Habits That May Be Making Your Hair Fall Out
One fear that just about every man has is going bald. It can’t be helped, it’s not a very pretty picture. When you start going bald, your only option is to shave. That is, unless you practice appropriate measures beforehand, and combat baldness before it strikes. You might have destructive habits that are causing you to go bald, or you might not be adopting some of the best habits out there that could be saving your hair. We’re going to discuss all of it, and maintain that luscious mane.
1. Shampooing Too Often
Nobody is arguing that you should be shampooing, but you don’t need to do it every single day. Shampoo strips minerals and oils from your hair, and while that’s good at the moment, it can be damaging long-term. That’s why we’ve seen a large movement of organic, non-chemical shampoos that promote better health. If you have extremely greasy hair on average (such as feeling oily four hours after a shower), and you can’t avoid shampooing every day, ensure that you’re using a high-quality product to properly clean your hair instead of simply stripping it of natural oils.
If you find that you need to shampoo often, make sure that you’re combing your hair periodically throughout the day. Whether you’re using a dopp kit or not, it’s best to carry around a comb to evenly distribute oils through your hair over the course of the day. This keeps your hair healthy and removes that oily, greasy feeling throughout the day. When oils block your pores, you’re not providing an optimal environment for hair growth. It’s the Goldilocks rule: not too much, not too little, just the right amount and quality of shampoo will help.
2. Leading a Stressful Life
Science tells us that it takes an average of sixty-six days to form habits, and if you’re constantly stressed out and have been for some time, it’s become a habit. We often fall prey to the way our childhood was or become subject to stress from school, relationships or our career.
Stress has actual consequences on the body. It messes with your pH levels, skin oil production, and can cause bald patches to arise on your scalp. People often like to dismiss stress as a mental state, but it’s been proven that stress isn’t all in your head.
You can use your mental state to help calm yourself down, but when stress strikes it causes blood vessels to contract, blood pressure to rise and is linked to diabetes, obesity and heart disease. It’s no small matter, and watching your hair literally fall out isn’t going to do anything but intensify your stress. Look to calming methods of relaxation, such as essential oil diffusers, and taking more time to enjoy yourself.
3. Poor Dietary Practice
In the same spirit as our next point, not having the necessary vitamins in your diet can seriously damage your hair production. Your hair uses vitamins and minerals, which is why you’ll see all major hair products promote them right on the bottle. This is because the average citizen isn’t getting a proper diet or enough water, and your body will starve your skin and hair before anything else so that minerals and vitamins can promote proper organ function.
The argument on this is that hair is technically dead skin, formed of keratin. It’s more like recycled skin, and despite those claims, it’s still something that grows every single day. Treat it like any other part of your body and ensure proper nutrition, and you will lessen your chances of premature balding or hair loss altogether. If you don’t feel that you’re getting enough in your diet, you should also opt for an all-natural or organic shampoo to enrich your hair.
4. Not Refilling After Sports or the Gym
We know that our bodies are primarily made up of water. We know that working out to the point of sweating means that we’re tapping into our hydration to help cool off our bodies. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with working up a sweat at the gym, it’s actually healthy for every part of your health (including hair production). But if you’re letting your body crave water for hours after the gym, then you’re only causing harm. Your body will focus on hydrating the most important organs fist: your heart, liver, kidneys, etc.
That means it will starve your skin and hair of hydration first and foremost. When you drink enough water, your body has plenty to distribute to all areas that need it, including your scalp. We’d like to point out that replacing your water consumption with sports drinks, regardless of their electrolyte count, is not going to cut it here. On average, you should be drinking a half-gallon of water every single day, but if you’re hitting the gym for a hardcore session, you should up that accordingly depending on your time spent. An additional eight-ounce glass (1/8 of a half-gallon) for every fifteen minutes spent should suffice.
5. Taking Piping Hot Showers
You want to feel clean, but taking a seriously hot shower, one that persists for more than two or three minutes can be damaging your hair. You have three main problems that occur:
Your scalp is susceptible to temperature-related damage. If you’re underneath the stream of burning hot water, then you’re effectively removing dirt, but you’re also drying out oil production in your scalp. That oil is used to enrich your hair and intended to be distributed throughout your hair. We want to remove some during our shower, but not all.
Second, your hair is porous when you wet it. When you heat it as well, it’s even more susceptible to absorbing just about everything in the air. When you step out and use hair spray or a styling product, you’re essentially replacing oils in your hair with synthetic products. Your hair oil slowly loses its necessity for existing, and your scalp stops producing as much oil and eventually stops producing as much hair.
