Hair loss is a BIG problem be it in teenagers or elderly people. And it is one such problem that most of us don’t think twice before spending a lot of money trying to figure out what’s wrong. Right from trying out a branded shampoo to prevent hair fall to massaging your scalp with a high-end and so-called natural oil. But little do these tricks and tips work in helping us fix the problem. But what is more surprising is the fact that our everyday grooming habits play a major role in thinning hair. Yes, thinning hair can be caused due to the use of a shampoo loaded with chemicals to not washing your hair regularly. So in this article, we are exploring some common grooming mistakes everyone should avoid preventing hair fall.
Top 5 Grooming Mistakes To Avoid
While the lack of nutrients, weather, hormones, and some diseases can cause hair loss, your grooming habits can also be doing more harm than good. Here are a few common styling mistakes that cause thinning hair and breakage.
1. Washing your hair with hot water
Do you use hot water to wash your hair? If yes, then it’s high time to stop this habit as it is doing more harm than good. This is because hot water strips off the natural oils present in the scalp which not only leads to the dry scalp but also causes dry hair. This, in the long run, can not only make your hair brittle but also cause your hair to become thin and lead to hair fall.
Tip: Use cold water to wash your hair as it not only retains the moisture and oils on the scalp but also improves hair growth. However, if you are used to using hot water to wash your hair, then using lukewarm water can also help. So the next time you wash your hair, do not forget to use lukewarm or cold water.
2. Combing and brushing your hair aggressively
When in a jiffy, we do not think twice about how we are combing wet hair. We just want to comb hair quickly and head to our destination. But this is not the right thing to do because your hair is more likely to break when wet than dry. This is because wet combing applies force on the roots of the hair, close to the scalp, which make it vulnerable to damage and cause the hair to break. Whereas, in dry combing, the pressure is on the end of the hair follicle and not the roots, which is less damaging. But whatever is the case, combing or brushing aggressively can cause thinning hair and hair fall.
Tip: Use wide-toothed combs and brushes with rounded tips to style your hair. This is because it lessens the damage caused due to the use of a narrow-toothed comb and prevents thinning of the hair. Also, another trick that might work wonders for your hair to minimize hair breakage and prevent hair fall is combining your hair from the far end and then slowly moving towards the scalp. This can not only help in removing knots starting from the end but also minimizes hair breakage caused due to combing hair from the scalp towards the length.
3. Sporting tight braids and hairstyles
Sporting a high ponytail or a tightly braided look might look chic but it may not be doing any good to your hair. When you pull your hair too tight in a pony or to braid it, it causes pressure in the roots of the hair follicles and leads to thinning hair. If done too often, this can damage the hair and may lead to hair fall in the long run. Moreover, tight hairstyle might put pressure on the head due to pulling of the hair which can lead to a headache.
Tip: Do not tie your hair too tight but tight enough to keep your hair in place. If you can feel that your hair is tied too tight or if you experience hair pull after tying hair, do not sport that hairstyle. Do keep your hair open or loosely braided at night to ease pressure on the hair shaft.
4. Shampooing every day
Given the amount of dust and dirt our hair is exposed to, it goes without saying that washing hair is a must on a regular basis. But using plain water may not help to get rid of the dirt that you encounter during the course of the day. So using shampoo is a must to help remove dirt and impurities. However, if you use shampoo on a daily basis it might cleanse off the protective layer of sebum that covers the hair. This can cause the hair strands to lose out natural moisture causing it to dry out. Moreover, it can cause the hair shaft to become static and thus, make it more prone to friction and breakage.
Tip: Normal shampoos contain chemicals that have strong and deep cleansing properties, such as sodium laureth sulfate and sodium lauryl sulfate and can harm the hair. Hence, it is advised to use baby shampoos that are usually mild, less irritating and are suitable for daily use. You can even opt for herbal shampoo but do read the instructions and list of ingredients on a shampoo pack before buying it.
5. Using hair straightening tools and products
Most of us have used at least one hair styling tool whether at home or at a parlor. But regular use of heated styling tools such as hair straighteners and curlers can damage the hair fiber. Use of hair dryers not only dehydrates the hair strands but also makes it frizzy, increasing the risk of hair thinning and loss of hair. Products like bleach and hair dyes also damage the hair when used on a regular basis.
Tip: It is wise to dry your hair naturally instead of using a blow dryer as it blows hot air which can damage the hair in the long run. Also, stay away from using any heated styling tools as these subject your hair to unwanted heat and dryness further worsening the condition of your hair.
However, if you experience rapid hair fall or lose more than 100 strands per day, then do consult your doctor to know the underlying cause of the hair fall and get it treated.
Also, if you know of any such hair care mistakes that cause thinning hair, then do let us know in the comments section.
(The article is reviewed by Dr. Lalit Kanodia, General Physician)
Monselise A, Cohen DE, Wanser R, Shapiro J. What ages hair? Int J Womens Dermatol. 2015 Oct 9;1(4):161-166.