From your diet to your stylist to your dermatologist to a hair growth supplement, the hair and beauty gurus at Bustle.com consult the experts for steps you can take against hair loss.
In the article, Bustle blogger Amy Sciarretto confesses that the notion of her long, brown hair falling out is nothing short of terrifying. We all deal with errant strands that we lose (and have to pull out of the tub drain) after our daily washing and conditioning routine. “That’s all part of the normal, daily shedding process,” says Sciaretto. “But what happens if, like, chunks of hair start falling out? What should you do? Do you consult your stylist? Call a doctor?”
There are several things you can and should do. But first of all, don’t panic. Don’t exacerbate the problem with further anxiety and stress.
Dr. Whitney Bowe, a board-certified dermatologist and clinical assistant professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center, reminds us that it is normal to shed between 50 to 150 strands per day. “If you notice more shedding than usual, you may want to identify factors that could be at play. Stress, diet, and hormones all affect our hair,” Dr. Bowe says.
You can and should consult your stylist and a doctor so that an expert can properly assess your strand situation. Hair loss is so much more than cosmetic.
There are some extreme, medical causes of hair loss. Dr. Bowe explains, “Primary causes of hair loss include certain medications, including birth control pills, genetics, pregnancy, thyroid disorders, and anemia. Autoimmune disorders, like psoriasis, lupus, and alopecia areata, extreme stress, physical trauma, and dramatic weight loss can also trigger hair loss.”
Here is a summary of Bustle‘s tips on how to handle it if you see hair falling out. See the complete article here.
1. Consider Your Health & Routines
Have you changed your diet? Are you taking any new medicines? Have you made any changes that may have side effects? Dr. Bowe says that diet can affect the density of hair. She says, “I’ve had several patients who went on very restricted diets that didn’t have enough protein or healthy fats (avocado, salmon, olive oil, nuts) actually lose hair from nutritional deprivation.”
2. Examine Your Hair Care Regimen
Are you using any new or harsh products? You could be having a reaction to an ingredient. Is your brush old? Do not put hair follicles through any processes that cause breakage or loss, including simple things like blow-drying and more extreme things like coloring. If you see hair falling out, Bowe recommends “letting your hair air-dry whenever possible and try not to use hot tools very close to the scalp, which can actually damage the hair follicles.”
3. Where Is the Hair Loss Happening?
Pay attention to where on the head your hair loss is located. Is it at the hairline? At the back of your head? At your neck? On the sides? Are you wearing any accessories that may be pulling on locks?
4. Consult a Dermatologist
If you have changed your routine and are still seeing your hair falling out, consult your dermatologist. There may be a simple skin or a scalp condition causing your hair loss.
Dr. Bowe says, “If you notice larger clumps of hair coming out while you shower or brush your hair, you should talk to an expert to ensure you do not have any underlying health issues. Dermatologists are trained in skin, hair and nails, and can evaluate for certain medical conditions such as psoriasis, lupus and alopecia areata (spot baldness).”
While you wait to get in to see your doctor, Bowe suggests taking steps in the interim that will help your body and mind. She says, “While waiting… it certainly can’t hurt to incorporate yoga, exercise, or other activities to reduce stress, and ensure you are eating a well-balanced diet.”
5. Diet, Diet, Diet
Healthy, thick hair starts from the inside. So what you put into your body has an effect on your hair, as well as your skin and nails. Plus, hair is considered a non-essential body part, so it is one of the last places to receive the nutrients you eat. This is why diet is critical.
6. Talk to a Hairstylist
Your stylist can assess your hair and scalp, and may be able to offer a solution. The answer to why is your hair falling out might surprise you. It can’t hurt to ask.
7. Time of the Month
Dr. Bowe says, “Women who are menstruating tend to lose a lot of iron every month during their menses, and because iron deficiency can be a cause of hair loss, it is especially important for women to make sure their diet is rich in sources of iron — spinach, meats, tofu, beans are all great sources.” See the recurring theme? Diet! Be careful what you eat.