The reasons behind hair loss often come down to the age-old question of nature v. nurture. Most hair loss cases are caused by nature, that is, the genes you were born with. If you suffer from pattern baldness or androgenetic alopecia, your genetics are to blame. Sometimes, however, it is the way we nurture our hair – the styles we wear and the products we use – that can inadvertently weaken our follicles and lead to hair shedding and loss.
We all want our hair to look good, but not at the expense of our hair health. Don’t be your own worst enemy and try to avoid the following damaging hair care practices:
Brushing and Styling Wet Hair
Your hair is at its most vulnerable and more prone to damage when it is wet. Combing or brushing your hair while wet can stretch and break your hair follicles. Towel-dry your hair and wait a little bit before styling or blow-drying your hair.
Using Too Much Heat
Blow dryers and flat irons may help you style and dry your hair, but too much heat is far from helpful. If your flat iron is too hot, it will make your hair follicles brittle and dry, increasing the likelihood of hair breakage. Similarly, turn down the heat on your hairdryer or attach a diffuser to prevent frying your follicles.
Wearing Tight Hairstyles
Traction alopecia is a hair loss condition that can develop if you subject your hair to constant tension and strain because of how you style and wear it. When you keep stretching your follicles to their breaking point, they will, in fact, break. Once they do so, they will eventually die and fall out. Avoid wearing unnecessarily tight pigtails, braids, or ponytails for extended periods or hairstyles that keep hair tightly wound for a prolonged time.
Letting Product Buildup
Gels, hairspray, mousse, and other styling products are not inherently damaging and do not on their own contribute to hair loss. But leaving product in your hair too long without washing it out can cause follicular damage, which could lead to hair shedding. The key to safely using styling products is to wash your hair regularly to prevent styling products from contributing to any long-term buildup of sebum-based plaque, which could lead to a condition called scalp folliculitis. Over time, the irritation that is the most prominent symptom of folliculitis may make it impossible for the hair follicle to support a normal hair growth cycle. This irritation can become so acute that it damages the hair follicle permanently.
How To Detect Hair Loss
Detecting hair loss is a crucial aspect of maintaining healthy locks. To effectively identify signs of hair loss, start by paying close attention to your hairbrush or shower drain for an increased amount of shedding. Additionally, examine your scalp for widening part lines, thinning areas, or receding hairlines. Monitoring these changes over time can help you determine if you’re experiencing hair loss. It’s also wise to consult with a dermatologist or a hair specialist who can provide a professional evaluation and recommend personalized treatments to address any concerns about hair loss. Early detection and proactive measures are key to preserving your hair’s vitality and fullness.
Schedule an Appointment for a Hair Loss Evaluation Today
While avoiding bad hair care and styling behaviors can help you prevent follicle damage and reduce the chances of avoidable hair loss, restoring any hair you’ve already lost may require treatment by a hair loss physician. At the Miami Hair Institute, we know how to help men and women restore their hair no matter the underlying cause of their hair loss.
To schedule your personalized hair loss evaluation, contact us online or call our office directly at 305-925-0222.