“Take action! An inch of movement will bring you closer to your goals than a mile of intention.”
When it comes to hair care, being proactive rather than reactive is the way to go. You can intend to have shiny, bouncy tresses that make a statement all day long, but if you don’t take measures to ensure that it happens, it probably won’t.
Now, we all know those girls who just have amazing hair. For example, Jennifer had thick, honey-blonde hair down to the middle of her back. Jen could go for months without scissors ever touching the ends of her hair and it still had nary a split end.
No joke. She could easily have been a hair model. Her ends looked freshly cut and healthy four months post haircut. That seems so unfair! So unnatural.
The rest of us are not so lucky. For most of us, if we go past eight weeks, our hair is beginning to look dry on the ends and the split ends are spreading like wildfire. It isn’t pretty.
That’s one reason why we need to pay attention to our hair. When we’re young, we usually have natural highlights and shine if we were healthy children. (That’s why you see women out there coloring their hair to match the shade of their kids. Please don’t run out and do this. It isn’t always the best look!)
As we age, the nutrients that provide us with beautiful hair can diminish, our hormones can wreak havoc, and chemical processing takes its toll. As we age in adulthood, the effects of these things only become magnified. And that is exactly why it is so important to be proactive when it comes to caring for your hair.
If you have been a sun worshipper or chain smoker for years upon years, your skin has paid the price for your unhealthy habit. Many women find themselves spending oodles and oodles of money to repair the damage they have done. Sometimes this damage can be irreversible or extremely hard to correct. Women do chemical peels, have regular botox injections, and begin skincare routines that cost a few hundred dollars.
Our skin will age better and appear healthier if we take care of our bodies from the inside out. Stay hydrated, exercise, eat well and skip the unhealthy habits that can cause damage. This takes a proactive approach.
Our hair is the same way. We must take purposeful action to nourish the hair we have if we want it to look its best. That means taking proactive steps on a regular basis to prevent our hair from thinning and falling out.
And you know what? We’re hoping that you read these words before your hair is in trouble. Maybe we can help you to prevent your hair from thinning or falling out or help you to correct the problem before it does too much damage.
These Are Our Favorite Tips to Help You Prevent Hair Loss or Reverse It
Hold on. Before you read this, you need to answer a question. Do you already have troublesome issues with your hair falling out? If so, please go see a doctor to determine the cause of your hair loss. That is your first step.
If you just want to know what you can do to be proactive when it comes to female hair loss, then please read on. We are so happy to help!
Use Caution When Chemically Processing Your Hair
If you have never had a stylist talk you into a “great idea” involving chemicals on your hair, well good for you. Not every chemical process is safe for your hair. When chemical processing is done incorrectly, your hair will pay the price for months upon months. Your hair can pretty much fry and begin to break off within hours of the process being complete. You can actually lose several inches of hair thanks to faulty chemical processing.
Using chemicals to straighten your hair, bleach it, or just to lighten your hair can damage the hair shaft. That weakens your hair and leads to the hair falling out.
If you can, stay as natural as possible when you find that your hair is thinning or falling out. Should you choose not to avoid chemical processing when your hair is in a weakened state, then you are more than likely going to make your issue even worse.
Perms and hair color can also harm your hair and scalp. Talk to your hairstylist about gentler alternatives that do not contain para-phenylenediamine, ammonia, or peroxide.
If you are a woman who regularly processes your hair, then you’ll need to be sure to take the time to add a deep-conditioning treatment to your weekly hair care routine. This will help replenish the moisture that chemicals have stripped.
Ditch the Daily Pony
If you wear your hair in a tight ponytail, braids, or cornrows on a regular basis, you probably already have breakage and may even show obvious signs of hair loss. Wearing your hair in tightly-pulled styles causes stress to your scalp, particularly to the fine baby hairs around your hairline. This is why your pony may not be slicked back very well … because you have all those short hairs around your face.
When you do wear your hair up, it helps to prevent damage if you use hair elastics that are free of any metal. The metal can get caught on your hair and rip it out. Or try a scrunchy. Those are much gentler on your hair.
