Are YOUR bad habits making your hair thin? Expert reveals why ditching the dry shampoo, sleeping on a silk pillowcase, and avoiding a ponytail could transform lacklustre locks
- Eight million women in the UK experience hair loss, according to the NHS
- TikTok is awash with hair thickening hacks, as a third of women will be affected
- FEMAIL has rounded up the simple tricks to help thicken hair without surgery
Big hair is firmly back in fashion – but for many people, it’s tough to maintain a look which is thick and bouncy with thin and lacklustre hair.
With millions of women across the country experiencing hair loss and alopecia, it’s no wonder that TikTok is awash with hacks relating to your locks.
But are the tips and tricks shared by social media users actually doing more harm than good?
Experts told FEMAIL there are a number of hacks which anyone can try at home to prevent hair loss and improve thickness.
HABIT: WEARING TIGHT HAIRSTYLES
Experts told FEMAIL there are a number of hacks which anyone can try at home to prevent hair loss and improve thickness (stock image)
Working from home and hybrid working means that messy buns and ponytails are more popular than ever this year, but whilst both might seem harmless enough, they can have a huge impact on the hair follicles.
Hair Transplant Surgeon Dr Furqan Raja explained that there are a number of reasons that women experience hair loss and one of the biggest offenders is strain on the hair follicles, often from tight hairstyles.
HABIT: USING ELASTIC HAIR TIES
Using elastic hair ties can cause significant damage to your hair over time.
Celebrity Hair Stylist Lisa Laudat explained that traditional ties cause breakage.
She would advise removing them from your daily styling completely.
Lisa suggested opting for silk scrunchies instead, as you can wear them both day and night.
Silk scrunchies protect the hair from damage and help to avoid kinks, creases and frizz.
The soft and smooth material easily glides over the hair, reducing friction and subsequent frizz and breakage.
He said: ‘This is called traction alopecia and it is different from other types of hair loss because it’s not caused by genetic factors.
‘Instead, it’s caused by the strain that’s put on the hair follicles often from having hair pulled back in a style too tightly.
‘Whilst this is not of course an issue if it’s done occasionally, over a prolonged period of time it can have a negative impact on the hair follicles which can become damaged and even destroyed.’
It is not advised to pull hair back too tightly into ponytails, braids and dreadlocks for a prolonged period of time.
HABIT: USING DRY SHAMPOO TOO OFTEN
Despite being around for years, dry shampoo is more popular than ever, with a growing number of brands creating their own product.
Dry shampoos include ingredients that absorb grease, making hair look cleaner, but there are concerns over their contents, such as Propane and Butane, which are common in many aerosols, including dry shampoos.
Dr Raja explained: ‘Whilst using them occasionally isn’t likely to cause too much damage, using them on a regular basis can lead to damage and potential breakage, or in severe cases hair thinning.’
And while other products don’t come into contact with the skin for a long period of time, dry shampoo is designed to sit around the root of the hair, potentially damaging the hair follicle and impacting growth.
The Hair Transplant Surgeon advised people to not use dry shampoo every day, for optimum hair growth and health.
Dry shampoo has been seen as a hero product – but using too much of the stuff can lead to severe cases of hair thinning as the product sits around the root of the hair impacting growth (stock image)
HABIT: REGULARLY DRINKING
Whilst most people are aware of the way in which alcohol can impact the body in terms of weight gain, blood pressure and cholesterol, not many consider the effect it has on our hair.
HABIT: FORGETTING TO TAKE VITAMIN SUPPLEMENTS
Health and nutrition is an essential and important factor to consider when thinking about healthy hair growth.
Many of us may be lacking in essential vitamins and minerals because we don’t get enough of them in our diet, and so vitamin supplements can be a good efficient way of ensuring you’re getting what you need.
Dr Raga said: ‘It is important to recognise that these should be tailored to your specific needs.
‘For example if you’re going through the menopause the supplements that you will need are likely to be different to someone who is experiencing stress-related hair loss.
‘Also, whilst supplements can help to improve the quality and thickness of your hair, it’s important not to expect miracles.’
Dr Raja explained: ‘Whilst alcohol itself hasn’t been directly linked to hair loss it can lead to dehydration which can also dry out hair follicles.
‘Over prolonged periods of time this can also raise the acid levels in your body and affect protein absorption.’
‘Together this can have a negative impact on the hair follicles and hair health, resulting in hair thinning and loss.’
If you do drink alcohol, ensure you avoid dehydration by interspersing alcoholic drinks with plenty of water.
HABIT: SLEEPING ON THE WRONG TYPE OF PILLOWCASE
Once upon a time, the suggestion to forego your trusted pillowcase for a silk pillowcase may have seemed almost nonsensical.
But, far from being an unnecessary investment, this, according to the experts, is a purchase that can actually offer significant benefits for your hair.
Lisa explained: ‘At this point in the hair game, it’s surprising if you’re not incorporating silk products in some form because why wouldn’t you?’
Silk, she said, can help your hair stay hydrated, preserve your hair’s natural oils and prevent breakage.
‘This is especially important for anyone with curly hair which can become dry and break easier than straight hair, but overall silk hair products should be a staple for everyone who wants to keep their hair in great condition.’
A silk pillowcase is a worthwhile investment as it will keep your hair hydrated, preserve its natural oils and prevent breakage (stock image)
AND HOW TO REMEDY THIN HAIR…ADD VOLUME WITH HAIR EXTENSIONS
Failing everything else, if you would like to add a little more volume to your hair, you could opt for clip in hair extensions.
Lisa said: ‘Clip in extensions are key for a thick, voluminous look without damaging your hair in the long-term.’
She revealed that you should choose a product that comes in full wefts and smaller sections.
Start by brushing your hair thoroughly, then, section your hair at the naple of your neck and tie up the top section so that it’s not getting in your way.
‘Before you clip in your extensions, ensure they are fully brushed. After you’ve clipped in your extensions, you can then separate your hair again at the widest part of your head and add more extensions.’
And if everything else fails, why not opt for hair extensions to add a bit of volume. Just make sure you choose a product that comes in smaller sections
OR HAVE PRP THERAPY
PRP, or Platelet Rich Plasma therapy, works by taking a small amount of blood and separating this blood in a centrifuge.
The platelet rich plasma contains stem cells and growth factors which are separated from your blood and injected into the scalp.
Dr Raja explained: ‘The growth factors then stimulate the activity of the hair follicles and promote hair growth.
‘It takes a matter of minutes to take blood and then around 10 minutes to spin it in the centrifuge to separate it.
‘Afterwards there’s no significant downtime or scarring and from six weeks most of my patients will start to notice a response, usually describing thicker and better quality hair.’
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