Each person has an individual relationship with their hair. It’s part of us! Some may treasure their elaborate mane, others might keep their hair as low-maintenance as possible, and some find their hair a source of stress. All genders can experience hair thinning and hair loss for a variety of reasons, which can acutely impact self-esteem. In addition to targeted management of hair loss conditions, there are natural ways to nourish your hair’s condition and help balance your body in order to protect your mane!
Table of Contents
- What is hair loss exactly?
- The science behind healthy hair
- The hair growth cycle
- Hair growth rate: myths and facts
- Dealing with hair loss
- Different types of hair loss
- Alopecia areata
- Androgenic areata
- Traction alopecia
- Telogen effluvium
- Factors that contribute to hair loss
- Hormonal imbalance
- Nutritional deficiency
- Autoimmune disorder
- Postpartum period
- Prescription medicine side effects
- Care & protection for different hair types
- Texture and curl type
- Hair diameter
- Hair porosity
- Hair density
- Caring for aging hair
- Options for hair health support
- Wholesome diet
- Restful sleep
- Stress reduction
- Clean hair products
- Physical hair care
- Supplementing for hair health
Chosen style and routine may be dictated by hair type; for example, those with highly textured hair require moisturizing products to prevent frizz, while fine hair may need a regular clarifying treatment to prevent oil buildup. The way we choose to style our hair can say a lot about our personality, and we may read social cues from the appearance, style, and color of others’ hair. What message do you think your hair is telling the people you engage with?
Some simple ways you can support your hair health are by utilizing appropriate products for your hair type, as well as through diet and nutrition - including supplements that benefit your locks. We’ll take you through everything you need to know when it comes to your hair’s health, such as improving its appearance, protecting your hair’s integrity, and managing hair loss.
What is hair loss exactly?
Hair is an important aspect of our self-image, and thinning hair or hair loss, especially for women, can undermine our self-esteem and confidence. Factors in hair loss may include medical conditions, environmental issues such as stress or styling techniques, prescription medication or treatments, and hormonal changes. Even aging can be a factor in hair loss! If you’re experiencing hair loss or thinning, it can certainly be challenging; do your best to be gentle with yourself. Prioritize self-care, and consider reaching out to an external support network.
The technical name for hair loss is alopecia, but it can manifest in a variety of ways depending on the cause or trigger. The first thing that likely comes to mind with regards to hair loss is the very common male pattern baldness - over 60% of men will experience hair loss due to this condition by the age of 35. This type of hair loss is more accurately called androgenic alopecia - and it impacts women as well. In fact, it is the number one cause of hair loss in women. Women experience hair loss for many reasons, including but not limited to androgenic alopecia, and it is more commonly experienced than you might think!
It’s crucial to understand the factors behind your hair loss if you wish to effectively address it. If you’re experiencing hair loss and aren’t sure why, it may be an indicator of a larger health issue requiring diagnosis, so be sure to check in with your physician. Hair loss is a challenge, but there are some steps you can take to naturally protect your hair and support healthy hair growth. Working to improve your overall health can also improve your hair’s appearance, abundance, and condition.
The science behind healthy hair
To understand hair loss, it’s important to know the facts behind hair growth. Resilient hair with a healthy growth rate requires the proper nutrients to be present in the body, and for the scalp and hair follicles to be in optimal condition. Genetics, age, hair type, and medical conditions can all influence the base rate at which your hair grows.
The hair growth cycle
Ever wondered how your hair growth process works? There are two distinct physical structures to what you think of as “your hair”: the hair follicle and the hair shaft. The hair shaft is the strand of the hair body that is visible above the skin, while the follicle is under the skin and contains an outer and inner root sheath which functions to produce the hair shaft.
