6 things you need to know about hair loss

6 things you need to know about hair loss

1. MYTH OR FACT: Hair loss is hereditary.

FACT Hair loss does tend to run in the family, says Raynell Zhang, principal trichologist at TK Trichokare. If your parents are showing signs of balding, you are more susceptible to hair loss.

However, there are scalp treatments that can promote blood circulation and slow down the rate of hair loss, to help you maintain a healthy head of hair for longer.

2. MYTH OR FACT: Women only experience hair thinning in their 40s or later.

MYTH Hair thinning is a process that happens over many years, as hair follicles naturally shrink with age.

Women might start experiencing hair loss as early as in their 20s or 30s, as hair thinning is also a result of hormonal fluctuation, stress, poor diet, pregnancy or even harsh hair styling, says Raynell.

3. MYTH OR FACT: Keeping hair tied up can lead to hair loss.

ONLY IF Your hair is tied too tightly.If you can feel your hair roots straining at your scalp when your hair is tied up, you're exerting too much stress on it.

Excess tension on the scalp damages hair follicles and weakens hair, resulting in premature shedding and hence, a progressively thinner mane. But if you don't feel excess strain at your scalp, all is well.

4. MYTH OR FACT It's okay to pluck grey hair.

MYTH A healthy hair follicle supports up to four strands of hair. Yanking out hair before its natural shedding cycle will damage the hair root.

This disrupts the healthy hair-growth cycle and can lead to thinning hair, and eventually, hair loss.

5. MYTH OR FACT: Chemical treatments have no effect on hair thinning.

MYTH In-salon chemical treatments such as hair colouring, perming or bleaching do affect hair loss, as they tend to be harsh on the scalp.

When the scalp is stressed, hair follicles become inflamed or damaged, decreasing the width of the hair that grows from them.

Jeric See, artistic director of Jeric Salon, adds that you should always go to a hairdresser who is a certified colourist or perm technician, as they are better able to analyse individual hair conditions and suggest suitable products for you. Using inappropriate products may result in hair breakage or hair loss in the long run, too.

6. MYTH OR FACT: It is normal for hair to fall out in the shower.

FACT Normal hair fall is about 100 strands a day, says Jeric. But if you are losing more than that, you should seek professional help from a dermatologist or trichologist.

It's also important to get the right shampoo for your scalp. For instance, using shampoo that is extremely nourishing is not advisable on an oily scalp, as excess sebum may accumulate and clog the follicles that are essential for healthy hair growth.

This article was originally published in Simply Her May 2012.

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