Many of us know that gut-wrenching feeling when you notice that your hair is falling out and thinning. It can happen as we age as a result of hormonal decline or a variety of illnesses – but it can also be down to poor haircare.
Hair can break or fall out due to over-reliance on hair dryers or heated appliances and from using the wrong hairbrush or over-aggressively towel drying wet hair when you’re fresh out of the shower.
Jen Atkin, who is an LA based celebrity hairstylist and founder of OUAI haircare range, explains: “I always suggest my clients dry their hair with an old cotton t-shirt instead of a towel out of the shower.
“Wet strands are much more fragile and prone to breakage and the harsh fibres of a towel can be too aggressive. ”
“You should also be wary of what kind of brush you use on damp hair,” adds Atkin. “Something with too much tension will stretch the hair too much, which also exposes it to breakage.” Her personal favourite is Sheila Stotts’ Extension Brush.
Jen also advises clients to use a deep-conditioning hair mask at least once a week and says that a clever hack is to apply it before working out: “If you’re crunched for time, apply to your strands pre-workout and braid in to the let the nourishing ingredients absorb into the hair with the added heat from your exercise,” she says.
And, if you swim regularly, expert hairstylist Robin James advises to get your hair wet before you jump in the pool, because that means your hair is less able to absorb chlorine and other hair damaging chemicals.
Another easy way you can treat and prevent hair loss is by massaging your scalp and hair with herbal oils on a regular basis. This will help protect your hair from thinning, becoming dry, accumulating dandruff, developing split ends, or losing its natural keratin.
As summer becomes winter, our locks need extra nourishing care. And, if you use hot tools, experts insist that using hair oil is a non-negotiable step in styling as it will protect hair from heat damage and prevent colour from fading.
Samar Farooq, creator of Samol Herbal, advises that massaging the scalp with a herbal oil will increase blood flow to the hair follicles, condition your scalp and enhance the strength of the roots – helping you to have a head full of thick, strong, shiny hair:
“You can put a few drops of the oil onto your hand and then massage it through your hair and into your scalp, or if you prefer, drop some of the oil directly onto your scalp and then massage the scalp, gently spreading the oil through your hair,” explains Samar.
“Ideally, leave the oil in your hair overnight. It’s best to put a towel on your pillow to prevent staining your bed linen.
“In the morning wash and style your hair as usual. Your hair and scalp will be nourished and moisturised, and your hair will look healthy and shiny.”
If you’re wondering which ingredients are best, Samar suggests selecting all or some of the following and says that cold pressed, organic versions are best. All of them have a long history of helping moisturise and nourish the hair and scalp:
Watermelon Seed Oil: Contains fatty acids which help strengthen and moisturise hair, while helping prevent breakage and greying.
Neem cold pressed oil: Neem has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties and contains high levels of antioxidants and fatty acids – essential for nourishing and conditioning the scalp and hair.
Blackseed Oil: It helps form a protective barrier over the hair, shielding it from toxins, the elements and day to day wear and tear. Studies have shown it is one of the most effective ways to tackle hair loss.
Sesame Seed Oil: It helps promote hair growth and strengthen hair from the roots and is popular for its nourishing and healing qualities.
Sweet Almond Oil: Almond oil is rich in fatty acids, proteins, potassium and zinc.
Jatamansi Oil: Prized in Unani medicine for its power to reduce stress and anxiety, and to aid sleep. The extract of Jatamansi helps produce lustrous, silky and healthy hair.
Triphala: a blend of three nutrient rich herbs: Amlaki, Har and Bahera, and helps maintain thick, healthy hair.
Another favourite and inexpensive hair hero is organic coconut oil and we’ve heard of people swearing by using Elizabeth Arden’s eight hour all over miracle oil on the strands of their hair after showering and leaving it in all day.
It’s also essential to use a quality supplement to ensure that your hair and scalp get all the nutrients they need every day. Below, Vogue Fashion Editor turned South of France based boutique owner Katie explains how Lumity helped her hair grow back following an illness.
Let us know in the comments if you’ve found a remedy for hair loss and what you used…