The Ultimate Guide to Hair Loss Prevention
Are you worried about losing your hair? You're not the only one. Hair loss, or alopecia, is a common condition that affects more than 80 million people in America.
Hereditary factors are the primary driver of hair loss, and this issue becomes more prevalent as we get older. If you're noticing more hair on your brush than usual, it might be time to consult a doctor.
6 Best Ways To Prevent Hair Loss
Most of us take our hair for granted until we lose most of it. For many people, hair loss is a gradual process that occurs over time. However, for some, hair loss can happen suddenly and without warning.
If you're concerned about hair loss, you're not alone. In this guide, we'll explore some of the most common causes of hair loss as well as some tips and tricks for preventing it.
1. Avoid treating or bleaching your hair with chemicals.
Many people use chemicals to treat or change the color and texture of their hair, but few realize the damage they are doing to their hair in the process.
Excessive use of hair treatments such as bleaching, dying, highlights, and perms can break down protein molecules (keratin). It can cause your hair to dry out and be more susceptible to breakage or worse—extreme hair loss.
It's best to limit your use of these treatments that contain chemicals if you want to maintain the health of your hair and prevent losing hair.
2. Choose a mild shampoo that's designed for your hair type.
We all know that shampoo is designed to clean hair and scalp of dirt, sweat, and excess oils. But doing it more often than needed can damage your hair. If your hair is stripped of its natural nutrients, it can lead to a dry scalp, frizzy hair, and other hair problems.
Although there is no scientific reasoning to prove that any ingredients in shampoo damage hair follicles, some might argue that they could contribute to less than healthy hair. If you feel your hair might be too dry or sensitive, consider using a more natural option.
3. Keep your hair away from high-heat styling tools.
When in a rush or aiming for an instant hair makeover, people tend to opt for hair dryers, curling irons, and flat irons. It can damage your hair or even cause permanent hair problems.
The intense heat from styling tools like hair dryers and flat irons can strip your strands of moisture, making them weak, brittle, and more likely to break. Refrain or lessen the use of these high-heat styling tools if you want to preserve your beautiful hair.
4. Stop wearing hairstyles that stresses the hair and scalp.
While hair is often regarded as flexible, research indicates that it can only be stretched so much before sustaining permanent damage. Repeatedly wearing hairstyles that pull your hair or put stress on your scalp can gradually cause your hair to become detached from the scalp.
There are existing hairstyles that cause extreme damage to your hair and scalp over time. Here are some of the hairstyles to avoid:
- Tightly braided hairstyles
- Updo hairstyles
- Weaves or hair extensions
5. Try Low-Light Laser Therapy.
Low-light Laser Therapy (LLLT) is a cutting-edge, noninvasive hair loss treatment that uses laser light to jump-start cell growth and reinvigorate hair follicles. Not only does it help stop hair loss, but it also improves the thickness and overall look of your hair. Best part? The entire treatment is painless and has zero associated side effects.
6. Use a brush with soft and natural materials.
There are many reasons why you should use a soft brush for your hair. From being less likely to cause damage to helping massage your scalp, a soft brush provides several benefits that a hard brush simply cannot match.
Also, here are more reasons for you to start soft brushing your hair:
- Gives off a healthy shine;
- refreshes the scalp;
- eliminates impurities;
- detangles the hair;
- removes loose hair strands; and
- makes styling easy.
So next time you reach for a hairbrush, make sure it's a soft one! Your hair will thank you for it.
Hair Loss Prevention in Women
By the age of 70, approximately 55% of women experience hair loss. Androgenetic alopecia, thyroid disease, and other hormonal conditions are the primary causes of hair loss.
Although any female can suffer from hair loss, it typically affects women who:
- Have given birth recently;
- have received chemotherapy and those whose medications cause side effects.
- are over the age of 40;
- wear their hair in tight hairstyles and use harsh chemicals for their hairstyle; and
- are experiencing menopausal transition.
Women experience hair loss for various reasons, but there are also prevention methods and treatments available.
These medications can help prevent further hair loss:
- Iron supplements
- Oral contraceptives
- Rogaine (minoxidil)
- Spironolactone (Aldactone)
Women experiencing menopause may opt for hormone replacement therapy (HRT) as a way to mitigate hair loss and other assort symptoms. Fortunately, HRT is often covered by insurance.
However, depending on the state you reside in, the monthly cost of HRT without insurance can rack up anywhere from $10 to $85.
Hair Loss Prevention in Men
Male-pattern hair loss, which is largely genetic, affects a staggering 85% of men by the time they turn 50 according to the American Hair Loss Association.
There are several potential causes of hair loss in men, including:
- Family history and genetics
- Health conditions
- Various medications and medical treatments
The FDA has acknowledged two medications to treat male pattern baldness. These are:
- Finasteride (Propecia/Proscar)
- Rogaine (minoxidil)
Depending on the person, hair loss can have various emotional impacts. Some men may wish to see a counselor as part of their treatment, while others might choose a hairstyle that accepts hair loss, such as shaving their head or trying hair transplants.
Men can get hair transplants if necessary, but it is expensive and not covered by insurance. Hair transplants cost $4000 to $10000 on average depending on the procedure required.
Techniques to Stop Hair Loss at Home
1. Buy organic essential oils
Essential oils are extracted from plants and contain several benefits. These natural compounds possess potent chemical properties than can improve overall hair strength.
Essential oils have been used for centuries in Eastern medicine, homeopathy, and other alternative medicines. Some essential oils offer hair health benefits like stimulating growth or enhancing shine and strength.
The following essential oils have been shown to help with hair growth:
- Chinese hibiscus
2. Give up smoking
Smoking is detrimental to your hair health. It damages hair cells and weakens follicles, making them prone to breakage and loss. Studies have also linked smoking to premature gray hair and hair loss.
Though it can be challenging, quitting smoking is possible with the help of a doctor or by following a quit plan.
3. Have a healthy diet
The food you eat plays an important role in hair loss. Consuming foods that are high in antioxidants help reduce oxidative stress that damages hair follicles and leads to hair loss.
Sugar, processed fats, preservatives, and alcohol can lead to oxidative stress. If you want to keep your hair from falling out, start eating fruits and vegetables like strawberries, blueberries, beans, spinach, and kale which are all great sources of antioxidants.
4. Take supplements
Some vitamin and mineral deficiencies can lead to hair loss. Supplementing with vitamin D may help reduce symptoms of telogen effluvium or genetic hair loss.
Research has found that people with low levels of vitamin D are more likely to develop alopecia areata, a patchy form of hair loss caused by an autoimmune reaction. As such, it is recommended that those with this condition supplement their diets with vitamin D.
5. Try scalp massage and stress-reducing methods
Even though there's not enough supporting evidence, chances are scalp massages help with hair growth by promoting circulation. In 2016, one small study found that 9 Japanese men who received 4-minute daily scalp massages had increased hair thickness.
Although a scalp massage doesn't necessarily stimulate hair growth, it can give you relaxation.
You can also keep your hair healthy by reducing stress. Some stress-reducing techniques that can help include meditation, yoga, and deep breathing exercises.
Start Managing Hair Loss Today
Losing hair can be an emotionally challenging experience, but you're not alone. Millions go through it each year. While there's no guaranteed cure for hair loss, there are treatments that may help slow it down or cover it up until your hair grows back in.
Talk to your doctor about the root cause of your hair loss. Compare treatment plans to find what works best for you.