Many people believe baldness is just a male problem; however, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, over 30 million women are affected. If you’re unsure whether or not your hair loss is typical, Dr. Mehmet Oz, an American cardiothoracic surgeon and author, who often appears on Oprah, says you can perform this simple test: “Grab some hair, about as much as you would put in a straw. Grab it at the very bottom, right where it comes off the scalp, and pull up. Now look at how many hairs you have in your hand. A small amount of hair is about six hairs. If you’re pulling out more than six hairs, then you’re starting to lose hair a little rapidly.”
Here are few tips to improve the hair you’ve got and slow down any loss:
- Blow Drying. My best friend Terris is a beautician. She maintains you should dry your scalp first, use as cool a setting as possible, and dry from the scalp to the ends. Also, don’t overdry your hair because it causes frizzy, dry, brittle hair. Terri suggests, if possible, allow your ends to air dry.
- Chlorine. According to Dr. Oz, one of the best things you can do is purchase a charcoal filter for your shower head. There are two good reasons why you should: 1) the chlorine from the water can create chloroform vapors in your shower, and chloroform depresses the central nervous sytem, damages the liver, and can cause dizziness and fatigue; and, 2) chlorine dries out hair because it binds to it. So, by using a charcoal filter shower head, you can prevent chloroform vapors and filter out chlorine. Aquasana has a great filter if you’re interested. It was voted product of the year by Cosmetology Today. It’s the Aquasana Shower Filter, and it replaces your current shower head. It has a dual filter and the filter lasts up to six months.
- Combing and Brushing. Terri says you should always comb your hair before you brush it. Use a wide tooth comb rather than a rubber comb because rubber can snag and cause hair breakage. When you hair is wet, it is extremely sensitive and you have to be gentle, so never brush it when it’s wet. If you want to comb it, do so with a wide tooth comb and don’t pull or tug. If you mistreat your hair you can permanently damage hair follicles or cause split ends. When brushing, only brush dry hair, and begin with the underside brushing from the nape of your neck to the tip of your hair. After thoroughly brushing the underside, brush the top layer. Also, keep in mind, if you brush your hair too much it can become oily.
- Hair Products. Choose appropriate products to create nice hair. Avoid hair care products with synthetic oils or petroleum-based oils because they dehydrate the hair and clog hair follicles. Organic hair care products have no synthetic ingredients and are not grown with pesticides. Look for USDA approved shampoos and conditioners. If you need further information on the USDA organic seal, read Did You Know Organic ….
- Shampooing. People think they need to shampoo every day, but it’s not true. Shampooing dries out hair, so only shampoo when your hair’s dirty (about twice a week). Keep in mind over-shampooing and under-conditioning are the primary reasons for dry, brittle, and frizzy hair. If you want to wash your hair everyday, get it wet, put conditioner on it, and then rinse, but don’t shampoo every day.
- Sunlight. Too much sunlight is bad for your hair. It dehydrates it, and when hair is dehydrated, it loses its sheen and body. So, if you’re going to be in the sunlight for an extended period, cover your hair.
- Washing and Conditioning. Did you know there’s a right and a wrong way to wash and condition your hair? Here’s the right ways according to Terri: 1) Comb out tangles before you wet your hair; 2) Wet your hair thoroughly using warm water so hair cuticles open; 3) Place a dab of shampoo in your palm, rub your palms together, and apply the shampoo to the scalp, not to the ends of your hair because that dries out the ends; 4) rinse thoroughly, but do not pull or tug on your hair; 5) if needed, repeat steps 1-4 again; 6) add a dab of conditioner to your palms, rub them together, and apply the conditioner from your hairline to the ends of your hair, but primarily on the ends. Also, if you over condition your hair it will be greasy. Allow the conditioner to sit on your hair for up to ten minutes; and 7) rinse thoroughly with cool water, so the cuticle seals.
If you want to learn more about Dr. Oz and his beauty secrets, he has a new book, YOU: Being Beautiful: The Owner’s Manual to Inner and Outer Beauty. The book targets three dimensions of beauty: looking beautiful, feeling beautiful, and being beautiful. Dr. Oz’s holistic slant provides practical tips to achieve beauty.
Hair loss can also be much more devastating to a woman than a man. If you suffer from male pattern baldness, there are some remedies. You can read Alopecia: Hair Loss for Women and Men to learn more. If your problem is not related to male pattern baldness, you may want to read Help for Women With Hair Loss to rule out other possible reasons for your hair loss problems.