Dermatologists advise looking after your hair to prevent hair lossThe old saying “prevention is better than cure” couldn’t be more true when it comes to hair loss caused by over styling.

One of the most common causes of hair breakage and causing hair loss is called trichorrhexis nodosa (TN).

The good news is that with a good hair care routine and improved styling, it can be remedied!

Researchers at John Hopkins, published in the Journal of Dermatological Treatment, talk about the problem of TN in African-Americans but it can affect everybody, regardless of race or gender.

How does over styling cause hair loss?

The risk factors of TN might seem obvious, but they are traps people fall into daily. They include the use of heat styling appliances (such as curling tongs and flat irons) that can damage the protein structure of the hair follicle; incorrect cleansing routine (inadequate cleansing or build-up of product) and certain styles (particularly tight coils that can damage the natural symmetry of the hair).

How can I prevent this happening to me?

The research points out a few easy ways to improve things and reduce the risk of TN and hair loss …

  • Choose a shampoo that is best for your particular hair type, some are gentler than others
  • Don’t be tempted to over wash – this can be as harmful as not washing hair enough
  • Use conditioner to improve the hair shafts and coat them against further damage (try a deep conditioning mask, as well as regular usage)
  • Be gentle with your hair and don’t rub at it with a hair towel (pat dry instead)
  • Try hair oils, such as Argan oil or cocunut oil for leave-in and lasting treatments
  • Air dry your hair if time allows
  • Switch hairstyles from time to time to change where the pressure is applied to the hair and scalp

The aim is to prevent hair dryness. Dry hair is most likely to get damaged. Dry hair can be caused by using chemical-heavy products, harsh colorants, too much heat or being too rough with it (such as over brushing, rubbing it, static from clothing etc).

Repairing already damaged hair can be tricky and it won’t repair completely, but with a good hair care regime you can help build up the hair follicles and prevent future damage.

Oh, and it’s not just women who need to worry that the way they style their locks might be damaging their hair health. Traction alopecia is a problem for men and women. Men who rock a man bun or high ponytail are equally at risk!

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By Ian Watson

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