man in showerHair loss affects over 50% of men by the time they reach their mid 30s so it’s hardly surprising that there is a perennial search for treatments as well as preventative solutions.

The latest theory, offered by Leon Van-Gorkom, a senior manager of hair care at Unilever Research and Development is that the incorrect method of drying hair can exacerbate its loss.

The wrong way to do it

The theory is simple: the friction caused by the vigorous rubbing of hair damages the outer layer (the cuticle) and then the hair breaks apart and frays.

Van-Gorkom’s solution is to use a conditioner and part the hair rather than rubbing. In reality it seems quite likely that hair which falls out due to vigorous rubbing and isn’t replaced was actually going to be lost anyway. The towel drying, at worst could accelerate a process which is already underway.

There are a number of environmental factors which do have an effect on hair loss and by developing a few good daily habits it might be possible to tackle the problem preventatively.

Things to avoid

Smoking, for example has been linked to premature balding with its astringent effect on the skin and the proven damage that smoke causes to the hair papilla and the DNA of the hair follicle itself.

Anything that detrimentally affects the immune system has the potential to cause hair loss so it’s important to find ways to relieve stress and ensure a good healthy diet that includes the minerals and vitamins required to maintain a healthy body. Even a lack of sleep has been linked to hair loss.

Finally, it makes sense to avoid harsh salon treatments as the roots of the hair can only take so many chemicals before they become permanently damaged.

When it comes to hair loss, prevention is better than cure. A generally healthy lifestyle and a good dose of common sense are the best ways to maintain that full head of hair for longer.

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By Ian Watson

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