Hair problems are inarguably the most widely occurring and most often neglected issues we face when it comes to our bodies. It is necessary to be aware of what is and isn’t good for your hair. Inspecting the cause of hair damage is crucial in finding a practical solution.
Here is a guide to the most common hair problems, their causes, and the most effective solutions. Read on to satisfy your curiosity, and let your hair live healthier lives!
The 6 Most Common Hair Problems
1. Hair loss
We can all agree that the very first issue that troubles our mind when we talk about hair is none other than hair fall. However, it is necessary to take a step back and distinguish it from hair loss.
Did you know that it is normal to lose around 50-100 hair a day?
Hair loss or Alopecia is the falling out of hair from your scalp or your entire body. Unlike hair fall, hair loss is noticeable because there is no growing hair ready to replace the ones falling out. Excessive hair in your brush, room, and drain, noticeable thinning of hair, growing bald spots, and a receding hairline are a few of the signs of hair loss.
- Family genetics or Heredity
- Health conditions
- Changes in hormones
- Excessive hairstyling and brushing
- Mental trauma or illness
After you have understood the cause behind your hair fall, you can proceed to look for possible solutions.
Massage: Massages are known to rejuvenate your scalp and stimulate hair growth. They improve hair thickness and work best with oils.
- Aloe Vera: Aloe Vera is known to clear out sebum, the excess oil that blocks hair follicles and restricts hair from growing back. You can apply it directly or use Aloe Vera-based shampoos.
- Onion juice: For those who can bear the smell of onion, it is an excellent stem that promotes collagen growth. The Sulphur eases blood circulation, giving healthier hair and scalp. Onion also possesses antibacterial properties that treat scalp infections naturally.
- Garlic: Replete with vitamins and minerals, Garlic is a natural conditioner that helps prevent hair fall and strengthens the existing hair.
- Egg: Are all the smelly things actually good for your hair? Well, not all. But the egg is definitely on the list because of its high protein content. As keratin protein is a fundamental component in our hair, an egg mask comprising of one or two eggs and a tablespoon of olive oil or castor oil should be on your must-try list.
- Coconut milk: The most common reason for hair loss includes dryness. Coconut milk is quite acclaimed for its moisturizing properties and nourishes your hair follicles back to health.
- Rosemary Oil: An essential oil, it is perhaps most widely known for its effectiveness in treating hair loss with its antibacterial and antioxidant properties. Rosemary oil is also a stimulant for Androgenic Alopecia or male pattern baldness. A few drops of Rosemary Oil mixed with your shampoo or conditioner works wonders when used daily.
Seek medical help in cases of visible and increasing patches of baldness.
- Medication: Medication works best for hair loss caused due to underlying diseases or health conditions.
- Hair transplant surgery: In cases of permanent hair loss, surgery helps in giving you the look you want. It is important to note though that it does not help with hair loss that is hereditary.
- Laser therapy: A low-level laser improves hair density. This can be a good option for people suffering from hereditary hair loss, though its efficiency is arguable.
Dandruff is dead skin that comes off loose around your hair and shoulders. An itchy and flakey scalp, shedding of dry skin, and scaly, red skin are all signs of dandruff or Seborrhea.
Affecting around 50% of people, it is among the most prevailing hair irritants.
- Dry Skin
- Skin conditions like Seborrheic Dermatitis
- Health conditions like neurological or psychiatric disorders
- Excessive hairstyling resulting in Contact Dermatitis
- Irregular shampooing habits
- Sex hormones cause men to be more prone to dandruff
- Oily skin type
- Frequent shampooing: Being consistent in shampooing and increasing lather time can bring relief. You can also go for dandruff control shampoos for a little external help. Make sure the shampoos used are natural, as chemicals can add up as allergens and worsen dandruff.
- Minimize hairstyling: Being a major contributor to dandruff, hairstyling must pause until you are sure of a healthier scalp.
- Coconut oil: Widely known for its hydrating properties, coconut oil contains fatty acids which replenish moisture in your scalp and prevent dryness.
- Aloe Vera: As previously mentioned, Aloe is exceptional in unblocking hair follicles from excess oil or sebum. Its antibacterial and antifungal properties are also vastly beneficial in reducing inflammation and prevent dandruff.
