Hair loss is a condition that affects over 80 million Americans. As a result, people may try to mitigate the appearance of hair loss by changing up their hairstyle, buying specialty products, or taking vitamins and supplements marketed to help hair growth. While these often promise results like more hair growth, healthier hair growth or a reduction in hair loss, these products normally yield little to no results. The best course of action is to narrow down the root cause of the hair loss and treat it, if possible.
What causes hair loss?
Hair loss can be caused by a multitude of factors and the sooner a cause can be identified, the better your chance of getting the results you want. All of our dermatologists are trained to diagnose conditions that affect the skin, hair, and nails. They can often address the problem, and in many cases, successfully treat hair loss.
While waiting for your appointment, we recommend adding the following steps to your hair care routine:
Properly wash and condition your hair
Use a gentle shampoo and apply a moisturizing conditioner to reduce breakage. Make sure to use a detangler and be gentle when brushing so as to not further traumatize the hair. Soft bristle brushes or “wet brushes” designed specifically for use on wet hair, can be especially effective.
Limit or stop your use of curling irons, flat irons, and hot combs
Repeated use of heating products can damage hair and weaken it over time. Try to limit the use of these styling tools whenever able, especially if you are experiencing hair loss.
Do not attempt coloring, perming, chemical straightening your hair at home
These services typically use chemicals and can be very harsh on the hair. Make sure that you find a professional who specializes in the service you are after to ensure that they are giving you the desired look you want while also considering the safety and health of you and your hair.
Be conscious of wearing your hair in tight hairstyles
Frequently wearing a hairstyle that pulls on your hair can cause a type of hair loss called traction alopecia. Over time, anything that pulls on your hair can cause permanent hair loss.
Try to limit twisting or pulling your hair, especially when drying it
These habits can further weaken already fragile hair, causing more hair loss. When drying your hair, make sure to apply a heat protectant or let hair air-dry before going to bed at night.
Eat healthy and quit or limit smoking
If you’re not getting enough of some nutrients, such as iron or protein, it can lead to hair loss. Other lifestyle factors such as eating too few calories every day or smoking can also worsen hair loss.
Be wary of taking vitamins or supplements to grow your hair
A blood test can tell you whether you’re not getting enough of certain nutrients. It’s important to understand that the supplements you see advertised for hair growth are not regulated. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate dietary supplements for safety and effectiveness before they are sold. Always consult with your doctor or a member of our team to find out if vitamins or supplements are a necessary part of your treatment plan.
While these steps may help you care for damaged hair, we highly suggest seeking out professional consultation if your hair loss is extreme or not getting better with above treatments. By making an appointment with one of our board-certified dermatologists, we can decide if your hair loss is a symptom of an underlying issue and help develop a routine and treatment plan tailored to your individual needs.
Savannah River Dermatology is located at 575 Furys Ferry Rd in Augusta, Ga. For appointments, product availability or other questions, our office can be reached at 706-691-7079.