Don't wash your hair everyday
The longer you leave oil in you hair the more nourishment your hair gets
Don't colour your hair, it will get damaged
All of us have heard this from our friends or family at some point. From how often hair should be trimmed to the styling techniques that will prevent damage, there is a lot of hair care related information floating around. But is this information to be believed? After all some seem logical and some even have a scientific-sounding explanation. The fact is that a lot of this information is entirely made-up. And practicing these false hair care tips & routines can on the contrary lead to severe hair damage. To put an end to this misinformation, we spoke with Dr Sravya Tipirneni to bust a few hair care myths and give you a hair care routine to maintain healthy hair. In this post, you will get to relearn what you think you know about your hair. But before diving right into the routine, let’s take a look at:
What Causes Hair Fall?
If you are worried about hair loss, you should know that with nearly 100,000 hairs on your head, it's totally normal to lose around 50-100 hairs a day. New hair replaces the lost hair constantly—the hair growth cycle. But this doesn't always happen, which is when you start noticing thinning patches of hair or baldness. Hair loss can be permanent or temporary and often happens gradually over the years. Regardless of the type, hair loss is generally related to one or more of the following factors.
- One of the most common causes of hair loss, family history or a hereditary condition happens with ageing. This condition is called androgenic alopecia, and it typically occurs gradually in predictable patterns—thinning hair along the crown of the scalp in women and receding hairline and vertex thinning in men.
- Hormonal imbalance
A lot of conditions alter your hormone level, including childbirth, pregnancy, thyroid problems, and menopause causes permanent or temporary hair loss.
- Medications and supplements
Sometimes, hair loss happens as a side effect of certain drugs like those used for depression, gout, cancer, heart problems, and high blood pressure.
- Stressful events
Many people experience thinning of hair after a physical or emotional shock. Usually, such hair loss tends to be temporary. Examples of these events include death in the family, viral fevers, crash diets, extreme weight loss.
- Hairstyling and treatments
Excessive hairstyling that involves pulling your hair tight, such as cornrows, or pigtails causes a specific type of hair loss called traction alopecia. Additionally, hot-oil hair treatments, scarring, and chemical treatments done in salons that don’t use good quality products could also result in such fallouts.
- Nutritional deficiency
A diet lacking iron, Vit D, Vit B 12, protein, and other necessary nutrients can lead to thinning hair.
Here are the four most popular hair care myths
Myth #1 – Natural oils are good for hair growth
Fact – Using certain oils can be counterproductive
Contrary to popular belief, most natural oils like coconut oil, castor oil, and almond oil aren’t magical hair growth solutions. They are incapable of penetrating the hair root deep enough to make a lasting improvement. Additionally, when not washed away properly, natural oils, especially almond and castor oil, leave a sticky residue and make your hair strands feeling greasy. So when you use such oil, your hair will require extra shampooing to rid the greasiness, which will, in turn, strip your hair of moisture, leading to dryness.Nevertheless, using light oils such as coconut oil in moderation won’t hurt. It is an excellent conditioner for your hair. So, consider applying it only onto your hair strands as part of your pre-wash routine and wash it away after 30 minutes. Don't leave coconut oil on your hair overnight. The oil will soak into the pillow cover where your face goes and negatively impact acne-prone skin.
Myth #2 – Washing your hair everyday results in increased hair loss
Fact – Washing your hair every day with the right shampoo and conditioner won’t cause hair fall
Almost all of us commute to work, exercise, or do house chores every day, which results in our scalps getting sweaty and oily. A sweaty or unclean scalp acts as a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi and traps dirt preventing your scalp from breathing, eventually resulting in hair loss.If you tend to sweat a lot, then it is always a good idea to wash your hair every day. But remember to do so using the right shampoo and the right conditioner. Cleansing and gently exfoliating your scalp regularly promote the ideal environment for hair growth by getting rid of all the accumulated dirt and dust.A lot of shampoos today are specially designed for everyday use. They remove excess sebum and dirt without damaging the hair's natural protective acid mantle. This thin protective film regenerates within 24 hours so you can wash your hair every day without problems.
