In today’s highly competitive world, stress, tension and too much work are often cited as the chief culprits for a lot of maladies and as pre-disposing causes for a number of problems like falling hair. Of course, everyone loses between 40 and 120 strands a day, depending on how much hair you have, your age and your hair’s growth cycle. Its when hair thinning becomes acute or very noticeable that you need to be concerned. Some of the other possible reasons for falling hair are:
- Poor diet
- Over-exposure to the sun
- Hormonal changes
- Amateur bleaching
- Too frequent and inexpert use of tints, rinses or other colourants.
According to a report in the WebMD, “The number of actual hair fibers you have on your head starts decreasing in your 20s and may shrink 30 to 35 percent by age 60.”
There’s another, subtler kind of thinning going on, too: “Recent research suggests that in your early 40s, the actual diameter of each strand starts to shrink, “This shrinkage is believed to be linked to hormonal changes that happen with perimenopause and menopause, as hair growth is such a hormonally driven process.”
Subtle or not, thinning is no fun. But is there anything you can do about it ? If so, what ? To fight back, first reconsider the shampoo and conditioner you use. A common impulse is to wash with a clarifying formulation (women often equate the resulting squeaky-clean feeling with bounciness). And while you do want to start with a clean slate to avoid limpness clarifying formulas can strip too much protective oil from inherently fragile thinning hair. A better choice is a keratin-enriched formulation. As hair thins, it loses some of its protein (hence the fragility).
Your styling routine should be rethought as well: “Hair can go from thick to fine over time, and will behave really differently in each state, (Fine hair, for example, is much less adept at holding a style.) So you may not get great results from your old styling regimen. Make sure the new one includes fine hair specific products.”
Another important styling step is to avoid back-combing. “While the urge is understandable with fine hair, keep in mind that you’re roughing up — and permanently damaging — the already fragile outer layer.” Try to minimise exposure to damaging heated styling tools, too. If possible, air-dry your hair most of the way, and blow-dry only to remove the last bits of dampness and to style.
If — despite the right cut, care, and styling — the thinning still bothers you, see a dermatologist. You should also see a doctor if you notice discrete patches of hair loss on your scalp, or if the thinning has been accompanied by any swelling, scarring, or severe itching. Here are some more steps, mostly encompassing ‘easy to do’ home remedies, you can take to prevent hair fall :
- Shampoo regularly. Remember, a CLEAN scalp is a HEALTHY SCALP.
- A high protein diet with plenty of fruits, green vegetables and dairy products is a must.
- Drink 10-12 glass of water everyday.
- Use a very mild shampoo and condition your hair at least twice a week. When you do, make sure you rinse out the conditioner thoroughly, otherwise residue build-up will cause your hair to look limp and dull.
- IRON is important for healthy hair and brittle, limp hair indicates an iron deficiency. Spinach has a good iron content, so make abundant ad frequent use of it in your diet,
- ZINC helps prevent hair loss and greying. Eat adequate zinc rich foods. Overweight people tend to have zinc deficiency, which is inversely related to the body mass index. Thus if you are overweight and if your hair falls too much, you may want to increase your intake of zinc containing foods. Recipes containing stone ground, wholegrain flour are rich in zinc.
- A shortfall in VITAMIN B may cause dandruff, falling hair, loss of colour and could encourage grey hair. So B group Vitamins are essential for gloss, colour and thickness.
- VITAMIN C ensures the health of capillaries supplying blood to hair follicles. Make sure your diet includes plenty of fresh fruits and veggies.
- VITAMIN E encourages hair growth. Switch from refined flours to wholemeal and wheatgerm, eggs, vegetable oil.
- COPPER stops hair from falling. Studies show that the copper content in the blood serum of people with falling hair is less than normal. Different types of alopecia (falling hair) are seen to have a deficiency of this important trace element. Include small quantities of nuts, especially cashews and peanuts, seeds, whole milk and beans in your diet as these contain minute but important amounts of copper.
Other Home Remedies
- Brahmi amla oil promotes hair growth.
- Apply almond oil on scalp and massage.
- Grind fenugreek seeds in water and apply on your scalp. Wash off after 40 minutes. Do this every morning for a month if it suits you.
- Massage warm castor oil + almond oil into your scalp gently. Wrap a hot towel around your scalp so it gets absorbed into the hair. Do this twice a week for healthy, shiny hair.
- Add 2-3 drops of honey to a glass of water and use this as the last rinse after shampooing.
Quick Hair Care Conditioner
Mix 1 egg, 2 tbs castor oil, 1 tsp vinegar and 1 tsp glycerine. Beat until frothy and massage lightly into your scalp. Wrap your head in a hot towel, steam, then wash off. This conditioner makes hair thicker, shiny, soft and manageable.