My husband likes to joke that I shed more than our dog. When I find clumps of hair in the shower drain or scattered all over my bathroom floor, I sometimes wonder if he’s right. According to Board Certified Dermatologist, Dr. Sam Ellis, it’s normal to lose 50-200 hairs per day. Hair is constantly cycling through different stages of growth and shed. Ellis says, “It would be abnormal if you didn’t lose any hair every day. The concern is when the amount of shedding differs vastly from the baseline.” There are plenty of completely normal reasons for hair shedding. It isn’t until you start noticing a wider part on your scalp—or your hair comes out easily with just gentle pressure—that you should be really concerned. In most cases, we can take care of it ourselves by making some changes at home. Listed below are 5 simple ways you can stop shedding and hair loss.
What Causes Hair Shedding?
There can be a number of reasons for hair shed. The most common causes in women are genetics, metabolic and hormonal changes, environmental factors, and autoimmune conditions. Many women commonly experience hair shedding, thanks to stress and lack of nutrients like vitamins B, D, and zinc. According to Dr. Ellis, hormonal changes due to menopause can affect the way hair grows by shortening the growth part of the hair cycle, leading to increased fall. Another cause is excess pulling on hair follicles thanks to hairstyles like ponytails, buns, hair extensions, braids, and weaves. Your hair dryer, flat iron, or curling iron could be putting your hair at risk due to the excessive heat. So, basically, it’s important to protect your hair while styling. If your hair shedding is severe, you may want to visit a dermatologist to assess—no pun intended—the root cause.
For 10 life-changing secrets for thicker hair, check out this video where Erin discusses everything from root touch-up spray to supplements to collagen. She also shares some chic, simple and quick hairstyles here. Plus, she shares 30+ beauty tips (including hair tips) in this post.
Please share with us your experiences with shedding in the comments below! Don’t forget you can sign up for the newsletter to take advantage of some amazing resources here including a PDF with 20+ beauty tips to look younger! Thanks for reading!
#1 | Get the Right Nutrition
Eating a diet with plenty of vegetables, healthy fats, and protein is essential for healthy hair. Spinach, rich in iron, helps carry the red blood cells to your scalp to promote new hair growth. Food full of vitamin C helps produce collagen, which keeps hair follicles healthy. Seeds, like flax or chia, are full of omega-3 fatty acids which keep hair healthy while promoting new hair growth. I was surprised to learn from Dr. Ellis that biotin has not been shown to help with hair loss unless you’re biotin deficient. These supplements have proven and measurable success stories. I can honestly say that I’ve personally seen a difference in my hair growth since I started incorporating Sunwarrior Collagen into my diet.
If you’re concerned about shedding, a tight ponytail is definitely not helping. This can stress follicles and lead to increased hair fall. The American Academy of Dermatology says that you can help prevent early hair loss by not pulling your hair back too tightly. Instead, try wearing a looser style. Loosen your bun or your braids and try to change up your hairstyle when you can. Alternating styles not only gives you a new look, but also gives your hair some time to recover. For some quick and easy hairstyles to look chic in a hurry, you'll definitely want to watch Erin's video linked above. These are some helpful, gentle styling tools.
Getting at least seven to eight hours of sleep is important for the body and mind to regenerate. The hormone that helps regulate your sleep cycle, melatonin, has also been proven to promote hair growth, both when applied topically and when you get it naturally from sleep. Not only is getting enough rest vital to helping your hair grow, but it can also help keep your hair from getting super oily. When you lose sleep, your stress levels can rise, leading to decreased hair growth and increased oil production. My best friend swears by melatonin, and my mother always puts a couple of drops of lavender on her pillow before bed.
One of the best preventative measures you can take against hair shedding is using the right shampoo to help retain the strength and vitality of the hair follicle. Choosing shampoos with natural hair-stimulating ingredients can make a world of difference. A 2015 study comparing the effects of rosemary oil vs. Minoxidil found that rosemary oil was just as effective in treating Genetic Alopecia, a common cause of hair loss. A different study in 2014 found that peppermint oil sped up the hair growth process. Researchers believe that peppermint oil helps increase blood flow, which stimulates hair growth. These shampoos are chock full of these anti-inflammatory ingredients. I’m currently testing out the Aveeno shampoo myself. It smells wonderful!
Perhaps the most popular over-the-counter treatment for hair loss is Minoxidil. Applied directly to the scalp, it’s thought to work by dilating blood vessels to improve circulation to the scalp. The FDA has also cleared low-level laser therapy caps to stimulate and renew cells within the hair follicle for thicker, healthier hair. Dr. Ellis says that there is real data to support the efficacy of this treatment in aiding hair growth. The trick, however, is to continue to use it daily and not slack once you see desired results.
Amit is a loyal subscriber turned contributor from Miami, where she founded and edited an award-winning lifestyle magazine for over 20 years. The loves of her life are her husband and their two fiercely independent and creative kids. She has been known, however, to proclaim that her favorite child is their Shiba Inu, Zac.
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