Myth #3 – Using conditioner causes hair fall
Fact – Using the right conditioner doesn’t cause hair fall
It is an absolute myth that conditioners cause hair to fall out. While it might seem that shampoo and conditioner cause hair fall, cleansing and conditioning your hair can actually promote healthier hair growth.Conditioning smoothens the hair cuticle and protects it from damage, thereby restoring your hair and making it look healthier.
Myth #4 – Colouring, straightening, and keratin treatment damage your hair
Fact – It can be damaging only when you don’t give your hair proper after-care
While there is half-truth behind this one, these treatments can only be damaging when your hair isn’t given proper after-care. Colouring, straightening, and other hair treatments change your hair's texture, which then demands continuous after-care.So, if you are planning to undergo any of these treatments, make sure you are ready to invest both time and money into buying and using the after-care products that are often on the pricier end. After-care products to consider include conditioners, hair masks, and protein treatments.
Your step-by-step guide to managing hair loss
Maintaining a good hair care routine is as important as following a skincare regimen. It ensures your hair stays nourished, soft, frizz-free, healthy, and free of infections, greasiness, and other conditions. Now that you know what’s right and wrong, it’s time we look into the right hair care routine. Below, you will find expert-recommended tips and a step-by-step guide for managing hair loss.
Step #1 – Nourish from within
One of the primary reasons that cause hair loss is nutritional deficiency. If you are losing a lot of hair, the first thing you should do is check your Vitamin B12, Vitamin D25 and Serum Ferritin levels. Consult a dermatologist with the results, and after evaluation, he/she might be able to prescribe you supplements, if necessary. Alongside these supplements, in-taking biotin supplements are also considered ideal for taming hair loss as it improves the protein structure of your hair.However, it is always ideal to take nutrients that promote hair growth in their natural form. Here are some best foods you should consider adding to your diet.
When it comes to hair loss, thyroid and PCOS also play a crucial role. Hypo/ hyperthyroidism negatively impacts hair development at the root region, resulting in thinning across your scalp and other areas such as your eyebrows. Additionally, PCOS causes thinning of hair due to an increase in androgens—male hormones. Nevertheless, both these conditions can be treated with the help of a dermatologist along with an endocrinologist or a gynaecologist.
Step #2 – Pre-wash care for your hair
In India, most people consider coconut oil as a natural hair growth remedy. However, as mentioned in the previous section, coconut oil is not a magical remedy that can curb hair fall. Instead, what it does is condition your hair. You can use coconut oil or any other less greasy oil to condition your hair pre-wash. Apply the oil on your hair strands and massage it onto your hair scalp to increase the blood flow. Leave it for just 30 minutes before washing it away.On the other hand, you can also use a pre-wash hair conditioner or pre-shampoo formula, especially if you have chemically treated hair, to nourish, hydrate, detoxify, and stimulate your hair. Apply the solution and leave it for 15-20 minutes before washing and you will be good to go.
Step #3 – Cleanse your hair the right way
Taking care of your scalp and keeping it clean is just as important as taking care of your internal nutrition. We all sweat a lot every day doing daily house chores, exercising, or commuting to work, which results in the scalp getting oily and dirty.So, if your scalp tends to get sweaty, it is important to wash your hair often with the right shampoo and conditioner. For instance, if you have dry hair, use a sulphate-free shampoo. On the other hand, people with an oily scalp and fungal conditions should use a shampoo containing sulphate.
Step #4 – Condition your hair after every wash
Always use a conditioner after a hair wash and leave it on for 3-4 minutes before washing it away. This will provide your hair with the much-needed moisture for looking healthy and protected. Nevertheless, remember to apply the conditioner only on to your hair strands and not on the scalp.
Step #5 – Protecting Your Hair From Heat Styling Post-Wash
After washing and conditioning, use a heat-protecting serum if you prefer blow-drying your hair. We all love to have well-set and well-blow-dried hair that allows us to try out different styles. However, the heat can have detrimental effects on your hair when exposed to regularly. By using a heat-protecting serum or mousse, you protect your hair from the heat while getting to style your hair.
Taking care of your hair becomes easy when you know what’s right and wrong. You can make informed decisions about the products you choose to use on your hair, how often you wash it, and the way you style it. Whenever you are ready to change your hair care routine or products, make sure you pay special attention to your hair's current condition. You don't want the decisions you make to have adverse effects on your hair.To get more help with managing your hair or skin, you can book a dermatology consultation on the cure.fit app.