Hair has a specific growth cycle with three distinct phases:
- Anagen - the hair growth phase
- Catagen - the transitional phase
- Telogen - the resting phase
All three phases occur simultaneously; one strand of hair may be in the anagen phase, while another is in the telogen phase. The longer a hair stays in the anagen or growth phase, the faster and longer it will grow. The span at which the hair remains in this stage of growth is primarily determined by genetics. About 85-90% of the hairs on a typical scalp are in the anagen phase at any given time.
Hair growth rate: myths and facts
Unfortunately, the myth that getting your hair trimmed will make it grow faster is just that: a myth. Cutting your hair won’t affect its growth rate, but getting a regular trim of the ends of your hair, which is the area most prone to damage, will keep your hair looking fuller and sleeker.
However, your body does indeed require specific vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients to maintain a healthy scalp environment and promote optimal hair production. Hair cells rapidly divide, adding to the overall length and diameter of the hair. Certain nutrients encourage the hormones responsible for the hair growth cycle to stay in balance and can help regulate the time hair remains in the dormant stage, thereby promoting a longer growing phase. Making sure to incorporate foods that are rich in vitamins, essential fatty acids, protein, and antioxidants is a great start to supporting healthy hair growth.
Dealing with hair loss
Hair loss can vary in its presentation and severity. In some cases it's easy to identify, but there may be instances when it can be more difficult to notice. Paying attention to the amount of hair you typically lose during washing or brushing is a good way to know your own baseline, and to notice if it should change.
Signs of hair loss may include:
- Thinning patches of hair; scalp more visible through the hair
- Thinning around the hairline or top of the head
- Increased amount of hair shedding, such as more hair than usual in the shower drain, or on your hair brush
- Severe breakage or damage of the hair shaft
- Overall hair loss including body hair and eyelashes
- Sudden hair loss, such as patches of hair coming loose
Hair loss has a wide breadth of potential causes and is rarely an isolated condition. Some women are genetically predisposed to hair loss which increases their likelihood of experiencing hair loss as they age.
Hormonal changes or imbalances, autoimmune conditions, and nutritional deficiencies can also cause hair loss, and even chronic stress may be a contributing factor. Additionally, some prescription medications, or medical treatments such as radiation therapy, may precipitate hair loss. Physical harm to your hair shaft and follicle through styling or hair pulling can impact both the condition of the hair shaft, as well as the follicle’s hair growth cycle and its ability to produce new hair.
Different types of hair loss
Alopecia areata is a type of hair loss associated with an autoimmune issue and may have a genetic factor, although it is not fully understood. Autoimmune conditions stem from an overactive immune response, where your immune system attacks your body’s own cells - in this case, the hair follicles - preventing them from completing a functional hair growth cycle. Extreme stress or trauma are also believed to be potential triggers for the development of alopecia areata; thyroid health may also play a role.
Alopecia areata often presents as rounded bald patches on the scalp, as opposed to overall hair thinning - though in some cases it can result in total hair loss. There is no proven cure for alopecia areata, but treatment options may include corticosteroid injections, laser light therapy, oral or topical courses of steroidal treatment, and even immunotherapy. It’s best to discuss your specifically recommended options with your trusted healthcare provider. Addressing any suspected underlying causes, whether autoimmune issues or acute stress, can help with managing it. Though the areas of hair loss will usually regrow, alopecia areata is typically a recurring condition that is difficult to predict, and its symptoms vary widely among different patients.
Androgenic alopecia is a form of hereditary hair loss that affects all genders. During hair growth, an enzyme in the hair follicle converts testosterone to the hormone DHT (dihydrotestosterone), which then binds to receptors in the hair follicle. Androgenic alopecia can occur when DHT is produced in higher amounts, or if the follicles are more sensitized to its presence, due to genetic factors.
DHT causes the hair follicle to shrink, impacting their ability to produce a healthy new hair shaft. The hair shaft grows finer and less robust over time until the follicle is eventually no longer able to produce them. The stages of the hair growth cycle are also affected, leading to a shortened growth phase as well as a lower proportion of hairs in the growth phase.
