During adolescence and adulthood, a hairstyle becomes part of your personal identity. As such, it can be understandably disheartening when the texture and color of hair start to change, due to hormones, aging, or other factors, and you start to notice thinning and hair loss.
You may mistakenly believe there’s nothing you can do to stop or reverse hair loss, but you should know that you don’t have to suffer with this embarrassing condition. Not only are there a range of treatment options to help increase hair growth and thickness, but when you take good care of your scalp, you could minimize hair loss.
Whether you’re worried about hereditary hair loss, you’ve experienced thinning due to hormonal shifts or high stress, or you’re simply interested in keeping your scalp as healthy as possible, here are a few tips and tricks for greater scalp health that could lead to stronger hair and improved growth.
Turn to Technology
Thinning hair is a problem that affects men and women alike, which is probably why technology has advanced to meet the demand for hair loss treatment. With low-level light therapy (LLLT), you can improve cellular respiration and stimulate hair follicles to improve hair strength, thickness, and growth. With an FDA-cleared laser cap, you could start to see improvement within just 30 days, and considerable improvement within a few months when you wear it for just 30 minutes every other day.
Pay Attention to Scalp Health
The first thing you need to do is stop treating your hair like it’s not going anywhere. While some lucky adults enjoy a thick, full head of hair well into their senior years, plenty of us are likely to see thinning due to factors like genetics, hormonal changes, illness, and damage from environmental factors or using the wrong products.
One of the best ways to nip hair loss in the bud is to pay attention to the health of your scalp and hair so you can take immediate action when changes start to occur. It’s always easier to prevent hair loss than reverse it, so if you start to notice increased dryness or oil on your scalp, or hair seems weaker, thinner, or patchier than it once was, be sure to seek professional help to diagnose potential problems so you can start treatment as soon as possible.
Minimize Heat and Chemical Damage
It’s a fact of modern life that we’re inundated with chemicals. Even if you shy away from color treatments, perms, hair straighteners, and the like, your shampoo, conditioner, and other hair products could contain all manner of chemical ingredients that are harmful to your hair and scalp. When you add in daily heat treatments with a blow dryer and curling or straightening iron, it’s no wonder your hair is frizzy and your scalp is itchy and dry.
Unfortunately, the end result can be breakage, thinning, and hair loss. How can you combat these outcomes without going au naturel where your hair is concerned? Cut down on chemical and heat treatments as much as possible.
If you cannot live without hair dye, for example, consider natural alternatives like henna or try demi-permanent color instead of permanent dye. When you choose shampoos, conditioners, and styling products, look for products that are suitable for your hair type (oily, normal, or dry) and try to avoid the most harmful ingredients like sulfates, as well as ingredients like silicone that require substantially more washing to remove.
As for heat treatment, look for tools that do less harm to your hair and scalp. Choose a blow dryer that offers a cool setting and consider styling tools in ceramic or tourmaline. Make sure to use heat protective products, as well, to minimize drying, breakage, and other harm.
Be Wary of Breakage
Heat and chemicals aren’t the only things that cause breakage and damage. You can also harm your hair with overzealous tugging. When you put too much tension on hair, it can break near the scalp, leading to fuzz around the hairline and splits that go all the way to the root, causing lasting damage and the appearance of thinning.
There are a few simple tricks to stop the tugging. For starters, never brush wet hair, and opt for a wide-tooth comb instead of a brush. As for pulling your hair back in a pony or stuffing it under a hat, try not to. If you must, never do it wet, avoid rubber bands, and try not to pull too tightly.
Visit a Trichologist
If your efforts aren’t delivering the healthier scalp and hair you crave, you may need professional help, and this is where a trichologist, or scalp and hair specialist, comes in. With an examination, review of your medical history, and testing, this doctor can pinpoint the cause of your hair woes and help you get on track for a healthy scalp and, in some cases, improved hair growth.