Though you may not want Rapunzel’s hair, you probably want your tresses to stay strong and healthy. More importantly, you want it to STAY on your head. There are about 120,000-150,000 strands of hair on our heads so it’s normal to shed 50-100 strands daily. But if you constantly find a huge lump of hair in the drain, or if you realize too much scalp is exposed, then you’ll have to look seriously into the cause.
Hair loss can be due to a number of reasons, including malnutrition, hormonal disorders, stress, aging, genetics, pattern baldness and immunity problems. Even air pollution, water pollution or sun exposure can lead to alopecia. In general, here are a few methods to alleviate hair loss:
1. Change Your Diet
Avoid acidic food
Acidic food such as soft drinks, fatty and salty food can cause premature hair loss. The same thing goes for alcohol, coffee and tobacco. Not only are these acidic but alcohol and caffeine can also make your hair dry and brittle while reducing the body’s amount of iron and zinc, the two minerals beneficial to hair growth. Cigarettes contain toxins that accelerate hair loss and graying.
Make friends with these herbs
Though tea contains caffeine and is generally acidic, green tea actually helps to neutralize acids in your body and prevents the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a substance that causes hair thinning and pattern baldness. Saw palmetto and stinging nettle tea also have the same benefits. In Chinese medicine, tuber fleeceflower, lingzhi mushroom, eclipta, burdock, salvia and rosemary are often used to treat hair loss.
Eat more red meat, green vegetables and fish
Boost your intake of iron (red meat and green vegetables), protein (egg and milk) and omega-3 fatty acids (fish, shellfish and nuts). Iron delivers oxygen to hair follicles and extends its growth period. Protein is a main constituent of hair, while omega-3 fatty acids promote a healthy scalp and bouncy, shiny hair.
Stress and hormonal imbalance can lead to hair loss. Meditate and exercise to keep yourself happy and healthy. Give your scalp a nice massage enhanced with camellia or argan oil to stimulate hair growth and supply hair with essential vitamins and minerals.
3. Be Nice to Your Hair
Treat your tresses with extra care after perming, coloring, and using wigs or hair extensions. Hair styling stresses your hair further, so give it enough time to recover. Remove heavy hair spray by applying conditioner on dry hair. Rinse off and shampoo afterwards.
4. Chemical Treatments
There are lots of shampoos, health supplements and treatments targeting hair loss. There’s Alpecin Caffeine Shampoo (Alpecin has evidence that caffeine can stimulate hair growth when applied, so let your hair drink it instead!) and KAMINOMOTO’s Hair Growth Accelerator, for instance. Make sure they are clinically proven and stop using once you find anything wrong.