A hairy situation: preventing hair loss
Tuesday, November 9, 2021
We all have hair, and a lot of us spend time styling, combing or shaving it. However, nearly all of us want to keep the hair on our head for as long as possible. This article isn’t just for the genetically unfortunate. Everybody loses some hair eventually. It’s a natural part of the hair growth cycle.
The anagen phase is when hair grows, and it makes up roughly 85% to 90% of the hair on our head. The catagen phase is when hair follicles shrink before transitioning to the third and final phase. The telogen phase takes about two to four months, and is when hair falls out naturally and our head begins preparing for the next growth cycle.
Unnatural hair loss affects millions of men and women worldwide and can be caused by certain medications like chemotherapy. Irregular hair loss can occur during the telogen phase and is caused by major stress or sudden changes in hormone levels. Traumatic hair loss, or alopecia, can be caused by chemical bleaching or coloring and hairdressing techniques that pull hair tightly or expose the scalp to extreme heat or twisting. According to the American Hair Loss Association, about 85% of men and over 50% of women deal with genetic hair loss before the age of 50.
There are a multitude of hair loss prevention tips and solutions on the market that sometimes over-promise results. Shampoo is designed to eliminate dirt and excess oil, but many chemicals in shampoos are harsh and strip your hair of essential natural oil and fatty acids that keep your hair strong. Read the ingredients in your shampoo and find one that’s close to all-natural or has the least amount of ingredients. Shampoo with Biotin, which is involved in fatty acid synthesis, can help extend your hair’s life and promote a healthy scalp.
Soft brushes made from natural fibers promote healthy sebum oil levels in your hair. Lauric acid found in coconut oil helps bind protein in hair and can help protect from ultraviolet light (UV), so consider trying a coconut oil scalp massage. There are a host of other over-the-counter hair treatment medications to choose from, but not all are the same. Talk to your doctor for recommendations on what is safe and helpful.