Why We Lose Hair & How to Prevent It

Model. (Photo By BSIP/UIG Via Getty Images)
Model. (Photo By BSIP/UIG Via Getty Images)

A thick, luscious, shiny crowning glory is a dream for all of us. Beautiful hair not only enhances your looks but can also boost your confidence. Biologically intended to be a source of protection - retaining body heat and even acting as camouflage, hair has been associated with power, virility, vigour, and youth. So it is understandable that the very thought of hair fall can send your confidence plummeting.

Hair loss is a natural phenomenon that affects everyone. However, the degree may vary depending on age, lifestyle, and diet. Though men are twice as likely to be affected by hair fall as women, thinning hair is one of the greatest worries for women.

We lose approximately 100-150 hairs per day, and this is normal. But women rarely discuss hair loss and associated anxiety openly, leading to numerous misconceptions. A recent research by Dove has revealed that over 75% of hair fall occurs at the root. Hair fall at the root is relatively unchartered territory since most cosmetic treatments tackle hair breakage further down the shaft.

Androgenic alopecia is the most common type of hair fall in both sexes. About 10% of premenopausal women are affected by it. This number rises steeply to between 50 and 75% in postmenopausal women or those who above 65. Additionally, chemical, hot-comb, and traction alopecia afflict many African-American women. Frequent use of relaxers and tightly rolling the hair in curlers eventually takes its toll.

Early signs of alopecia include thinning hair on the scalp, receding hairline and a horseshoe-shaped pattern that exposes the crown of the head in men. For women, hair loss presents itself through general thinning of the hair especially around the crown of the head. While genetics accounts for a majority of hair fall or baldness cases, certain illnesses, medications and lifestyle habits have been known to trigger and aggravate the problem.

Here's what you should do:

  • Nourish your tresses with love, attention, and products. Using a hair-appropriate conditioner after every wash helps detangle knots, soften hair, and provide a protective layer.
  • Your diet too will show on your hair quality. A balanced meal that is rich in proteins and vitamins results in lustrous and bouncy hair. Crash diets are a big no-no – they lack nutrients and pave the way for thinning hair.
  • Wet hair is susceptible to damage and breakage. Don't rough it up with a towel to dry it; instead dab it gently. If you need to detangle or comb wet hair, use a wide-toothed comb and start combing in small sections at the tips and work your way up to the roots. Also, a leave-in conditioner and detangling spray is great TLC for your hair.
  • Chemically treated hair needs special care since it tends to break and lose moisture easily. Over-shampooing and using hot water will further strip it of essential oils. If you must do thermal styling and chemical treatments, be sure to pamper your locks afterwards with an Intense Repair Conditioner.

Most importantly, avoid stress. So make sure you find time to chill out and put your feet up (it's a good excuse anyway)! Don't lose hair over your mane. Instead work towards taking the right steps to keep your hair healthy, bouncy and shining!