Everyone sheds hair naturally. In fact, most people lose 50-100 strands in a day. So it is totally normal to lose a few strands while you are washing your hair or brushing your hair or for that matter when you are styling them. But what if you begin to lose more hair than normal?
That being said, if you notice frequent hair loss then it is a warning sign or due to an underlying medical issue. But what if there are absolutely no medical reasons for it but your styling habits? Sounds bizarre right? But it is true. In an attempt to make your hair look good, you might be making them much worse.
Can Over-Hair Styling Cause Hair Loss?
Styling is one thing but over-styling is another. If you are over-styling your hair every other day, then it makes your hair prone to breakage, eventually leading to hair loss. Don’t believe us? Well, there are researches to support that.
The problem lies in excessive styling or incorrect styling. In fact, over-brushing your hair makes them prone to split ends and breakage. Some styling products such as hair wax, hair creams or gels can lead to hair loss if used over prolonged periods of time.
Certain hairstyles are also amongst the culprits for causing hair loss. There are styling methods which may put extreme pressure on the hair follicles and force them to shed hair. Unlike the other causes of hair loss, these are neither medical nor genetic but due to the trauma caused on the hair follicle. Trichorrhexus nodosa is the term used to indicate this trauma caused by hair styling that forces the hair follicle to shed hair.
Mistakes That Are Making You Lose Your Hair
Surprisingly, there are several mistakes that make you lose your hair faster. Here are the top styling mistakes to avoid at all costs –
• Styling without protection – We all use hair styling devices such as hair straighteners, curlers, blow dryers etc. to style our hair. Using them once or twice a week is fine but if you are using them frequently without any protection then that can expose your hair to more heat than required.
The hair strands are susceptible to high levels of heat and exposing them to extreme temperature can damage your hair strands. Any temperature above 347 degrees can result in permanent damage to the hair strand.
So it is advisable to minimize heat styling and use a hair protectant spray every time you blow dry the hair. For thin hair, it is advisable not to heat-style the hair more than twice a week.
• Over-brushing – Brushing or combing your hair too often can create stress on your hair follicles and lead to hair loss. There is no need to brush too often unless you have tangled hair. In case you have tangled or curly hair, it is best to comb using a wide-tooth comb. A serum or detangling spray also works well in very curly hair.
• Back-Combing – Back-combing may seem harmless but if done in excess can make hair brittle, dry and prone to breakage. It is mostly used to style thin hair to make it look thicker.
• Going Overboard with Dry Shampoo – Using a dry shampoo occasionally is alright but the problem occurs when you overdo it. It is not really a shampoo but a mixture of talc, cornstarch, alcohol and clay. If you over-use it, the ingredients will starts building up in the scalp and disrupt hair’s natural growth cycle. Never use dry shampoo as a substitute for washing hair.
• Chemicals –Chemicals are used extensively in hair styling products such as hair wax, hair spray, hair dyes etc. So, avoid chemical bleaches or dyes and look for natural ones. Also, hair sprays strip hair of its natural oil and lead to dry, brittle or frizzy hair prone to breakage.
• Weaves And Extensions – Weaves and extensions are usually sewn tight into the hair putting your hair under strain leading to central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia. This type of hair loss starts at the crown and then spread out leading to temple hair loss as well. It is important to treat your hair gently while putting them on and make sure not to pull too hard while brushing.
• Certain Hairstyles – Certain hairstyles can put a lot of pressure on the hair follicles and the stress results in hair loss. This type of hair loss is known as Traction Alopecia.
Tight ponytails, pulled back hair, buns, braids, cornrow, thin hairstyles etc. are some examples of hairstyles for female hair loss. A ponytail is a common hairstyle for men losing hair as it gradually pulls the hair out by the root. Over time, the hair loss can become permanent. A simple trick to find out is that if your face feels tight while making these hairstyles, it is definitely too tight.
How Does Excessive Hairstyling Trigger Traction Alopecia?
Traction alopecia is triggered by constantly wearing your hair pulled back tightly. Some hairstyles for traction alopecia include ponytails, hair pulled back into tight bun, braids, cornrows etc. These hairstyles usually cause thinning of hair in specific areas that eventually spread to the entire scalp. Tight hairstyles for hair loss namely buns and ponytails are the most common causes of traction alopecia.
Traction alopecia is seen more frequently in females than in males. Also, weaves and extensions can lead to traction alopecia. These add-ons are put tightly into the hair at the hair root causing it to be under strain for prolonged hours. If you haven’t let an experienced stylist put extensions in your hair, they can be a recipe for the disaster.
