8 WAYS TO KEEP AS MUCH HAIR ON YOUR HEAD AS POSSIBLE - NOT ALL SHEDDING IS UNAVOIDABLEby Various Sources on 09/25/16
BY SHANNON FARRELL
If you've ever freaked out about how much hair you've been shedding recently, your fears aren't unfounded. According to the American Hair Loss Association, women actually make up 40 percent of those experiencing hair loss. But before you jump to any conclusions, know this: Everything from your diet to your hairstyling habits could be affecting how many strands you lose. Try these simple expert-approved tips to keep your head of hair full and healthy.
"Scalp massage helps to stimulate the scalp and remove dead skin cells—both of which encourage healthy hair growth," says Philip Kingsley, a trichologist (someone who studies scalp and hair health) and founder of Philip Kingsley Haircare. Use the balls of your fingers to massage the shampoo into your scalp, moving from the hairline to the back of the head. This move boosts blood flow and stimulates the hair follicles for growth.
"Brushes that cause a lot of traction call pull hair out from the follicle," says Kingsley. "If done repeatedly, this can lead to permanent hair loss." Always start towards your ends (not your roots), moving gently from section to section.
"Hair is at its most fragile [and prone to breakage] when it is wet, being that the protective cuticle is slightly raised," says Robert Dorin, a hair-restoration surgeon at True & Dorin Medical Group in New York City. Always wait until your hair has fully dried before putting it in a ponytail or brushing it through.
Another simple fix: "Instead of wrapping hair in a towel turban, which can cause breakage, gently pat wet hair with a towel to soak up excess moisture," says Jill Crosby, a celebrity hairstylist in Los Angeles.
"Too much UV exposure from the sun can damage your hair, weakening it and causing it to appear dull," says Dorin. "This is because the keratin proteins in the hair break down when exposed to UV rays." Not only does he recommend seeking shade (year-round, ladies!), he suggests spritzing strands with a hairspray that has UV protection prior to sun exposure.
"Hair is made of protein, and the cells that make each strand are the second fastest growing cells your body produces," says Kingsley. "However, as hair is a non-vital tissue, it is the last to benefit from what you eat. Any nutritional deficiency will often first show up as excessive hair shedding." Opt for at least two to three servings of protein (find it in lean chicken, fish, eggs, and low-fat Greek yogurt) a day.
Dorin warns against mega-hold products because they are high in alcohol content, which can cause dryness. When they're brushed out, the residue left behind causes breakage. "Try using softer-hold products like styling creams that maintain the moisture of the hair cuticle without creating that friction when being brushed," he says.
Since it's normal to lose 50 to 150 strands a day, you can expect to lose hair in the shower. However, hot showers can cause unnecessary loss. "Hot water strips the hair of its natural oils and throws your scalp's pores into overdrive in order to keep up with the oil production—damaging the root and leading to additional shedding," says Dorin.
If your hair loss seems to be caused by more than bad daily habits, first see your dermatologist and then look for the appropriate treatment. Kingsley's new three-step regimen, Trichotherapy ($215, philipkingsley.com), for example, "addresses hair loss from all angles—externally via drops and a protein spray and then internally through supplements that were formulated with the hair's specific needs in mind," he says. Women's Rogaine ($27.99, womensrogaine.com, although the generic at Wal-Mart works just as well, just purchase the one for men) is another recent addition to the market. The foam, which contains five percent minoxidil (a drug to treat hair loss), stimulates hair growth by penetrating into the scalp.