Over the last 35 years taking care of men and women concerned about their hair, there are several things that I have seen my patients do that don’t benefit their hair care.
Some of the common hair care mistakes I advise against are:
DON’T comb or brush too harshly on wet hair
Hair shafts are considerably more fragile when they are damp or wet.
DO gently comb through with a wide-tooth comb on wet hair
DON’T use high heat when styling
Hair is made of keratin (a protein) that can be damaged if exposed to too high a temperature.
DO use medium setting on your styling tools
DON’T use hair products that contail sulfates, phtalates, or parabens
Harsh chemicals like these may strip away too much moisture and leave the hair dry and possibly damage it
DON’T braid your hair to tightly and leave braids in too long
Tight braids should not be left in place for more than 14 days. If they are left in longer, a condition called “traction alopecia” can occur, which can permanently damage those hair follicles.
DO braid hair loosely and take them out after short period of time.
DON’T leave hair unwashed for too long
Just like everywhere else on the body, the scalp skin has epidermal cells that slough off each day, which is good. The problem is that the hair and sebum production by the scalp interfere with them to be removed. These cells, therefore, build up on the scalp causing dandruff and inflammation, which is detrimental to the hair follicles and hair.
DO shampoo daily. This allows for these cells to be taken away, which is far more healthful for the scalp and hair.
DON’T ignore the early signs of genetic hair loss (Male or Female Pattern Hair Loss)
Only after 50% of a man’s or a woman’s hair has fallen is when he or she begins to notice thinning hair. The horse is already out of the barn! These signs include:
- You get a sunburn on your scalp
- You can begin to see through your hair to see your scalp
- If your hairline is beginning to recede in the front corners
- If you’re losing more than 100 hairs per day
- If you’re developing a thinning area in the back of your head
- Then, now is the time to seek an expert medical evaluation and treatment!
IMPORTANT: It is far easier to stop progression of genetic hair loss than it is to replace it medically or surgically.
There is a lot of misinformation out there about what is good or bad for one’s hair. What is important is for a person to seek appropriate medical therapy if he or she is experiencing thinning hair because it is a progressive situation that will not stop by ignoring it. Additionally, seek out professionals to guide you to make good decisions on what products to use on your hair to provide the best health for your scalp and hair long-term.