A good head of hair is often associated with beauty and youth, so if it isn’t in the best of health, it could be affecting your self-esteem.
Although factors like genetics and age play a part, there are some simple everyday things you can do to improve the look and feel of your hair. You may have noticed hair loss for a while or want to transform your dry hair into smooth, luscious locks.
From following a nutritious diet to general care, we’ll take a deep dive into how to stimulate growth and prevent hair loss with our expert tips.
Tips for healthy hair
1.Eat a diet rich in protein
Hair is made up of protein, so it’s crucial to have enough in your diet for healthy hair, according to Heathline. Lack of protein can result in weak, dry hair and even contribute to thinning and loss!
Try to incorporate foods like eggs, chicken, turkey, beans, and nuts into your diet, as they are excellent protein sources.
Although stress may seem like an internal issue, it can significantly affect your physical appearance. The body releases stress hormones to help you deal with your problem. However, when this is ongoing (chronic), it can lead to hair thinning or loss.
The lost common types of stress-related hair loss include the following.
- Telogen effluvium — The most common type of hair loss caused by stress: telogen effluvium is when hairs on the head stop growing, eventually falling out after a few months.
- Trichotillomania — This condition is the overwhelming desire to pull your hair out due to stress. It can act as a release for some people, but the result is damaged hair.
- Alopecia areata — A disorder when the immune system attacks the hair follicles: alopecia areata can cause hair to fall out, often in clumps. Several factors like hormones, genetics, and age can also play of part in this condition.
It's clear that stress can seriously impact your hair's condition, but how can you avoid it? Regular exercise, eating a well-balanced diet, and getting enough sleep can help reduce stress. Of course, steering clear of challenging situations will also limit it, but that's easier said than done!
Many people know that smoking can severely impact your health, increasing the risk of conditions like cancer and lung disease. But the adverse effects can also affect your hair.
Tobacco reduces blood flow around the body, meaning hair follicles may not receive the oxygen and nutrients they need to grow. Smoking can also cause DNA mutations, disrupting the hair growth cycle. The result may be brittle, dry, and greying hair or worsened male or female pattern baldness, also known as androgenic alopecia.
Thankfully, quitting can reverse some of the damage to your hair. However, you may not notice regrowth after stopping if you’re suffering from a genetic condition like androgenic alopecia.
4.Know your hair type
Although there are different opinions on how often you should wash your hair, it depends on your hair type and individual needs.
For example, people with oily scalps may need to wash their hair daily, as oil build-up on the scalp can damage hair follicles and even prevent growth. Whereas, with dry hair, washing is needed less often. Cleaning too much could strip your scalp of healthy oils, resulting in thin, brittle hair.
Knowing what washing routine works best for you will help you to achieve healthy-looking locks. But remember — no matter your hair type, washing more than once a day is unnecessary. This could cause more harm than good!
5.Be gentle with your hair when wet
Your hair is more vulnerable when wet, so excess rubbing with a towel to dry can cause damage and frizziness. The weight of a towel wrapped around your hair can also result in spit ends, causing your hair to look thinner.
Excessive brushing can also have the same effect, so it’s best to use a wide-tooth comb to detangle your hair after a shower.
For silky smooth hair, treat it gently at all times — especially when wet. Instead of drying with a towel, try using a cotton pillowcase, which will be much softer, reducing broken hairs.
6.Limit tight hairstyles
Tying your hair up is ok, but styling in tight ponytails or braids that pull on the roots often can damage the hair follicles. This is known as traction alopecia and can result in hair loss.
The condition is reversible, but you’ll need to stop doing anything that tugs on the hair as soon as possible. With a bit of time and patience, you’ll notice your hair looking healthier.
However, the hair follicles may only be destroyed if treated straight away, meaning regrowth is impossible naturally.
7.Eat a diet rich in iron
Iron encourages protein production in your red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the cells around the body, encouraging them to grow and repair. This includes the cells which help with hair growth. Therefore, an iron deficiency means essential nutrients cannot get to the hair roots, which may disrupt the growth cycle.
As well as hair loss, symptoms of iron deficiency can also include tiredness and pale skin.
Iron-rich foods like red meat, fish, and liver will help keep levels healthy. Vegetables and grains like spinach, broccoli, and lentils are excellent sources for vegetarians and vegans.
You’ll need a doctor if you experience any symptoms to get diagnosed.Depending on the severity, you may need iron supplements to restore the iron missing from your body.
Taking a trip to the hairdresser can significantly improve your hair health. Cutting your hair's dead ends, even if just by half an inch, can maintain healthy hair and prevent any split ends from travelling further up the head. Aim to do this every four to six months to support growth.
Getting rid of damaged hair will also enhance the appearance of your hair straight away: a quick refresh!
Consider a hair transplant with FUE Clinics
Hair loss is nothing to be ashamed of, but it can crush your confidence — especially if you’ve tried every trick in the book for healthy hair. If your hair isn’t naturally bouncing back to life, there may be an underlying cause. In this case, it’s best to consult your GP for guidance.
If hair loss is persistent, or you have a condition like male-pattern baldness, a transplant could be a permanent solution to restore your hair. Find out more about whether you are the right candidate for a hair transplant with our guide.