How to Prevent Hair Loss
Usually, we can expect to shed about 100 hairs each day. It’s part of the natural balance of your hair biology. Your hair follicles go through a cycle that includes growth, transition, and rest — but for many women, it may seem like their follicles are spending too much time resting. When your growth cycle is interrupted, and more hair falls out then grows in, hair loss occurs.
Many women suffer in silence with their hair loss, changing their hairstyles to disguise thin spots; however, female hair loss is not uncommon at all. In fact, more than half of U.S. women will experience noticeable hair loss along the top of their heads as they reach menopause. This hair loss type is called female-pattern hair loss (FPHL) and affects about 30 million American women, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
The way it affects women is different from how it impacts men — this is because many women feel their hair communicates their femininity, personality, and attractiveness to the world. Learning how to prevent hair loss is crucial for many women to regain their self-confidence, quality of life, and emotional well-being.
The Hair Growth Cycle
Hair fibers begin their existences in tiny skin pockets called follicles. Their life cycles involve three growth stages: anagen, catagen, and telogen.
- Active growth or anagen stage — Your hair grows for two to seven years during the anagen stage. For maximum growth, your hair should remain in this phase for as long as possible. Often, genetics will cut it short.
- Transition or catagen stage — This two- to three-week stage is a transitionary phase between anagen and telogen phases. During this short period, your hair bulb is forced toward your scalp and disconnects from its blood source.
- Resting or telogen stage — No new cell division happens during the three- to nine-month telogen phase. This means the length of your locks remains the same over this stage. The follicle’s dermal papilla uses this stage to "refill" the hair matrix with growth cells in preparation for the anagen phase. Eventually, the resting club hair is shed, and a new hair grows up through the follicle.
Why Hair Loss Happens
There’s no single cause for hair loss. For example, there are as many as 30 medical conditions that can cause it, in addition to:
- Lifestyle factors
- Drugs and medical treatments
- Tight hairstyles
- Hair products that contain harsh ingredients
Hormone imbalances related to aging and thyroid conditions can also trigger hair to fall out.
Hair Loss and Aging
Age-related changes in dihydrotestosterone (DHT) levels can lead to FPHL or androgenetic alopecia. DHT is a male hormone found primarily in our blood but is also common in sweat and sebum. It is a testosterone derivative that binds with hair follicles to trigger FPHL. In addition to interrupting the growth cycle on some of your follicles, DHT shrinks the rest of them, causing them to push out fine, wispy-textured strands.
FPHL is different from the balding and receding hairline men experience. As women, we first encounter minor thinning, then a wider-than-normal midline part, and ultimately hair loss across our entire scalp. Female pattern baldness varies among women due to disparities in hormone levels and genetics. If your mom or sisters have FPHL, you are likely to experience it as well.
Preventing Hair Loss
Although thinning hair is a natural part of the aging process, there are steps you can take to prevent or even reverse hair loss. Some of these strategies work by stimulating your follicles back into their active growth phase, causing new hair to emerge. Others aim to prevent hair loss from happening in the first place.
Consider the following hair loss solutions:
- Minoxidil — Minoxidil is a synthetic drug thought to promote hair growth by widening blood vessels. This may allow more blood, oxygen, and nutrients to reach the follicles. It may truncate the telogen phase, causing those resting hairs to shed and be replaced by thicker strands in a new anagen phase.
- Anti-androgens — Prescription anti-androgen medications like spironolactone can prevent hair loss caused by excess testosterone and DHT. They do this by either reducing the production of these hormones or blocking their effects. Talk to your doctor about potential side effects.
- Protect your hair with Heat Protection & Taming Spray — To avoid pulling your hair out at the roots, brush gently and steer clear of tight braids or ponytails. Hairdryers and curling irons can lead to breakage and further hair loss, so protect your strands with BNY’s No Remorse Heat Protection & Taming Spray before applying the heat.
- Nourish your locks with Volumizing Conditioner — Keeping strands hydrated and strengthening them is another way to boost hair health. BNY’s Wake Up Call Volumizing Conditioner contains nourishing bamboo and hops to reduce breakage and promote moisture retention and thicker-looking hair.
- Use Fortifying Hair & Scalp Serum — Better Not Younger’s Superpower Fortifying Hair & Scalp Serum supplies vitamins and minerals to your aging scalp. It contains ginger, caffeine, and niacinamide to stimulate the blood vessels that feed your follicles naturally for healthier, thicker-looking hair.
- Try BNY’s NEW massaging serum applicator — Better Not Younger’s Superpower Liquid Comb Massaging Serum Applicator was designed to be used with BNY’s Fortifying Hair & Scalp Serum. This smooth applicator has aluminum ball-tipped dispensers, widely spaced to stimulate scalp microcirculation and distribute the serum closer to your roots.
- Boost your minerals and vitamins intake with Hair Fortifying Vitamins — Sometimes, as we age, our bodies cannot absorb enough of this essential mineral. Look for a daily supplement that contains minerals and vitamins like BNY’s Significant Other Hair, Skin & Nails Supplement + Retinol Boost.
Prevent Hair Loss with BNY’s Holistic Line of Hair-Care Solutions
There are few things more alarming for most of us than finding an increasing amount of hair in the drain or an ever-widening hair part. Aging is inevitable, and now that you understand how it impacts your hair and scalp, you can do something about it. Make healthy lifestyle choices and use holistic hair and scalp solutions from Better Not Younger.