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Mistakes That Cause or Worsen Thinning Hair

Mistakes That Cause or Worsen Thinning Hair

Mistakes That Cause or Worsen Thinning Hair

Hair thinning can happen due to various factors. It could stem from styling practices or chemical treatments that cause damage. Aging is another natural factor contributing to thinning hair. Additionally, hair loss can result from stressful events impacting the body, known as telogen effluvium.

Regardless of the cause, it’s crucial to care for your hair and scalp gently, nourish your body, and avoid behaviors that could exacerbate the issue. Here are some AEC insights:

  1. Improper Diet: One important cause of thinning hair is an improper diet, high in saturated fat and sugary drinks, processed snacks, and low in fruits and vegetables. Also, never underestimate the effect of not drinking enough water on hair. Dry brittle hair easily breaks leading to thinning. In other words, hair breakage can lead to hair thinning.
    Solution: Focus on eating healthy nutritious foods and drink plenty of water every day
  2. Lacking certain vitamins and nutrients: Not getting enough vitamin D (whether from sunlight or diet) is a common cause of hair thinning. Additional nutritional deficiencies linked to thinning hair include iron, zinc, and protein deficiency.
    Solution: Take a daily vitamin and have your vitamin D levels checked. Biotin drops can be effective in growing hair in thinning areas.
  3. Excessive Mechanical Manipulation such as forceful brushing and combing dry hair are major causes of hair thinning. Brushing dry curls is an absolute no no. Curls should only be brushed, if at all, and even then gently, when soaking wet with a slippery conditioner or detangler. And only with appropriate brushes or wide toothed combs designed for curly hair.
    Products and solutions: Always detangle the hair starting from the ends and gently working your way up to the roots.
    Tangle Teezer Wet Detangler Brush on Amazon
    Wide Tooth Comb on Amazon
  4. Too Tight Hairstyles: Ponytails are fine but pulling the hair and using tight hair bands can cause major thinning at the temples. Similarly, traction alopecia can be caused by the long-term too tight braiding of the hair. In fact, tight braids, weaves, dreadlocks, cornrows, and heavy extensions can cause severe and irreversible hair loss and subsequent thinning in some people.
  5. Using Too Much Heat: The outer cuticle layer of the hair is quite strong but sensitive to high heat from blow dryers and curling irons. Once the cuticle layer is damaged and the underlying cortex is exposed, the hair dries easily and breaks off. These breaks cause thinning at mid-length to the hair ends where the hair is older, and make it appear that the hair is not growing (when in fact it is growing but breaking off).
    Solutions: Let your hair dry naturally or use the cold air setting. Alternatively, if hair is very dense and would take forever to air dry, use the low heat setting on the hairdryer. Curlies should always use a diffuser. And if you must use a straightening iron, always use a heat protectant.
    Product: The Dyson hair dryer is a curly girl favorite.
  6. Bleaching and Other Chemical Treatments: These treatments break the strong cystine disulfide bonds in the hair, build up cysteic acid, and can seriously weaken the hair strands. Once the cuticle layer is damaged, the hair’s porosity increases making it more difficult to retain moisture. Without moisture, the hair splits, dries, and breaks off more readily.
    Solutions: Deep condition your hair weekly and seal in moisture with a styler or oil.
    Try a protein bond-building treatment, such as a K18 treatment, between color services. This will fortify your hair to better withstand the chemical treatments.
  7. Overexposure To Sunlight: We all need sun and vitamin D (which your body makes when exposed to sunlight) but too much sun for is bad for your hair. UV turns grey hair yellow and sun-damaged hair leads to split ends, breakage, and frizz. Breakage = thinning.
    Products and Solutions: Cover your hair with a cute hat or scarf if you plan to be out in the sun for an extended period of time. Also deep condition regularly.
    A favorite deep conditioner: Camille Rose Algae Renew
  8. Not Getting Regular Trims: The hair ends are the oldest and most damaged parts of the hair, and not getting them trimmed every 3-6 months worsens split ends and breakage.
  9. Piling on Heavy Products If the hair is low density, meaning on the thinner side, using handfuls of conditioners and stylers heavy in oils and/or butters will clump/stick the hair together making it look even thinner than it is. If you can easily see your scalp when the hair is dry, it is low density. It might be better to sacrifice defined curls and go for volume instead.
  10. Over Conditioning the hair by leaving the (deep) conditioner in too long or overnight (!) resulting in limp, weak hair that easily snaps. Conversely, under conditioning can lead to dry brittle hair and breakage.
    Solution: Focus on maintaining an appropriate protein-moisture balance
  11. Protein Overload by using too many protein-heavy hair products, resulting in hair that feels dry, has hardened, and breaks easily.
  12. Not Clarifying — over time there can be a buildup of pollutants, silicones, dirt, and products on your hair, which may cause it to become dry and brittle as the buildup prevents moisture from reaching the hair strand’s core.

Solution: use a gentle clarifying cleanser (shampoo) regularly

  1. Wearing a Protective Style For Too Long can cause the hair to mat up, break off, or become severely dry. This is especially true if the hair is neglected while in the protected style. Hair needs air and shed hairs need to be removed. Removing a style from tangled hair can also lead to excessive breakage and thinning.
  2. Not Using a Hard Water Filter: Hard water is high in heavy minerals, such as calcium and magnesium. These can build-up in your hair and crystallize on the scalp and hair shaft, obstructing your hair from absorbing moisture, and making the hair heavy and brittle. This leads to tangles, knots, and inevitable hair breakage and thinning.
    Solution: Use a hard water filter on your shower head.
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