Wash, Wash, Wash!
There are different schools of thought when it comes to hair washing. Some people believe that washing your hair on a daily basis keeps the scalp clean and hair follicles unclogged. This must be a very mild shampoo or cleanser.
The key is to focus the cleanser on your scalp. You do not need to wash the rest of the hair shaft. Washing this way will also help you to retain moisture.
Many people with curly hair would strongly disagree with this because it causes their hair to be dry and frizzy. This would most certainly be a circumstance requiring a shampoo formulated for curly hair that is thinning. This is a great one to try.
Pamper Your Scalp
You need blood flow and good circulation in your scalp in order for the hair follicles to remain healthy. One of the best ways to increase your scalp circulation is through a regular scalp massage. It only takes a few minutes a day to keep your scalp in great shape.
You can do it every time you wash your hair. A good scalp massage not only improves circulation for a healthier scalp but it also encourages hair growth. Massage your scalp using your fingers to make small circles all the way around your entire head. (Well, minus your face, of course!)
As a bonus, scalp massages are relaxing! This means that you can alleviate and reduce stress. Stress is another culprit when it comes to losing your hair. Plus, massaging your scalp has been known to help clear out some dandruff. It’s a really great option for preventing hair loss!
Avoid Extreme Heat
By telling you to avoid extreme heat, we are not telling you to avoid the Sahara, or visits to Arizona. Nope. We are talking about the direct application of heat to your hair. Heat and hair are not friends. The heat makes the bonds within your hair strands break and that is what produces brittle hair that ends up breaking or just completely falling out.
Now, we know you are probably not going to give up your flat irons or curling irons. So, when you are using your tools, be sure that you are mindful of the time you are leaving it on each section. Do not leave it on longer than ten seconds. If your hair starts to sizzle like water droplets on a skillet, it’s too hot for your hair and you are burning your hair.
It is best to allow your hair to air dry whenever possible. If you cannot air dry, then be sure to use a heat protectant to diminish the amount of damage the heat implements inflict on your hair.
Nutrition is Important
Take stock of your pantry … and your fridge. You want to have foods that are high in vitamin A, iron, zinc, and vitamin B12. Those vitamins will infuse your thinning hair with strength and structure. Include nuts, beans, fish, lean meats, leafy greens, sweet potatoes, and sweet peppers.
Sticking with a Mediterranean diet may be a great choice if you are prone to female pattern baldness. This food plan is naturally designed with raw veggies and fresh herbs. If traditional Mediterranean meals are eaten at least three days per week, this diet can help improve hair thinning.
Another option for nutrition is the high protein diet. The hair is made almost entirely of a protein called keratin. Incorporating high-protein foods like nuts, eggs, peas, beans, fish, turkey, chicken, and low-fat dairy can prevent hair loss.
Foods high in vitamin A alone can increase hair growth and sebum production. Sebum helps to maintain a healthy scalp so you keep more of your hair.
Another nutrient not to be ignored is iron. A lack of iron not only leaves you feeling tired, it can also lead to hair loss. A doctor may prescribe an effective iron supplement for you.
Overall, eat the rainbow to have a better shot at healthier hair. This means you need to eat a variety of fruits, veggies, and proteins to get all of the nutrients you need for healthy hair.
If you are worried about your vitamin levels, you can make an appointment with your doctor to have a blood test done. The test will tell you whether or not you are deficient.
Massage in Your Oils
While having oily hair is not the most desirable look, using oils on your hair can be quite desirable. Simply massaging coconut oil into your scalp increases blood flow to encourage the regrowth of your hair.
Coconut oil can work to prevent damage done to the hair by ultraviolet light or grooming. It also helps to bind protein in the hair with its naturally occurring lauric acid. It’s this bond that keeps the hair from breaking off from the roots.
Olive oil has been used by many cultures as a deep conditioner that prevents breakage. You can apply two tablespoons of olive oil to your hair, massage it in, let it sit for about thirty minutes, then rinse with very warm water and shampoo out.
