It’s not uncommon to worry about your hair becoming thin or even falling out at some point. There are plenty of myths when it comes to causes of female hair loss, which we’ll touch upon in a future post, but for now, here are 10 tips to prevent thinning hair and manage any hair thinning that you may currently be experiencing.
The first step you should take to prevent thinning hair is maintain a well-balanced diet. A combination of complex carbohydrates, protein, and low-fat foods can help you combat hair loss. In addition, avoid any snacks with high sugar content as these cause sugar cravings which prevent us from eating more nutrient-rich foods.
If you need to lose excess weight at any point in your life, take your time. Avoid the appeal of a “quick fix” crash diet, promising to help you lose weight fast. Any rapid weight loss diets run the risk of causing hair loss. Follow only a doctor-recommended diet with NO stimulants.
Small iron deficiencies can likely lead to hair loss, especially during childbearing years, so make sure your multivitamin has a small amount of iron in it to help keep your levels normal. I’ve found that many of my patients with thinning hair have low iron levels.
Stress can take a mental and physical toll on your body. Regular exercise is one of the best stress-reducers, since it boosts endorphins and lowers the levels of your body’s stress hormones. Give yoga and meditation a try – both of them are helpful stress relievers that can easily be incorporated into one’s daily regime.
A professional stylist will be more likely to notice any changes and prevent thinning hair when you see him or her on an ongoing basis. Stylists are able to identify signs of hair loss – ask him/her to tell you their honest feedback and to keep an eye out for you.
Avoid pulling and tugging your hair when brushing and give up the super tight ponytails and buns, which can cause breakage and damage at the root. Additional examples of hair styles, tools and practices to avoid or cut back on as much as possible include: corn rows, tiny, tight braids, hot irons, straighteners, excessive blow drying with hot air, hot curlers, prolonged perms or chemical straighteners.
Many women color their hair to hide grays or to brighten their locks. Ask your stylist to use a professional hair color product that contains no peroxide and as little ammonia as possible. Both chemicals can be damaging to hair.
If you are a young woman on oral contraceptives, make sure you know which type you are taking and any possible side effects. Some birth control pills can contribute to hair loss. If your hair is naturally thin, have an open discussion with your doctor about your concerns.
If there is a strong history of hair thinning or loss among immediate and/or extended family members (grandparents, parents, uncles, etc.), you may have a higher risk of experiencing it yourself. If consulting with a hair loss expert, make sure to bring any family observations to his/her attention. Very often a patient concerned about her thinning hair will tell me that her mother or sister also have thin hair. This is not just a coincidence!
Try to make (and keep) regularly-scheduled physical exams and have your doctor check your labs for vitamin deficiencies (including iron), hormonal imbalances, diabetes, and other nutritional deficiencies. Your doctor can help you identify some of the potential causes of hair thinning.
All of these tips are lifestyle changes and precautionary measures you can take in an effort to prevent thinning hair and can be followed in conjunction with professional medical hair rejuvenation solutions available at Medi Tresse. We have locations in Wellesley, MA, Worcester, MA, Scarsdale, NY, New York, NY, and Chattanooga, TN.
Posted by Mary Wendel, M.D.