Hair fall is a common occurrence. For some, it is under the normal levels but for many, it surpasses this limit and leads to hair thinning and even bald patches. The cosmetic importance of luscious locks on the head is crucial to men and women alike. And, when loss of hair becomes evident, it can be extremely stressful. For long and healthy hair, it is imperative that the hair roots are strong and healthy too. ‘How to strengthen hair?’ is a question dermatologists are asked every single day and this article is here to give you the right answers.
Hair grows out from the hair follicles that are present in the skin, be it on the scalp or anywhere else on the body. These hair follicles can also be referred to as hair roots or hair bulbs. Specialized cells present in the hair roots give rise to the hair shaft that protrudes out of the skin and grows to form long hair strands. Under ideal circumstances, the hair roots are strong and hold the hair strands firmly in place until it is time for them to shed. Till then, the hair is thick, long, and strong.
On experiencing stress due to various physical, chemical, hormonal or other conditions, the hair roots can become weak making the hair strand loose and even brittle. This means hair-fall and breakage increases beyond the normal levels. Here, the bottom line is; to have strong hair, the hair roots need to be strong too!
Symptoms Of Weak Hair
Weak hair presents itself with the following characteristics –
• Has split ends
• Dry and dull
• Brittle or breaks easily
• Sheds from the roots
• Limp hair
• Tangles easily
• Lack of natural shine
What Causes Weakening The Roots Of The Hair?
The hair follicles are essentially embedded strongly in the scalp skin but many factors can affect them negatively. This results in the hair roots becoming weak causing increased hair fall and hair breakage as well. The causes of weak hair roots are as follows –
(A) Hormonal Imbalance – The hair growth cycle is controlled by our hormones and a hormonal imbalance can cause a blockage to get long and strong hair. Menopause, thyroid problem, etc. can create an imbalance in the hormonal levels in the body and disrupt the normal hair growth cycle by weakening the hair roots
(B) Genetics – Some people are affected by a genetic predisposition to lose hair due to weak hair roots. Androgenetic alopecia seen in males and females is the most common type of genetic hair loss from weak hair follicles
(C) Stress – Mental stress can affect the hair growth cycle and diminish the hair strength. Similarly, physical stress from tight hair styles or hair styling instruments can subject the hair roots and hair strands to become weak. As a result of both mental and physical stress, hair breakage becomes very common and hair fall increases.
(D) Scalp Infection – Bacterial or fungal infections on the scalp such as ringworm of the scalp can damage the hair roots to the extent of causing permanent hair loss in the affected areas
(E) Dandruff – This scalp condition results from increased natural oil production on the scalp that blocks the hair bulbs. Flaky skin and itchiness are some common symptoms of dandruff. The white flakes hinder the oxygen flow to the hair roots and can weaken them
(F) Chemical Damage – Strong chemicals found in hair colours, bleaching agents, hair styling products, etc. can sap the life out of hair strands and even your hair follicles
(G) Unhealthy Diet – A diet that lacks essential nutrients such as protein, vitamins, and minerals that are vital for a healthy hair cycle can make the hair roots grow weaker and lead to an increased hair fall
(H) Medications – Certain drugs can also weaken the hair roots and cause the hair to shed more easily. These include blood thinners (anti-coagulants), gout medicines, Vitamin A, anti-depressants, etc.
(I) Climate and pollution – Environmental factors may also weaken the hair roots, especially pollution causes the hair follicles to deteriorate and makes them fall off easily. As there are carcinogens found in smoke along with microorganisms that can damage your hair.
How To Diagnose Weak Hair?
If you start to notice increased split ends, brittleness, and hair fall more than the usual amount, it could be because of the weak hair roots. For an appropriate diagnosis of the weak hair and the cause of it, a consultation with a dermatologist or trichologist is the first step. He/she can assess your scalp, hair, and your medical history to identify the factors that are causing your hair follicles to become weak. A few tests may be recommended to confirm the underlying cause, for example in the case of a hormonal imbalance.
It is important to understand that an appropriate diagnosis will lead the path towards a suitable treatment option to strengthen hair and eventually grow thick and long hair.