There are prescription treatments for androgenic alopecia such as topical minoxidil (known by the brand name Rogaine), as well as other options that vary in intensity such as hair replacement surgery or laser light therapy. Some of these treatments have shown limited success in studies, but overall, their effectiveness is inconclusive and the treatment process itself can be invasive and potentially costly, along with the risk of side effects.
There are also natural options for hair loss such as supplements formulated specifically for hair health that support hormonal balance and provide hair-healthy nutrients. Lifestyle improvements such as regular exercise and a nutritious diet are also key. As far as management, those experiencing hair loss might also look to creative solutions such as wearing headscarf wraps, opting for microbladed eyebrows and hair tattoos, or simply taking control by rocking a bold bald look. Your course of management will be most effective when begun ASAP when it comes to hair loss, so being proactive about any unusual signs in your mane is a good rule of thumb!
As opposed to other types of health-related alopecia, traction alopecia’s cause is in its name: it is hair loss caused by repeated traction or pulling on the hair shaft. While physical damage to the hair strand may be relatively minor at first, repeated stress on the follicle can impair its functionality and adversely affect the growth cycle.
Habits and styling which can cause traction alopecia include repeatedly wearing hair in tight styles like high ponytails, braids, updos, or hair extensions, or behaviors with a psychological aspect such as compulsive tugging, playing, or twisting of the hair. Chances of damaging the hair and follicles increase when hair is kept tightly styled both day and night. The damage caused by traction alopecia can also affect the scalp, causing skin irritation, breakage, flaking, and blisters.
The hazard of traction alopecia does not mean that people should entirely abandon weaves, braids, extensions, or their beloved ponytails; however, they should be aware of the specific factors which may increase its likelihood. Thicker braids or dreadlocks put less stress on individual strands of hair than slimmer versions, while treatments such as dyeing, chemical relaxers, or heat styling can weaken the hair shaft and compound existing damage.
If possible, giving hair a “break” by wearing it loose or in relaxed hairstyles as often as possible can facilitate recovery for both the scalp and hair. Pay attention to signs of scalp discomfort such as pain or dryness, and use nourishing treatments like at-home hair masks or leave-in conditioner to help strengthen the hair shaft and moisturize the scalp.
Telogen effluvium is a form of hair loss that occurs due to an acute stressor or period of stress; such triggers can include medical events like surgery, childbirth, or sudden illness, drastic weight loss, severe stress, and physical or emotional trauma.
For most people who experience typical hair growth phases, 85-90% of their hair is in the anagen, or “growing,” phase. Telogen effluvium precipitates the telogen or “resting” phase of the hair growth cycle and affects varying amounts of hair in different people. The increased hair loss can be either sudden or occur over a longer duration of time. Telogen effluvium usually manifests as partial, overall hair thinning and loss rather than as patches, though it can in some cases occur as a complete loss of hair.
Although hair loss caused by telogen effluvium can be dramatic and daunting, the good news is that it is not necessarily a permanent condition and most people will recover completely. As the body rebalances from the condition’s trigger, hair follicles can also recover and enter the anagen phase again, beginning new hair growth.
While it’s not possible to immediately reverse the rapid hair loss caused by telogen effluvium, addressing and recovering from the stressor that caused it is the best way to regain bodily resilience and optimize hair regrowth. Eating a highly nutritious diet, making sure to include hair-nourishing vitamins and nutrients, reducing stress, and building your body’s strength through exercise and hydration are all excellent ways to support your hair’s recovery. Applying hair oils formulated with rosemary essential oil to the hair shaft and scalp may also help to physically aid and improve their condition.
Factors that contribute to hair loss
Hormonal imbalances can deeply affect your body and are a common factor in the onset of androgenic alopecia. Hormonal imbalances can occur during:
- Menopause and perimenopause
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
- Endocrine and thyroid disorders
Testosterone and progesterone are hormones naturally present in all bodies. [Hormonal imbalance-induced hair loss] is typically a result of excess DHT (dihydrotestosterone). DHT is created when testosterone is delivered to the hair follicle via the blood and interacts with the enzyme 5-alpha reductase in the follicles to form DHT. DHT weakens the hair follicles and impacts the hair growth cycle, causing the production of a weaker, thinner hair shaft and increased overall hair loss.
