Hair loss is a tricky subject. Our hair has helped define who we are for much of our lives, so losing it can be especially daunting. Like many things that happen with age, it may seem inevitable, but the good news is that it’s not completely out of your control. Although factors like genetics play a role, there are things you can change, like your diet, stress levels, and even how you bathe, that can make a difference in how much hair you have. you lose. Read on to find out the one thing you could be doing in the shower that is making hair loss worse.
RELATED: If Your Hair Is Thinning, This Food Could Be To Blame, Study Says.
Hair loss in the shower is a fact – you’ve found it down the drain since the days when thinning hair issues couldn’t be further from your mind. According to the American Academy of Dermatologists (AAD), losing between 50 to 100 strands throughout the day is completely normal. But using hot water to wash your hair can increase those numbers by weakening your strands, which leads to increased hair loss over time.
“Hot water can damage hair’s keratin proteins and strip natural oils from the scalp, which will make hair very dry and weak, resulting in breakage,” explains celebrity hairdresser Mark Townsend, creative director of Collective Laboratories. “Hot water opens the cuticle layer of hairs, causing moisture loss and brittleness.” All of these factors can contribute to hair loss.
A hot, steamy shower can be your moment of zen at the start or end of a long day. But as relaxing as it is, when it comes time to wash and rinse your hair, it’s best to turn that dial down. “Lukewarm or lukewarm water is ideal for washing your hair because this water is warm enough to help melt the scalp’s natural oils without stripping and over-drying the scalp, hair and skin like normal water would. really hot,” says Townsend. “When rinsing, it’s best to use cooler water as it helps seal the cuticle layer of the hair, locking in moisture to prevent breakage.”
RELATED: For more hair tips delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
The shower isn’t the only place where your hair is potentially damaged by heat. When your hair is wet”the cuticles swell with water and become fragile” and are more prone to break, Dominique Bourg, PhD, chief scientist, hair biologist, microbiologist and trichologist for evolis Professional told She Finds. But getting it dry — or curly or straight — can also be a hassle. “Using hot styling tools on wet hair after showering can also lead to damage and breakage, as this ‘instant drying’ essentially boils off the water residue inside your hair,” says noted Burg.
Any styling with excessive heat, whether blow-drying, straightening or curling, can contribute to hair loss. If you’re worried about thinning hair, it’s best to let your locks air dry or use a microfiber towel to dry them as much as possible before blow-drying them. If you can’t live without your heated tools, Townsend advises making sure to turn the heat down to “help prevent more dryness and damage.” He keeps his irons under 300 degrees.
For those days when a hair dryer is non-negotiable (who wants to go out in the cold with wet hair?), be sure to apply a heat protectant before styling. “Hair weakens as it ages, so it’s important to take steps to protect it, so I like to use Dove Smooth and Shine Heat Protectant Spray on hair before using hot tools,” says Townsend.
Looking for products with fortifying ingredients like jojoba or flaxseed oil can also help, reports She Finds. When it comes to shampoo and conditioner, you should keep them both in your routine. “I hear women say they don’t use conditioner after shampooing because they’re afraid it will weigh their hair down, but your hair needs moisture and nourishment, especially as you go. as you get older,” says Townsend. “I tell my clients to use a light treatment like Collective Laboratories Strengthening Conditioner after shampooing to help repair damage and prevent breakage.
While many hair loss-specific products are aimed at men, maintaining a healthy scalp really is the key to preventing hair loss for all genders. Be proactive about caring for your scalp to prevent hair loss,” says Townsend. He recommends using Collective Laboratories Activator Serumbut there are many products that can help keep your scalp healthy and, therefore, the hair on your head.
RELATED: If You’re Over 65, This Hairstyle Ages You, Experts Say.