Whether you’re in your late 20s or early 60s, or somewhere in between, hair loss may affect you. While many assume that hair loss primarily happens to older men, this phenomenon is actually a result of hair growth that slows as we age. That means that hair loss and hair thinning can happen to both men and women of just about any age.
Roughly 40% of men will have noticeable hair loss by age 35, and about 40% of women will have visible hair loss by age 40. However, there is hope: the best way to combat hair loss or thinning is to address and diagnose the issue as early as possible.
Although some hair loss is genetic, there are a variety of bad habits that we can control which contribute to hair thinning.
If you are eating poorly, your whole body suffers- including the hair on your head. Extreme dieting, weight loss, and low iron levels can cause hair to fall out or growth to slow. For both men and women, it’s important to consume food from the four categories that provide your body with the optimal environment for healthy hair growth: Protein, Vitamin C, Iron/Zinc, and Fat- but only the right kinds. Bonus: these foods are also fantastic for the rest of your body, too!
Physical or emotional: stress of any kind can have a huge impact on thinning hair. As our bodies are trying to allocate resources to combat stress in other areas, our scalp often gets neglected. If your sleep pattern, appetite, or hormones are out of whack, it’s likely that your hair will be thinning, too. Unfortunately, our stress can often double once we notice our hair loss. The best way to combat this bad habit is find specific techniques that work for you. Meditation, mindfulness, or therapy can help- just to name a few.
A variety of prescription drugs can also wreak havoc on your head. Just as many women experience hair loss after pregnancy, women who are on birth control with high progesterone levels (or have just gotten off of it) may also experience hair loss. Other medications like blood thinners, methotrexate (used for rheumatic conditions), lithium (for bipolar disorder), nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) including ibuprofen, and even some antidepressants can cause hair loss. If you determine that your medication is the culprit, your doctor should be able to lower the dose or switch you another medication.
Using your straightener too much, and even your hair dryer on its hottest setting, can spell trouble for your strands. Tight hairstyles- like high ponytails, buns, or braids- can also make your hair more susceptible to damage and, thus, thinning. If you can’t or don’t want to keep your hair down, ensure that your ponytail isn’t too tight. Opt for softer-hold styling products, NOT “all day mega holds,” and try using the “cool” setting on the hairdryer.
Keeping your scalp healthy keeps your hair healthy, too. Make sure you’re washing your hair every few days, at minimum. If your scalp itches, treat it with a shampoo that contains selenium, zinc pyrithione, or tea tree oil: all of which will cut down on hair loss induced by frequent itching. And don’t skip conditioner, as this can leave your hair dehydrated, brittle, and damaged.
Are you doing everything to minimize hair loss, now and later in life? Contact us today at 615-475-5307 to schedule your consultation with Nashville Hair Clinic.