Progesterone is a natural 5-alpha reductase inhibitor, so when there is a drop in progesterone levels (such as during perimenopause and menopause, and also during andropause), this allows the body to more easily convert testosterone to DHT, as there is minimal hormonal opposition.
As androgenic alopecia is intrinsically connected with hormone functioning, it’s natural that hair loss might occur alongside hormonal imbalances. Work directly with your medical care provider to discuss the management of hormonal imbalance-related conditions and any resulting hair loss. Management options may include hormone replacement therapy, laser light therapy, or prescription medications such as minoxidil (Rogaine), the androgen receptor–blocking drug spironolactone (Aldactone), or 5-alpha reductase inhibitors such as finasteride (Propecia). Be aware that these treatments may be invasive, may not be effective once the treatment has been discontinued, and may have potential long-term side effects.
Alternate ways of managing hormone-related hair loss include addressing the hormonal imbalance holistically. Gentler, natural options can support and help to realign your body to reduce symptoms of hormone imbalances. Lifestyle steps to improve your overall health can also assist; a nutritious diet that delivers beneficial vitamins and nutrients through the daily consumption of whole foods, incorporating a supplement regime to support hair growth, regular physical activity, and adequate sleep are all highly beneficial for your body’s resilience.
While some aspects of hair loss are not yet fully understood, there is evidence that nutritional deficiency of certain vitamins and minerals can reduce hair health. As with many health issues, nourishing your body through a nutrient-rich diet is essential. A serious deficiency of such nutrients as vitamin D, vitamin B-12, protein, biotin, and iron may be factors in some cases of hair loss. Even outside of outright hair loss, nutritional deficiencies can be detrimental to your hair’s condition, making it dull, dry, or prone to breakage, or cause deterioration to your scalp health.
Additionally, calorie deficiency, or crash dieting, may also cause sudden hair loss. Your body needs vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats to keep your follicles in a functional growth cycle and to produce sebum, the natural oil produced by your sebaceous glands which moisturizes and protects your skin, scalp, and hair. A blood test through your medical care provider can give you a good overview to make sure you’re not missing out on any essential nutrients.
The root cause of autoimmune conditions is an overactive immune response, wherein your immune system attacks your body’s own healthy cells. A healthy, desirable immune response should only target dangerous foreign pathogens or your body’s damaged or mutated cells. Autoimmune issues and their triggers are not fully understood by the scientific community, but they can have a profoundly disruptive effect on the body’s processes.
Risk factors for developing certain autoimmune issues are thought to include a genetic predisposition, diet, overall health, as well as certain medications. Scalp damage and dandruff, hair thinning, hair breakage, and hair loss are potential effects of some autoimmune conditions such as type 1 diabetes, lupus, psoriasis, Crohn's disease, and [alopecia areata]. In some cases, these effects are linked directly to the autoimmune condition, while in others they can be a result of the medication prescribed to treat it.
Alopecia areata is a condition wherein the patient suddenly begins to experience unusual hair loss, usually manifesting as small, rounded, patchy areas on their scalp. The development of alopecia areata is theorized - with increasing evidence - to be triggered by autoimmune issues.
Pregnancy is a time of much change, as is the postpartum period. Your body is growing a brand-new human, and that’s a big job! Pregnant bodies can experience a lot of upheaval due to hormone changes - morning sickness, mood swings, aches, and cravings - but that notable “pregnancy glow” is due to greater blood volume and circulation, as well as an increase in sebum production which leaves your skin and hair with more oils, allowing them to look shiny and dewy. The increase in hormones such as estrogen also decreases your hair follicles’ likelihood of entering the telogen or “resting” phase where the hair is shed, so you may experience thicker hair than usual. As a result, some people experience a pregnancy glow-up, complete with radiant skin and thick, glossy hair.