Essential oils have oodles of benefits. Mixing lemongrass, peppermint, cypress, lavender, rosemary, or carrot seed oil with a carrier oil (like coconut, jojoba, grapeseed, or olive) may be the trick for helping your thinning hair. Each one of these oils is known for improving the scalp and encouraging hair growth. These are easy to find online or in health stores.
You can add a few drops to your carrier oil of choice and use it while you are performing a scalp massage. This promotes hair growth and improves the health of your scalp. Be sure to mix the oils together and let them sit on your scalp for a minimum of ten minutes before you wash it out.
The Use of Medical Treatments
Red light therapy is also known as low-level laser therapy. This type of therapy is used for people with hair loss due to genetics or chemotherapy. It is supposed to stimulate the epidermal stem cells. It may require several treatments before you see any results.
Platelet-rich plasma can be injected directly into your scalp in an effort to encourage hair growth in the areas where hair loss has already taken place. (Yes. This sounds painful, right?!)
To do this, you must first have your own blood drawn, and then the plasma will be separated out through a centrifuge process. It takes about four sessions of plasma injections before seeing any improvement. This can be a slightly pricey treatment!
Finasteride is better known as the much-advertised prescription pill called Propecia. It may slow hair loss and encourage brand new growth. This pill cannot be taken by women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant.
Ketoconazole is another medication known for treating hair loss that has been caused by inflammation of the hair follicles.
Corticosteroid injections are used by doctors in more extreme cases like alopecia areata. (A condition that results in the hair falling out in various patches on the head. Here is the tricky thing: the injections may encourage new hair growth, but it cannot prevent more hair loss. You can also use corticosteroids in a cream form to minimize your hair loss.
Hormone therapy is a good option for ladies in the throes of perimenopause or menopause. Those darn hormone imbalances can absolutely be responsible for hair loss. This may happen through the use of birth control or hormone replacement therapy that uses estrogen or progesterone.
Another medication that may be used is spironolactone. This is an antiandrogen medication. Androgens are known for escalating the hair loss process occurring in many women. Ladies suffering from PCOS can find this to be true (polycystic ovary syndrome.) Hormone therapy using antiandrogens reverses the effects of the androgens to minimize the loss of hair.
Be sure to check with your doctor about possible side effects before using any medical treatments.
Use Topical Hair Products for Restoring Hair Growth
There is quite a variety of products that contain the oils and minerals previously mentioned for encouraging hair growth, fighting the bacteria that contribute to loss and breakage, and stimulating blood circulation to the scalp.
If your scalp has clogged pores, you are going to find yourself losing hair. In this case, a medicated shampoo can unclog the pores by removing dead skin cells to stimulate the production and growth of healthy hair.
There are topical medications like Minoxidil that can be put on your hair as a mousse or liquid. After applying it directly to the scalp, it stimulates the hair follicles and encourages the hair to regrow in about six months.
While you’re waiting for your hair to grow, grab a thickening spray, mousse, gel, or powder to give your hair a fuller appearance.
Another topical medication to try is phenylephrine. It works by stimulating the muscles around each hair follicle. Phenylephrine causes those muscles to contract so they basically help the follicle to hang on to the hair rather than allowing that hair to fall out during brushing.
If you’re into a more natural approach, you can try this stinky little solution: crude onion juice. Mmmm hmmm. Apply it twice a day to promote hair growth through the magic of the onion’s sulfur content.
Ketoconazole shampoo can also be used to reduce inflammation that prevents hair growth. It also improves the look and strength of your thinning hair.
Take Supplements to Supply Your Body With the Nutrients it Needs
Vitamins A, B, C, D, selenium, zinc, and iron are crucial for completing the four phases of hair growth and retaining the hair. You can find several multivitamins that will supply these nutrients. Keranique makes a great multivitamin designed specifically for your hair needs.
In addition to traditional vitamins, saw palmetto and ginseng have also been shown to increase hair growth.
After All is Said and Done …
You may no longer have natural highlights and cute, bouncy curls … but you most certainly do not have to live with thinning hair and baldness. You can take steps to prevent it!