Hair seems to be just one of those things we don’t think much about. Until we start to lose it on our heads, that is. There are many incorrect habits that can encourage hair loss. In this article, we will go over some very easy hair care tips you should be following to promote healthy hair growth.
Use Light/Non-Irritating Hair Products
When it comes to what option of hair products to use, it can be tempting to go with the cheapest, all-in-one option. However, these types of products tend to be made with harsher chemicals and ingredients. That isn’t to say that the more expensive a product, the better it is. Rather, it is important to find a shampoo/conditioner that is fitting to your hair.
For example, for someone who regularly colors/bleaches their hair, it would be recommended to use a shampoo specifically meant to protect and increase the vividness of colored hair. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to either color your hair from signs of aging or just wanting to experiment with a different look. This choice simply comes with some extra care to ensure a healthy lifespan for the colored hair.
Shampoo Your Hair Correctly
While it may seem ridiculous to give tips on how to shampoo your hair, there are very common mistakes people make when doing so. For one thing, most end up just washing their hair rather than focusing on washing their scalp.
As shampoo is primarily made to clean away dirt, excess oils, and other undesired substances that could build up over the day. Properly washing your scalp can positively impact the scent, texture, and appearance of one’s hair. This is due to the fact that your sebaceous glands (the glands in your skin that secrete oil) are in your scalp. Thus, your scalp requires the most attention whenever you shower.
Use Conditioner Consistently
Many believe that using a conditioner is not a necessary step in having healthy hair. That’s just not the case. There are so many pros to incorporating a good conditioner to your hair-care regimen such as:
- Increasing hair strength
- Protecting hair from UV radiation
- Reducing buildup of static electricity
- Improving smoothness/shine
- Promotes thicker appearance
As opposed to shampoo, you want to focus using conditioner on the hair itself, specifically the ends. This is where the conditioner will really help restore its health. Another important note would be to use conditioner after shampooing. While shampooing removes dirt and oil from the hair, it can leave the hair dry, frizzy, and tangled. Using conditioner afterwards has shown to help this issue. It is also best advised to rinse the conditioner out of your hair using cold water, as this will close the hair cuticles and pores on the scalp.
Avoid Brushing Your Hair Too Much
Contrary to popular opinion, constantly brushing or combing your hair can do far more damage than good. Aside from the fact that there is no real reason to actually brush your hair unless it’s for styling purposes, brushing it while it’s still wet can easily promote breakage.
Instead of brushing so frequently, you would be better off either air drying your hair first or wrapping it in a towel to absorb the moisture until it’s dry. At that point, then it would be safer to brush. A study found that excessively brushing your hair can result in hair loss since it can encourage shedding.
Some other simple changes you can make to brush your hair without damaging it would be to use a wide-toothed comb/brush. This type of comb would pass through your hair without completely ripping through any knots or tangles.
If You Spot Signs Of Early Hair Loss, Look Into Minoxidil/Finasteride
One of the most proactive ways to combat hair loss when early signs begin to creep up is to start taking Minoxidil and Finasteride.
Originally created to treat high blood pressure, soon after that it was discovered that Minoxidil had properties that promote hair growth in patients. It is effective in helping promote hair growth in people with androgenic alopecia regardless of sex. About 40% of men experience hair regrowth after 3–6 months. Minoxidil must be used indefinitely for continued support of existing hair follicles and the maintenance of any experienced hair regrowth.
Interestingly, the mechanism by which minoxidil promotes hair growth is not fully understood. Minoxidil is a potassium channel opener, causing hyperpolarization of cell membranes. Theoretically, by widening blood vessels and opening potassium channels, it allows more oxygen, blood, and nutrients to the follicles. This may cause follicles in the telogen phase to shed, which are then replaced by thicker hairs in a new anagen phase.
Finasteride was originally used to treat men with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), but a side factor of the medication included combating male pattern hair loss, also called androgenetic alopecia. It may be used alone or in combination with other medicines such as an alpha-blocker to treat BPH. For men with hair loss, finasteride will increase the number of scalp hairs but will not increase the amount of body hair.
Protect Your Hair From Too Much Sunlight
Similar to how too much UV ray exposure can cause damaging effects to your skin, the same concept goes for your hair. Direct sun exposure for long periods of time can result in a change in appearance to your hair, such as having it become a lighter color, structure, and strength.
The main part that can be affected by heavy sunlight exposure is the cuticle of the hair follicle. The hair cuticle is the outermost part of the hair shaft. It is formed from dead cells, overlapping in layers, which form scales that strengthen and protect the hair shaft. While the cuticle is the outermost layer, it is not responsible for the color of the hair. Melanin is the pigment that gives hair its color and is found in the cortex.
Some ways to mitigate damage to your hair would be to wear a hat when outside for long periods at a time. Moreover, going out during hours where the sun is less strong would also be another good way to minimize hair damage.
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