Of course, what goes up must come down, and as your hormones regulate during the postpartum period, you may experience what seems like an atypical, dramatic hair loss as the hair follicles release their prolonged hold on the mature hair shafts. This hair loss is an instance of [telogen effluvium], and, while it can be distressing, it is a common experience and is typically reversible.
Though it’s a natural part of the pregnancy process, if you are concerned about postpartum hair loss or thinning, it’s advisable to check in with your medical care provider. You may also want to consider natural options for protecting your locks, and make sure to get lots of rest to allow your body to recover - at least, as much rest as is possible for a new parent!
Prescription medication side effects
In some cases, people experience hair loss as a side effect of prescription medication, also known as drug-induced alopecia. Drug-induced alopecia may manifest in two ways: anagen effluvium and telogen effluvium. Some types of treatments may affect the anagen or “growth” phase of hair, such as chemotherapy, while certain types of medication including some acne medications, or immunosuppressants, may interrupt the telogen or “resting” phase of hair, causing premature shedding of the hair shaft and disrupting new hair growth.
If you suspect you might be experiencing medication-related alopecia, contact your physician so they can evaluate your symptoms - it’s important not to discontinue a prescribed medication without medical advice. Hair loss due to drug-induced alopecia can often regrow over time, so do your best to be patient with the process as you and your healthcare provider work together to best take care of your body.
Trichotillomania is a psychological disorder that presents as pathological pulling or plucking of the hair on the scalp, face, or body. Trichotillomania is a complicated condition and can present differently from person to person; some may be able to regulate their urges, while others experience uncontrollable compulsions and can end up pulling visible sections of hair, even eyebrows and eyelashes.
Trichotillomania is a behavioral response and may develop as a way to cope with anxiety or stress, or as a self-soothing mechanism that feels “good” at the time of the behavior, although the damage to hair can cause shame and stress later. While some people with mild cases may manage it independently, others may find that treatment is necessary to prevent profound hair loss. Often, people who experience trichotillomania feel ashamed and guilty about the habit and may try to hide it, to varying degrees of success. Trichotillomania can also develop as a comorbidity to other conditions such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety, and autism.
Recovery from trichotillomania is fundamentally different from recovery from other forms of hair loss that are not rooted in psychological struggles. Mental health management is key, and cognitive behavioral therapy is a promising treatment option. Patients may find that support groups, personal support in their social or family life, and open accountability with a mental health professional can help them manage trichotillomania.
Care & protection for different hair types
Hair type can be surprisingly variable - it’s almost as unique as your fingerprint! If you want to deep dive into effectively caring for your hair, it’s important to both identify and gain a depth of understanding of your hair’s unique characteristics. Your hair follicles have an important role in determining the shape and texture of the hair shaft.
Texture and curl type
There’s been a surge of interest in caring for more textured hair types over recent years, with new brands developing products that target care for curly hair types. You might not know it, but if you have even subtle waves in your hair, you’re on the curl spectrum!
- Type 1 - straight
- Type 2 - wavy
- Type 3 - curly
- Type 4 - coily
Exploring the wealth of resources that have become available for curlies might even help you discover new ways to style your hair, unleashing previously unbeknownst levels of natural texture. Curly hair can require some extra-special maintenance, such as co-washing, but it can be worth it for those luscious locks!
How wide are your strands? Hair diameter refers to the width of the individual strands of hair. There are three broad types of hair diameter:
- Fine hair - thin, downy strands
- Medium hair - slightly more structured strands, less prone to breakage
- Broad or “coarse” hair - strong, thick strands of hair
All hair diameter types may have wave or curl patterns; you can have thin broad hair strands or curly fine hair strands and vice versa. Additionally, a person can have more than one hair diameter type growing from different areas of their scalp! However, identifying your main diameter type is important for choosing products. Fine hair is weighed down by heavy balms or oils, while broad hair retains its shape even when strong hair products are applied.