Strengthening Treatment For Weak Hair Roots
Treatment for weak hair roots should primarily aim at fortifying the scalp with essential nutrients and growth factors that will strengthen the hair follicles. The aim is to make the hair long and strong as a result.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) treatment is a weak hair solution that is sought after by both women and men across India, when they need a reliable solution to their hair problem. Plasma along with platelets separated from the client’s blood are powerhouses of nutrients and are infused with important growth factors. These reinforce the weak hair roots and make the hair strong. Hair growth also improves while a substantial decrease in hair fall is brought about by the treatment.
The concoction of platelet rich plasma is injected into specific regions of the scalp that are affected by the hair root weakening and hair thinning. With successive sessions, both the hair follicles and the hair strengthen. Hair growth progresses to make your hair long and strong. With no associated adverse side effects, PRP therapy is touted as the best hair strengthening treatment that provides effective results.
Tips To Make Your Hair Roots Strong
Here are some tips for strong and nourished hair growth, that will help to make better choices –
i. Use reinforcing formulas when it comes to shampoos and conditioners, also they must be dermatologist recommended to strengthen the hair by providing them with protein and other nourishing ingredients
ii. Do not wash your hair more than two times a week, especially if you have weak hair follicles. Excessive washing can make the hair strands rough and dry, making them brittle and easy to break
iii. Use a shampoo meant for your skin type (oily, dry, flaky, etc.) as using wrong products can have adverse effects. A healthy scalp implies strong hair follicles and this, in turn, means making your hair thick and strong right from the roots
iv. Opt for protein masks or deep conditioning treatments to strengthen the hair roots and also provide hydration and nourishment to the scalp
Also Read: How To Thicken Fine Hair ?
v. Avoid damaging the hair due to excessive heat exposure from styling tools such as hair straighteners and curling irons
vi. Stay away from hair colouring, bleaching, and other similar treatments which use strong chemicals
vii. If you do decide to get hair colour, make sure to pick an ammonia-free formula so that your hair remains minimally damaged because of the treatment
viii. Do not brush your hair too often as this can make the hair follicles weak and increase hair fall. Use a soft bristled brush or one with natural bristles so that the hair roots do not experience too much pressure and the process of getting strong and healthy hair is not interrupted
ix. If your hair gets tangled easily, use a detangling brush or detangling spray to avoid any breakage during the hair combing or brushing. This is one of those rarely talked about strong and healthy hair tips that can make a lot of difference
x. Exercise for at least 30 minutes three to four times a week to improve blood circulation and oxygen flow to the scalp. Exercising regularly can also aid in keeping stress levels down and thus, strengthen hair roots. Physical activity is an excellent way to strengthen your hair
xi. Do not indulge in unhealthy food too often or try crash diets. The internal care you provide your hair is as important as the external one. A diet rich in green leafy vegetables, proteins, healthy fats, and whole grains will provide your scalp and hair with plenty of nourishment from inside. This will help you to get long, strong, and thick hair that withstands the environment
xii. You can take vitamin A, C, D, and B complex supplements to enhance hair growth and keep your hair healthy and strong. Check with a dermatologist or a nutritionist for the appropriate dosage of these supplements
xiii. Mineral supplements can also be taken along with vitamin supplements. zinc, calcium, selenium, and manganese are often recommended by experts to get thick and strong hair
xiv. Cover your hair with a scarf when you step out to shield it from the sun’s harmful rays and the pollutants in the atmosphere
xv. Last but not the least, an essential tip to strengthen hair roots is to drink plenty of water every day. Water ensures optimal functioning of various processes in the body and keeps your hair and skin soft and supple
Healthy hair that is strong and thick is coveted by everybody. To get strong hair, the hair roots need to be taken care of, because this is where the hair strands originate. Hair strengthening is not an unachievable goal. It can be realized easily and quickly by using the right hair solution to strengthen the weakened hair follicles and also the hair strands. Book an appointment with a hair specialist doctor if you notice any signs of weak hair. Additionally, follow the tips to strengthen hair roots and prevent any irreversible damage to your hair’s health.