With so much confusion around what is and isn’t good for your hair these days we thought this week we’d look at the top habits that contribute to hair thinning and hair loss and some of them may even surprise you!
Bad habit: Not shampooing often enough
Shampooing is so incredibly important to maintaining your hair and scalps health. Your scalp is just like the rest of your skin and needs to be cleaned and looked after and the way to keep it healthy is by shampooing frequently. Regular shampooing ensures your hair grows at an optimal rate and helps avoid thinning.
How often you should wash varies from person to person depending on how oily your scalp is. Most people should aim to wash their hair every other day. If you leave your hair too long between washes then oils and pollutants can build up on the scalp leading to inflammation and dandruff. This inflammation can disturb hair growth while dandruff can cause itchiness…which leads to scratching… which leads to breakage (you get the picture)
Bad habit: Shampooing too often
This can be an issue for people with dry or brittle hair as frequent shampooing can lead to breakage, especially if they use a shampoo that is drying on their scalp or hair follicles.
For anyone with dry, brittle, or fragile hair look to use a moisturising shampoo and good conditioner as this can help prevent breakage which contributes to thinning hair.
Bad habit: Treating your tresses too roughly
For everything you do to your hair you want to do it gently. Don’t shampoo aggressively but gently massaging your scalp. Condition your hair gently (avoiding those roots!) and use a wide-too comb or Tangle Teezer for detangling. The less pull there is on your hair the better condition it will be in.
And if you’ve gotten into the habit of brushing your hair vigorously in the morning and at night—don’t. There’s a really old rumour that Queen Victoria brushed her hair at least a hundred times before bed which would have been so detrimental to her tresses! Ideally you only want to brush your hair when it needs it. Detangle carefully working your way in sections from the ends up rather than starting at the top and potentially ripping out bits of hair as you brush.
And talking of brushing…
Bad habit: Using the wrong brush
With so many different types of hair brushes and styling brushes it’s hard to tell which ones are actually good for your hair and which ones do more harm than help. The best brushes are ones that have rounded plastic prongs, ideally with a vented plastic base so you don’t end up with a load of concentrated heat when you style your hair. Avoid the expensive (but popular) boar bristle brushes as these are really damaging to your hair follicles and skip any metal brushes too as these can get very hot when heat styling.
Plastic brushes tend to be less expensive than metal or boar bristle, and they’re the most hair-friendly option so it’s a win win!
Bad habit: Not getting frequent trims
Anyone that wants to grow their hair longer often stops getting regular trims to help speed up the process. But sadly this is not the best strategy for thick, healthy hair growth. When people stop getting haircuts, it can lead to damage and breakage as you stop maintaining your hairs overall condition.
If you are looking to grow your hair you want to go every eight to ten weeks for a trim, even if it’s just a minimal cut to get rid of any split ends – hairstylists call this a dusting and it can help your hair grow healthier and avoid thinning hair.
Bad habit: Letting stress get out of control
Stress can have a major impact on our overall health and wellbeing and sadly very much our hair too. This is often why when we are in a stressful situation we find our hair falls out more than normal. Studies have also shown that people that have a more stressful life have thinner hair. Stress actually raises the cortisol levels in your body which can lead to hair shedding so it’s really important to manage stress where you can such as with exercise, yoga, meditation or simply taking time out when needed.
If you do find your stress levels are high and are unsure how best to manage it it’s always worth having a conversation with your GP / Occupational Health if it’s work related, or even just a friend.
Bad habit: Skipping Your Breakfast
Breakfast is still the most important meal of the day when it comes to your hair. You see everything you eat at breakfast goes to fuel your body’s essential systems. And while many people when asked would consider they have a good diet they’d also admit they don’t have enough time in the mornings and often rush out without breakfast. Because hair isn’t classed as an essential system by your body (as in keeping your scalp healthy isn’t an issue of life or death) it only receives nutrients after the major organs have had their fill. By eating a good breakfast you are supplying your major organs with the nutrients they need and thus ensuring there will be spare to go to maintaining your hair and scalp.
Bad habit: Pulling your hair tight
We all love a top knot / bun / ponytail but all of them can lead to thinning hair and hair loss over time. The constant tension can damage your hair follicles, leading to a condition called traction alopecia. So much so that you can actually see scarring at the hairline with people who’ve worn tight hairstyles from an early age. If you do need to tie your hair back consider investing in a hair friendly tie or clip or even a soft scrunchie (yes these are absolutely back in fashion!!). Or try a long braid instead of piling everything tightly on top of your head. Trust us your hair and scalp will thank you for it
So there you have it our top bad habits that contribute to thinning hair and even hair loss! If you found these tips helpful or have a personal story about your own hair we’d love to hear from you!
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