Hair porosity refers to how much moisture your hair can absorb and retain. Highly porous hair has more holes or “pores” in the cuticle, the outer surface layer of the hair strand. You can do a strand test, which determines porosity depending on how your hair behaves in a bowl of water.
- High porosity - more prone to damage, frizz, and dryness, highly porous hair needs all the moisture it can get! Avoid chemical treatments and heat-based styling in favor of nourishing hair products, and you may wish to experiment with co-washing.
- Medium porosity - medium porosity hair absorbs an average amount of moisture and may require less maintenance. It is less prone to damage but can still retain moisture from treatments such as deep conditioning.
- Low porosity - with fewer pores in the cuticle than other hair types, low porosity hair may feel wet or sticky for longer after washing, and heavier hair products may not absorb well. However, it is also less prone to damage and requires much less moisturizing. Clarifying cleansers and lightweight styling products are good options for this hair type.
Your hair density is based on the number of individual follicles and hair strands present over the surface area of your scalp. The low, medium, or high density of your hair will determine how much of your scalp is visible and will also be a factor in your typical amount of hair loss, or how many strands it’s normal for you to shed. People with high density hair have more hair on their head, and may lose more, too - unfortunately for their shower drains!
Hair oiliness or “greasiness” is determined by other hair factors as well as your skin type. If you tend to have oily or shiny skin, your body’s sebaceous glands may naturally produce a higher amount of sebum, the oil that keeps your skin and hair moisturized and protected. Sebum production can also be influenced by hormonal shifts, which is part of why adolescents experience changes in their skin’s appearance and condition as they go through puberty.
Your hair’s degree of oiliness depends not only on your body’s rate of oil production, but also on your hair porosity: if your hair is highly porous, it can absorb more moisture, including sebum, the body’s natural oil. If your hair has low porosity, sebum will cling to the scalp and hair shaft.
- Oily hair - prone to greasiness, especially near the root, oily hair may require more frequent washing or clarifying treatments. Avoid moisturizing products.
- Average hair - requires a wash every few days, but is neither noticeably greasy nor dry and frizzy.
- Dry hair - dehydrated, dry hair is prone to frizz and damage. Dry hair can be cleansed less frequently and moisturized with nourishing topical treatments.
Caring for aging hair
Aging brings many distinct joys as well as new challenges; adjusting to changes in your body, including your hair, is definitely among them! As you age, hair follicles eventually stop producing as much melanin, the pigment which gives your hair its color, which is why hair goes gray or white as time passes.
Hair may also change in texture and type as we age. Over time, hair follicles may produce thinner, weaker strands, producing hair which has a smaller diameter, less elasticity, and less texture or wave. Some people may experience an overall mild-thinning of their hair density or a more pronounced hair loss as some follicles fail to produce new strands, especially after the onset of perimenopause and menopause.
While, there’s no perfect antidote to counter the effects of aging, there are ways to both support your hair and your holistic health as you age. Research hair care products that are formulated to protect aging hair and optimize your hair’s condition without harsh ingredients, and take care of your whole body health! Make sure to eat well with nutritious, whole foods, and stay hydrated for both your hair health and overall health.
Options for supporting hair health
How can you work to naturally protect your locks? Luckily, many of the ways you can support your body’s overall processes will also have benefits for your skin, scalp, and hair condition!
A nutritious diet with daily portions of fresh fruits and vegetables is a building block of good health, but some nutrient-rich foods are especially important for supporting hair health and growth. Including foods that are high in protein, iron, vitamins, and zinc in your diet will help ensure that you get the nutrients necessary for healthy hair production. Additionally, prioritizing a healthful, varied diet offers a whole host of other benefits including reducing the risk of developing certain health conditions.
