Ask anyone what is the one hair problem they struggle with and chances are that a good majority will say it is hair fall or hair loss. So let us take a look at how you can take better care of your hair and prevent hairfall, once and for all!
First of all, it is important to understand that hairfall is absolutely normal. On an average, we lose 50 to 100 strands a day. The reason you may not notice this is that new hair replaces the fallen one rather quickly. The trouble begins when the rate of hair fall becomes excessive.
Now, hair fall or hair loss can be of several types, depending on where you are losing your hair from:
- Gradual thinning: This is simply a result of ageing. As we age, our rate of hair growth reduces and strands become thinner, as their protein-content begins to deplete. Many hair follicles also stop producing new hair strands.
- Bald spots: Bald spots or patchiness is a condition known as Alopecia Areata. In such a situation, hair fall is observed in a particular region or patch.
First things first. We need to understand the root of the problem to treat it properly. Why are you experiencing hairfall or hair loss? There could be plenty of reasons:
What we eat often reflects on our skin and hair. Certain foods do wonders for your hair health such as eggs, berries, spinach, fish, nuts, and more. To know more about how diet can affect your skin and hair, head over to our blog.
Two things are important - sleeping on time and sleeping enough. An irregular sleep schedule is bad for your skin, hair, and overall health and well being. Try to get a good night’s sleep of at least 7 to 8 hours.
Smoking can really cause hair loss. The chemicals in your cigarette shrink blood vessels and reduce the flow of oxygen and take a toll on the circulation in your body. This affects your hair follicles that need oxygen, nutrients, and minerals(received through the blood) to produce healthy hair. Smoking also compromises your immune system, making your scalp - among other things - more susceptible to a bacterial or fungal infection.
Just like our skin, our hair needs moisture. Drinking enough water is just as important as using hydrating and moisturising products. Dry hair tends to become brittle and breaks easily as opposed to nourished and moisturised hair.
When the body and mind are under stress things such as hairfall and breakouts tend to become common occurrences.
6. Excessive Styling
Excessive heat styling tools can severely damage the hair, making it dry and brittle. Similarly, if you go too light with your hair colour, the pigments severely damage the hair strands as well, leading to hair fall.
7. Avoid hard water
Hard water contains a lot of minerals such as calcium and magnesium. These tend to form a film on the hair and do not allow moisture to seep in easily. This makes the hair dry, brittle, and prone to breakage.
8. Harsh Ingredients
Certain shampoos may contain harsh ingredients such as SLS that strip away moisture from your hair, making it dry, brittle and prone to hair fall
9. Sun Damage
UVA and UVB rays can damage your hair just as much as they do your skin. This damage can result in split ends, brittleness, discoloration, thinning, and frizziness.
Hair fall is a natural outcome of aging. As we age, the rate of hair growth slows down. Hair strands also become thinner and less pigmented (this is due to the depletion of melanin). Many hair follicles also stop producing new hair strands.
Pregnancy can impact hair growth and hairfall. Most women tend to experience hair loss after childbirth(approximately three months after childbirth) that does not cause any baldness.
This is because, during pregnancy, oestrogen levels are high and the hair becomes thicker and healthier. After childbirth, the oestrogen levels drop down to normal and hair fall occurs, particularly around the hairline and temple area. This is not something one needs to worry about as the excessive hair fall stops on its own.
12. Other hormonal changes
With hormonal changes such as menopause, or even during menstruation, you may experience changes in your skin and hair.
13. Medication and Medical Conditions
Certain medical conditions or medication may also trigger hairfall. In such a case, you must consult your physician about it. If you are experiencing an Iron deficiency or have lost a lot of weight, you may experience increased hair fall as well.
Whether it is ageing, hairfall, hair greying, or hair growth, our genes play a huge role in how things turn out to be.
How to Manage it?
Do's and don'ts
1. Eat a healthy diet
Your stomach plays a big role in the health of your skin and hair. So eat a healthy and balanced diet and try to avoid junk food.
2. Don't tie your hair too tightly
That tight bun may look great but it can really damage your hair if you do it everyday. Silk scrunchies and hair bands also reduce the friction between strands and help reduce hair fall.
3. Braid your hair and sleep
Waking up with a tangled mane is a problem and the best way to avoid it is to braid your hair and sleep.
