dermatologist is a doctor who treats cosmetic concerns relating to the hair, skin, and nails. They are experts at treating hair loss problems, especially when they are a result of other underlying medical conditions.
- Trichologist: Trichologists take on a more specialized role by focusing solely on problems with the hair and scalp. They can identify the causes of your damaged hair and hair loss, and prescribe effective solutions to combat the problem.
- Nutritionist: Good nutrition is vital for growing healthy hair. Nutritionists can outline meal plans that are packed with the necessary vitamins and minerals for nurturing long and healthy hair.
- Endocrinologist: Endocrinology is another field of medicine that can help address hair loss problems. Since stress and other hormonal imbalances can lead to losing one’s hair, endocrinologists can prescribe treatment options to balance hormones and restore healthy hair growth.
We hope these tips will help guide you in your hair loss action plan and healthy hair journey. Don’t let hair damage and loss discourage you. With persistence, you can find real solutions.