Treatments For Hair Loss (Caused due to Excessive Hairstyling)
If you blame hair styling for the excessive hair loss or hair thinning, it is time to visit your dermatologist to be double sure. The dermatologist will analyze the extent of hair loss and what caused it to suggest you with the relevant treatment option. However, there are some popular treatment options available to reverse hair loss and promote hair growth especially for people with thin hairstyles –
• PRP Therapy – Platelet-rich plasma therapy is one of the most popular treatment options available for reversing hair loss naturally. The procedure is non-invasive and very effective.
The treatment involves extracting plasma from the patient’s blood and activating it. The activated plasma is then injected into the scalp. The activated plasma has the ability to repair the damaged hair follicles and regenerate hair. Just a few sessions are required to see visible results. The new hair will grow naturally from the places where they weren’t growing earlier.
• Oral Medications – A popular oral drug used to reverse hair loss in men is known as Finasteride. This is available upon prescription by the dermatologist and shows great results in men. Women are not advised to take this medicine due to its possible side effects.
• Topical Medications – Certain topical medications are used to reverse hair loss and can be used upon prescription by the dermatologist. One such medicine is Minoxidil solution which is commonly available by the name Rogaine. It is an FDA-approved drug which is available in liquid or foam form. It is applied directly to the affected areas of the scalp to prevent further hair loss. It is very effective in stopping hair loss both in men and women. Minoxidil is also available in spray form. It is primarily used for people suffering from hair loss due to over-styling.
Additionally, postpartum hair loss is also experienced by women who recently delivered, so do not panic if you are losing hair. The dermatologist might suggest restricting usage of heat styling tools, hair dyes, chemical sprays etc. to minimize hair loss.
Does Hair Loss Due To Over Styling Grow Back On Its Own?
Since the cause of hair loss is removed, the hair will grow back on their own. Although it will depend upon the extent of the hair loss caused due to over-styling. There is also uncertainty about the amount of time taken for the hair to grow back. In some cases, it may take more than a year to grow back. However, for faster results, PRP treatment is recommended by the dermatologists.
Does Frequently Changing Hairstyles Make Hair Fall?
No, it does not. There are no facts to support this claim. On the contrary, it is advised to keep changing hairstyles and hair partings to actually let the hair breathe and be upright.
How Can I Know That I Am Losing My Hair Because Of Excessive Hairstyling?
If you notice hair thinning in specific areas, all of a sudden, it can be a warning sign. Also, pay attention to the hairstyles you do on a regular basis. If you are causing stress to your hair for days on a stretch and experiencing hair loss, then consider excessive styling to be the culprit. Make sure to switch between the hairstyles especially for people with thin hairstyles, hair loss may become permanent if pulled back in a pony or bun every day.
Is it better to sleep with your hair up or down?
One generally experiences less breakage if hair is secure. So, it is better to sleep with your hair rather than down. You can braid your hair or put them in a loose bun and secure with bobby pins before sleeping. Make sure that your hair are not held tight as constant tugging or pulling of hair might strain them.
Can touching your hair too much cause hair loss?
There is no problem with touching your hair but touching them too much can lead to hair loss. It may sound weird but touching your hair too often or running your fingers through them frequently can lead to hair loss. Especially when they are wet, they are more prone to breakage due to touching.
Do rubber bands hurt your hair?
Well, the answer is yes and no. If your rubber band is too tight, it might pull your hair too aggressively causing breakage. Also, if your hair tie has a metal part, it can snag your hair and cause breakage. So it is advisable to switch hairstyles involving no rubber bands, avoid rubber bands with metal and avoid securing your hair in a rubber band when wet to prevent hair damage.
Do ponytails break hair?
Ponytails may or may not break hair depending upon how high it is or how tight it is. If it is too high, then consider it as a hairstyle for traction alopecia mainly because it is the worst offender for causing breakage and stress. If it is pulled too tightly, then it will cause tension to the root that may even lead to permanent hair loss.
For those using ponytail as hairstyle for thin, damaged hair are actually doing more harm than ever. Try switching between low and high ponytails even if you regularly need to put your hair in a ponytail. Make sure that the hair tie is not too tight.
Can guys go bald from wearing hats?
If you have a habit of wearing hats all the time, then that may be causing traction alopecia. Wearing hats won’t let your hair breathe and might even clog hair follicles that may eventually lead to hair loss. As per some claims, wearing a hat every day may lead to premature baldness.