4. Take some time off
Stress can really affect your body and it is important to pay attention to your mental health. If you feel too overworked, take some time off and start including practices such as yoga and meditation in your daily routine.
5. Don't be rough with your hair
Hair tends to break easily so try to gently massage products into your hair - be it an oil or pre-shampoo mask on dry hair or a shampoo on wet hair. You may be tempted to give your scalp a nice rub but we urge you to resist that temptation.
6. Don't wash your hair with hot water
Since we are on the topic of being gentle with your hair, we would also like to point out that washing your hair with hot water - as nice as it may feel - is a bad idea; especially if you are struggling with hair fall or an itchy scalp. Do not go too hot or too cold. Lukewarm water is the best. This also holds true for your body!
7. Use the right shampoo
Use a shampoo that addresses your hair concerns and works well for your scalp and hair type. Here’s our guide to choosing the right shampoo for your hair type and concerns.
A special routine for hair fall
Benefit: This lightweight oil is a great option if you are struggling with hairfall. Infused with a blend of potent antioxidants like Hibiscus and Curry Leaves, this hair oil strengthens your hair follicles and effectively work to reduce and prevent hair loss.
How to use: Gently massage the oil onto your scalp. If the oil is cold, you can warm it up. Leave it on for an hour or overnight. You can read more about oiling your hair on our blog.
How often to use: Use it 1 to 2 times a week.
2. Pre-Shampoo Mask: Juicy Chemistry Sacha Inchi, Argan & Mango Butter Hair Mask
Benefit: This mask nourishes and moisturises the scalp and hair follicles, promoting hair and scalp health. Sacha Inchi is rich in omega 3 fatty acids and helps balance and nourish the scalp. Plant oils such as Argan and Castor oils are rich in fatty acids and vitamins.
How to use: Take a few pumps of the mask and gently massage onto the scalp. Rinse after 30 minutes. During the winter, the mask may freeze due to the natural nature of its ingredients. If that happens, partially submerge the bottle in hot water for 10 to 15 minutes.
How often to use: Use 1 to 2 times a week.
3. Shampoo: Switch Fix Acai of Relief Shampoo Bar
Benefit: Acai Berries are a rich source of antioxidants and help nourish the scalp and hair follicles. Onion extract has a high sulphur content that helps strengthen the hair and prevent hair thinning.
How to use: Slide the shampoo bar from root to tip. Lather well and rinse thoroughly. To make the bar last longer, keep it in a well-drained dish.
How often to use: On average, you should shampoo your hair 2 to 3 times a week though.
4. Post-Shampoo Mask: Flawsome Kinky Berries Moisturising & Strengthening Hair Mask
Benefit: This Flawsome mask is packed with nourishing and moisturising plant oils such as Argan and Coconut oils that are rich in vitamins and essential fatty acids. It also contains berry extracts that are rich in antioxidants and protect the hair from oxidative damage.
How to use: After shampooing, gently squeeze out excess hair. Apply the conditioner to the lengths and ends of the hair. Leave on for 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse well after.
How often to use: Use a hair mask 1 to 2 times a week only.
5. Conditioner: Faith in Nature Avocado Conditioner
Benefit: Avocado oil is rich in essential fatty acids and antioxidant vitamin E which protects and nourishes the hair. Sunflower Seed Oil is also nourishing and moisturising for the hair. To read more about conditioners, head over to our blog.
How to use: After shampooing and masking, apply the conditioner to the lengths and ends of the hair. Leave on for 5 minutes and rinse well.
How often to use: Use every time you shampoo.
6. Leave-in Conditioner: For8 Black Rice Leave-in Conditioner
Benefit: This leave-in conditioner contains a nourishing blend of ingredients such as Coconut, Avocado, and Shea Butter that soften and nourish the hair. Amla extract is rich in vitamin C and repairs damaged hair follicles while protecting against oxidative damage. Black Rice extract helps strengthen the hair.
How to use: Apply to damp towel-dried hair as the last step of your hair care routine.
How often to use: Use after every shampoo.
Hair fall is something we all struggle with and while it is largely unavoidable there is a lot that we can do to reduce it. Things such as eating a balanced diet, drinking water, not smoking, and following a specialised hair care routine go a long way in making a big difference. All these points may seem insignificant on their own, combined they are quite impactful.
- Gauri Sindhu