Suddenly finding clumps of hair on your pillow in the morning or clogging up the shower drain can be alarming. It signifies that something is going wrong. Hair loss isn’t just from aging—there are some bad habits that can affect the condition of your hair. An average person loses about 50-100 hair each day. However, if your hair loss is excessive then there are chances that your behavior is the culprit.
Many aspects of our lifestyle from what we eat to how we style our hair affects the condition of the hair. While hair loss may be the last thing on your mind right now, the reality is, one day almost all of us will experience thinning hair. In some instances, people within thinning hair can do nothing but wait when the condition is caused due to some medication or infection. However, when it comes to faulty lifestyle, one can rectify their habit in order to save those valuable tresses.
Have a look on the habits that most of us have which can take a toll on the scalp and hair condition. Once you avoid these habits, you can have a healthy head of hair.
Habit #1 – Taking steamy showers
No matter how relaxing they may be, those hot steamy showers aren’t just drying out your skin, they’re also damaging your hair follicles. Hot water dehydrates the scalp and strands leading to dry, brittle hair that’s more prone to snap and fall out. Not only are you washing away your hair’s protective oils, but the heat throws your scalp’s pores into overdrive to keep up with oil production, which can damage the hair’s root and lead to additional shedding.
Solution – Take the temp down a few degrees. Opt for a warm shower, and try to rinse hair with the coolest temperature possible.
Habit #2 – Tying Tight Ponytails
If you find yourself constantly pulling your hair back in a tight bun or ponytail, then these styles may actually damage the hair follicles. It can also develop a condition called traction alopecia. That means no slicked back ponytails, super tight buns or braids. Traction over long periods of time can lead to inflammation of the root of the hair and ultimately hair loss.
Solution – Try changing your hairstyle, never use rubber bands to tie hair as they cause breakage. If you really want one, try fabric ones instead, and wear ponytails or buns in different areas of the scalp. For example, alternate between wearing a high and low ponytail. This won’t stress a particular area of the scalp that may loose the follicles.
Habit #3 – Too much blow drying
Too much of anything is bad—and this certainly applies to hair stylers and hair products. Nowadays, everyone right from a teenager to a working professional relies extensively on blow drying. We have almost given up on air-drying technique which is far safer than the styling tools. Too much of blow drying wreck havoc on your tresses and leaves you with dry hair. Hair care experts suggest that very high heat from blow dryers can lead to breakage, making the hair more prone to falling out.
Solution – Try your best to limit your use of blow dryers, straighteners, and curling irons. Apart from emergencies, always opt for air-drying technique to keep your hair lively.
Habit #4 – Brushing wet hair
This is one of the most common mistake that most of us make. We hop out of the shower and run a brush through our damp strands to untangle. This is a big NO-NO. Brushing wet hair can cause breakage since wet hair are more delicate. Many individuals who brush right after shower and do not have the patience to wait until the hair gets semi-dry, unfortunately, faces thinning of hair earlier than others. Trying to smooth the tangles harshly can make the hair weak and eventually fall out causing thinning hair.
Solution – Let the hair dry or semi-dry before brushing. If you can’t, use a comb on wet hair instead of a brush, and be gentle. Make sure you use wide toothed comb in order to detangle your tresses.
Habit #5: Eating the wrong foods
They say, ‘what you eat in private, is what you show in public.’ Exactly, a healthy, balanced diet is the key to everything, including healthy hair. Nowadays, people have improper eating habits which affects not only their health, but also the condition of their hair. A diet that not high enough in iron or protein can lead to hair loss. Those with eating disorders and those who crash diet often experience hair loss. If poor diet is your issue, you can usually reverse hair loss by balancing your food intake.
Solution – Include protein rich food in your diet like meat, eggs, fish, nuts, beans, and seeds; add iron to your diet with foods like lentils, green foods like spinach and other veggies, cereals fortified with iron, clams, and oysters. For beautiful hair from the inside out, be sure to eat a well-balanced diet consisting of food rich in iron, proteins, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids and biotin.
Habit #6: Messing with hormones
Did you know that going on and off birth control pills disrupts the body’s natural hormonal balance in both directions? Starting pills leads to thinner hair, while stopping others can have the same effect. People forget that these pills can have extremely negative effects on their body as well as hair if consumed without proper medical intervention.
Solution – Consult carefully with your doctor before starting a new birth control pill if you already have thin hair and don’t want to make it worse.
Habit #7 – Exposing the tresses to the sun
We all enjoy long beach walks and having a relaxing time at the sea. However, we often forget that the UV rays from the sun can damage our bonds and weaken strands as well. Over exposure to sun can damage your hair more than you can think.
Solution – Before taking the dip or having a walk at a beach, remember to wear a hat or use a quality SPF spray on your locks. When hair is exposed to the sun over a prolonged period of time, it dries it out, making it more prone to breakage.
Habit #8 – Leading a stressful life
Believe it or not, stress is one of the major causes of hair loss. It is observed that if an individual experiences a traumatic event, like a divorce, then this stress may cause hair loss. Extreme emotional stress like bankruptcy, death of a beloved or breakup can knock emotions out and change the cycle of the hair. Stress triggered hair loss is called telogen effluvium, which can also be caused by infections, major surgery, or childbirth.
Solution – Leading a stress-free life may seem impossible but by indulging in fun activities can reduce the stress levels extensively. Professionals suggest that people should go for walks, running, yoga, meditation, cycling and exercising to have some fun time. Reading books and listening to music are added benefits.
Habit #9 Using heat styling products frequently
Excessive use of heat styling products like irons, curlers and straighteners not only damage your hair strands, but also dry them out and under the smooth cuticle that causes a loss of sheen. It also can damage your hair follicles making them less able to grow healthy hair long term. So no more sitting under dryers, ladies! If you must use a hair dryer, only dry the middle third of the shaft, avoiding heat on your roots and tips.
Solution – Limit your hair styling products from every day to occasionally.
Habit #10 Drinking and Smoking excessively
If you can’t give up on drinking and smoking, then be prepared to give up on your tresses. No, we can’t afford to. Having great hair is what we all desire for and just the thought of losing them can give you sleepless nights. The chances of thinning hair are higher among people who drink and smoke excessively than non-smokers and drinkers. Cigarette smoking has shown to cause poor body circulation, which can affect the amount of blood flow available to the hair follicles of the scalp.
On the other hand, alcohol on a daily basis, could lead to nutritional deficiencies that result in hair loss and balding.
Solution – Quit smoking as cigarette smoke contains thousands of damaging chemicals that can cause normal hair loss. Limit alcohol from daily to occasionally in order to save your tresses.