Lots of us suffer from hair loss, with common triggers including stress, hormones, hair dye, over-styling, depression and diet—but the root cause can be complicated.
While a visit to a Trichologist (aka hair and scalp specialists), can diagnose individual cases of hair loss, we asked a pro to share her top tips for us all to get our head around.
Here, Trichologist Sally-Ann Tarver gives 10 tricks to try for halting thinning hair—either by tweaking your lifestyle, enlisting technology or consulting an expert. Take note, girls:
1. Eat more protein
"Increasing the amount of dietary protein you eat can help with nutritional hair loss. A reasonable portion of meat or fish every day can make up around half of your 45g quota. Try adding up how much protein you consume daily for a week to get a feel for how much you really need—you may surprise yourself as to how little you really consume."
2. Loosen up
"Constantly pulling your hair into a tight ponytail, wearing hair extensions and excessive blow-drying will cause strain on your hair follicles and could cause traction alopecia. If you have thinning hair, choose a loose hairstyle rather than a tight up-do, avoid having hair extensions and give your hair a break from excessive styling."
3. Listen to your body
"Thinning hair can be caused by thyroid conditions, particularly hypothyroidism which is most often seen in postmenopausal women. Left untreated the condition can cause hair to thin and become dry. Other symptoms include weight gain, dry skin and tiredness. This condition is best monitored and treated by your doctor."
4. Up the vitamins
"Nutritional deficiencies such as low B12 and Vitamin D can slow down hair growth and they can cause hair thinning. Dietary B12 deficiency can be easily resolves by increasing your intake of meat, fish, dairy and by taking a good quality B Complex. Vitamin D deficiency is on the rise and definitely a test to ask your doctor for if your hair is declining."
5. Try laser phototherapy
"Laser phototherapy offers a lotion-free, pill-free method of improving hair structure and growth, with no side effects, scalp irritation or damage to hair structure."
6. See a Trichologist
"Don't ignore the signs that your hair has started to thin. If your ponytail has got noticeably thinner and you've started to see your scalp at your hairline, consult an expert and book an appointment with a Trichologist. They can help you determine the cause and set you on the right track to regaining your hair."
7. Don't skip conditioner
"If you don't use a conditioner, over time hair can become dehydrated, which can lead to hair becoming damaged and brittle. Look for lightweight conditioners that contain panthenol and glycerin that moisturise and keep fragile hair strong."
8. Look after your scalp
"A healthy scalp = healthy hair. There are a few products on the market that may help your scalp stay healthy and encourage growth. Check the grocery store for scalp specific products formulated to moisturize, soothe and hydrate."
9. Increase your iron
"Life gets stressful in your 20s and 30s and factors like busy lives, heavy periods, being a vegetarian or blood donor can lead to low serum Ferritin, which is the protein that stores iron in the body. Low iron is one of the most common causes of hair thinning, try to reboot hair from the inside out by including iron-rich foods in your diet or take an iron supplement."
10. Live healthy!
"Unhealthy people who love on fast food, take no exercise, drink, smoke and party excessively rarely have great hair. Your hair is a reflection of your health, diet and wellbeing—a healthy lifestyle will naturally make your hair look healthy too!"
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.co.uk. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.