Tight hairstyles can damage hair follicles, leading to hair loss
Did you know that we have about 120,000 to 150,000 hair follicles on our scalp when we are born?
Each of these is able to produce hair for an average of 25 cycles through our entire life when the hair follicles are kept healthy and not damaged.
For example, hair fall when you are shampooing or combing is to be expected. Losing about 50 to 100 strands of hair a day is totally normal.
However, a change in hormones, improper diet, stress, genetics, vitamin deficiencies, illness, bleaching and perming can cause hair thinning.
Diseases more common to women, such as thyroid disease, autoimmune illness, iron deficiency and lupus, are culprits that contribute to hair loss.
Here is what to look out for and what you can do to combat the issue:
SIGNS OF HAIR THINNING
As hair thinning occurs gradually, a decrease in hair volume is generally tricky to spot because we regularly touch our hair each time we shampoo.
For those with longer hair, pay attention to the thickness of your ponytail or hair bun – if your ponytail is getting thinner or bun is getting smaller, you might be facing thinning hair.
As most thinning hair occurs first around the crown of your head, you might notice a receding hairline based on how much larger your forehead appears to be. In addition, you might also notice a widened hair parting with more visible scalp.
A number of reasons could lead to this, including frequent combing and excessive pressure on your scalp from long hours of tying your hair up into a tight ponytail or hair bun.
One foolproof way is to notice if there is an increased or excessive shedding of hair – like more hair on your comb, in the shower, or your pillowcase.
There are many lifestyle changes you can make and bad habits you can break to avoid some preventable types of hair loss.
Avoid tight hairstyles such as braids, buns or ponytails that could tug at the hair follicles over long periods of time, gradually weakening and damaging them.
You should also use a special detangling comb that is wide-toothed as it is less likely to yank at your hair and cause breakage and damage to hair follicles.
Heat styling tools and chemical processes are harsh treatments and can also affect the health of your scalp and hair follicles, so keep the use of them to a minimum.
Lastly, your scalp is just like the skin on your face. While you apply sunscreen on your face conscientiously, how often do you care for your scalp?
Use an umbrella when outdoors. If possible, apply a protective mist on your hair and scalp to shield it from harmful ultraviolet rays and free radicals.
SEEK PROFESSIONAL HELP
If thinning hair is already a problem, then the above prevention tips are not going to cut it anymore.
Whether you are seeking the advice of a trichologist or a doctor, there are many topical products like cleansers and serums as well as clinical laser scalp treatments that are designed to restore scalp health for fuller and healthier hair.
This article first appeared on Her World Online (www.HerWorld.com)
DEBBY KWONG & JOYCE CHEO. “Loosen up to Prevent Losing Your Hair.” The New Paper, 18 Sept. 2018, 0600 am, www.tnp.sg/lifestyle/health/loosen-prevent-losing-your-hair.