Getting enough sleep (not just quantity, but quality) is one of the best ways to keep your body strong and resilient. Sleep is necessary for your body to rest and restore itself and also contributes to healthy hair growth. Sleep deprivation may impact many of your bodily processes, including hair health, due to negative effects on your hormone-release cycle.
Additionally, inadequate sleep can be a factor in vulnerability to other health consequences, such as potentially diminishing your immune response. To maximize the effectiveness of your slumber for your locks, you can set up bedtime hair care routines to improve your hair’s condition while you’re in dreamland. Get adequate amounts of rest - about 8-10 hours a night - to keep your brain, body, and mane happy and healthy!
Not only is acute stress one of the factors which can [lead to telogen effluvium], it can impact you physically as well as emotionally, and potentially cause interpersonal issues. There is also some evidence that high levels of ongoing stress may inhibit the hair growth cycle. Much like the adverse effects of lack of sleep, stress can interfere with routine body functions, lower your body’s defenses against infection and illness, and impact your overall health enough that your hair condition suffers.
While a single yoga class might not directly result in a good hair day, finding ways to prioritize your wellbeing and reduce your stress levels, ongoing, can have many overall benefits for your body including your hair health.
Clean hair products
You might be surprised at just how few hair products you’ll feel comfortable using when you discover these common but undesirable inclusions in many products’ ingredient lists. Plenty of conventional hair products include ingredients that can damage your hair, and even pose a risk to your health. Avoiding parabens, sulfates, formaldehyde, and silicones is a good place to start, especially if you have damaged, weak, or highly porous hair.
What should you look for in topical hair products? Natural ingredients are a great start, and if you’re having trouble sourcing ready-made treatments, you can always try making your own at home. Additionally, some essential oils have properties that can be highly beneficial for hair and scalp, especially rosemary essential oil which supports circulatory function and follicle health, making it an ideal choice for a scalp treatment. Adding your choice of essential oil to a lightweight carrier oil to make a DIY hair and scalp treatment can feel and smell wonderful!
Physical hair care
Be nice to your hair and give it the royal treatment it deserves! Minimizing factors that contribute to breakage can help your hair stay lustrous and strong. To protect your hair’s condition, you can opt to:
- Wear looser hairstyles
- Use soft silk scrunchies instead of rubber hair ties or those with metal clasps which can catch and rip hair strands
- Avoid over-brushing your hair or brushing while wet
- Dry hair with a microfiber hair towel or old t-shirt rather than a rough cotton towel
- Try a hair-protective pillowcase in a luxurious silk or satin material for nighttime hair care
These extra steps for hair self-care are especially crucial for those with damaged hair, or hair types most vulnerable to breakage such as fine hair and highly porous curly or coily hair.
Supplementing for hair health
Specific vitamins and nutrients are essential to fuelling follicles’ healthy hair cycle. While it’s important to get as many nutrients as possible from your daily diet, you can augment its effectiveness with targeted hair health supplements formulated to specifically benefit hair condition and the hair growth cycle. They can also, importantly, assist in your body’s regulation of hormone functioning. Specially formulated supplements may include biotin, which can enhance hair, skin, and nail condition and support your metabolic function, and additional ingredients with promising properties for healthy hair growth such as saw palmetto and silica. Another option is adding collagen to your regime; while there are topical products with collagen for skin and hair care, collagen supplements taken internally may impart more expansive health benefits to your body such as supporting the hair growth cycle and follicle health.
If you’ve experienced, or are experiencing, hair loss, no one else can tell you how to make peace with your hair journey - it can be painful and challenging, but acknowledging and addressing your feelings is always worthwhile. You may find value in openly rocking a striking buzz cut, curating a stylish headscarf collection, or opting for microbladed hair or brow tattoos - or none of those options may be right for you! Whichever path you take in approaching your self-image during your hair recovery, be sure to reach out for support when you’re feeling low, lift yourself up whenever you can, and know that confidence and self-love are the most flattering styles of all.