Last but not least, it dries out your scalp to the point of dandruff. This is something you’ll see us commonly refer to, but it causes pH level imbalances. That throws off not only your hair and oil production but can increase the production of oil elements such as sebum, which in excess can cause blackheads and adult acne.
6. Being the “Hat Guy”
A while back, studies arose saying that constant hat wearing could cause you to go bald. It’s true, to some degree. Your scalp needs to breathe. Even though there’s thick, luscious hair on your head right now, it’s still able to receive oxygen from every little spot in between your hairs. There’s a ton of arguments against this fact, and for some men, it doesn’t affect them as bad. There is, however, one aspect that you can’t ignore.
Causing constant strain to your hair follicles has been proven to damage follicles, and prohibit production. That much has been proven, so why are there those denying hats can cause hair loss? If you pull your hat down, you can feel the tightness on your hair: it’s part of what actually keeps the hat on. This strain and stress, over time (and keep in mind, this is a very slow-burning process), can lead to or participate in other reasons that you experience hair loss.
7. Using Extreme Heat When Blow Drying
We’re later going to tell you that you should be blow drying instead of running a towel through your wet hair, but too much heat is a bad thing. It’s in the same regard as taking too-hot showers: you’re drying out your scalp, ruining oil production, and basically signaling to your body that your hair is dead and no longer needs production.
That’s the sized-down scale of the science that’s all taking place on your scalp during this process. Heat dries out your pores, “cooks away” oil in your hair, and provides you with a much drier scalp. Dry scalp turns into flaking, which throws your pH balance out of whack, and that alone can naturally cause your hair to fall out. It isn’t enough to just introduce more methods to curb dry scalp. While dandruff shampoo definitely has its place, preventing damage in the first place is where you want your focus to be.
8. Constant Dyeing
We all had fun in our late teens and early twenties with hair dye. If you’re still frequently dyeing your hair, you’re causing long-term damage that could result in hair loss. Now not all dyes are bad, which we’ll cover in a moment, but for traditional boxed hair dye, there’s a hefty volume of ammonia in each container. That stuff quite literally kills your hair and makes it harder to grow.
But there’s a saving grace. There are just as many all-natural and organic solutions available on the market today, making it infinitely easier to dye your hair and maintain its natural hydration and oils. You can even get powdered, brush-in hair dye. The costs are definitely going to overshadow ammonia-filled dyes, but at the result of causing less damage to your hair, it’s worth it.
9. Frequent Medication Use
You’ll find this with prescription medication far more often than over the counter solutions, but some medication can make your hair fall out in a few short years. This is something that has to be disclosed on medication bottles and informational packets that you receive with prescription medication, but your doctor doesn’t necessarily have to bring this up when describing a new medication option.
You’ll have to pay close attention to the specific medication and consider switching to a synthetic or generic type. There’s a lot of competition in the medical space, so there are usually one or two alternative brands of the same medication available, usually for a much lower cost. In some instances (different depending on what medication), you’ll find that the lesser expensive options don’t come with these side effects.
But how do you combat hair loss in the meantime? This is one “habit” that you can’t just quit; you were prescribed the medication for a reason. If alternative means don’t work for you, try everything else you can to strengthen your hair, and promote future growth. Consider using vitamin-enriched pomades during styling, and switch to a healthier diet to help retain your hair for as long as possible. You’ll find that with a good amount of medications, switching to a healthy and active lifestyle can negate their purpose, so long as you have your doctor tell you that it’s okay.
10. Excessive Damage While Wet
This one is something that we’ve all done, and not even realized that it’s terrible for our hair. When you first get out of the shower, you shouldn’t be dragging your towel through your wet hair. At most, you can lay it on top to help absorb some water, and blow dry it instead. The reason for this is that our hair follicles are extremely weakened when wet, and tugging on them (or pulling a comb through your hair) is putting stress on those follicles.
You’ve likely heard of laser hair removal. I bring this up because it’s a method that’s used to destroy hair follicles that are rooted deep within the skin. While it’s not quite as dramatic, pulling on wet hair over time can damage those hair follicles to prevent hair growth in the future. The best way to avoid this damage is to use a low blow dry setting, after ensuring you use a quality conditioner.
Conditioner helps soften your hair, and we know, that sounds like it would make wet hair damage far easier. It actually helps your hair follicles, because any tugging on your hair (you should still keep it to a minimum) won’t be tugging on locked-up scalp pores. You have to think that once you get out of a hot shower, your pores start contracting when they’re reintroduced to the room temperature atmosphere.
So How do I Stop Hair Loss?
Make sure you’re consciously aware of your health, hydration, and tempting as it may be, don’t use methods of hair management or removal that you know are going to damage your hair follicles. Start by identifying any of these ten habits in your life, become self-aware, and work to quash them from your routine.