- Apple cider vinegar: Evidence shows that Apple cider vinegar unclogs hair follicles derived from healthy oil. Its acid content aids the shedding of dead skin cells. With a pH of around 3, it creates a pH balance in your hair thus preventing infections.
Foods and Supplements:
- Probiotics: These are good bacteria that are highly beneficial in improving our health. They protect against allergies, improve the immune system and equip the body to fight back infections. Studies have shown their effectiveness in reducing dandruff.
- Omega 3 fatty acids: These fatty acids are essential for healthy skin. A deficiency causes dry hair and skin which leads to dandruff. Eating foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids helps in restoring skin moisture, and also promotes an overall healthy body.
3. Head Lice
Head lice are among the most highly contagious hair problems. A telltale sign of head lice is severe and persistent itching. A regular head louse, a tiny parasite, survives on human blood. The female louse lays eggs on hair shafts which hatch in around 10 days. These eggs look a lot like particles of dandruff, but in reality, are stuck to the hair near the scalp.
Did you know that head lice can survive without a host for up to 24 hours?
Children are most prone to head lice due to more exposure to other children through schools or daycares. Due to their high infectiousness, they easily transmit from an infected person. Their clothes, brushes, and bedding also spread head lice.
- Combing: A louse comb is a fine-toothed comb used on wet hair to find lice and nits.
- Treatment: Apply the lice-killing medicine, or pediculicide, all over the hair as recommended.
- Clean: Wash and clean all items used by the infected person to prevent reinfestation and further spread. Vacuum all floors and furniture. Isolate any non-washable items for around 2 weeks to get rid of both the lice and nits.
- Medical help: If any of the above doesn’t seem to work, it might be best to seek medical help and take any medication prescribed by your doctor.
4. Dry Hair
Hair becomes dry when they are unable to retain the moisture, or sebum, responsible for protecting hair from the outside. Dry hair is often brittle and fragile. They lack the lustrous shine that makes hair look beautiful and are also hard to style. Dryness majorly results in frizzy hair, though some people naturally have this type of hair.
- Dry scalp
- Exposure to harsh environmental conditions
- Aging decreases natural hair oil
- Excessive hair washing using harsh shampoos
- Frequent blow-drying, curling, and straightening
- Chemicals present in dyes
- Health conditions like eating disorders and hormonal problems
- Avoid shampooing too often leads to draining of natural hair oils and intensifies dryness.
- Use mild shampoos as harsh ones can wash away the moisture in your hair, leaving them dry and frizzy. Shampoos made specifically for dry hair can be a healthy choice.
- Increase your lather time as this stimulates your sebaceous glands to produce healthy hair oil.
Oils: Massaging oils well onto the scalp significantly reduces dryness.
- Coconut oil replenishes the lost moisture in your hair and hydrates your scalp. A deep-conditioning treatment using warm coconut oil provides highly impressive results.
- Olive oil contains fatty acids and vitamin E which are known to help dry hair.
- Almond oil, like coconut oil, has emollient properties which protect and moisturize hair.
- Omega 3 fatty acids are known to improve the health of your hair and give them a shiny look.
- Increase the intake of antioxidants and vitamin-rich foods.
- Use supplements to further enhance hair nourishment.
5. Greasy Hair
Hair turns oily due to excessive sebum production. Sebum is the natural oil responsible for the health and moisture of our hair. It plays an important role in protecting hair from the outside.
- Over-washing: Natural hair oils frequently rinse out by over-washing. This stimulates the oil glands to produce more oil.
- Products: Using oil-based conditioners and moisturizing shampoos is a bad idea if you have a greasy hair type.
- Environmental conditions: Humidity and heat produce more sweat. Sudden temperature changes also release a great quantity of oil.
- Hormones: Puberty, pregnancy, and menopause cause massive hormonal changes which could induce oily hair.
- Using dirty combs and brushes and wearing headwear for a prolonged duration also causes greasy hair.
- Appropriate Shampoo: Pick a shampoo specifically made to control sebum.
- Maintain cleanliness: Regularly wash your combs and brushes to get rid of the accumulated oil and dirt. Washing your pillowcase timely is also vital.
- Avoid brushing too often: Brushing drags the oil on your scalp to all your hair, leaving them greasier than before. Minimize straightening for the same reason.
- Aloe Vera: Using Aloe Vera clears out the excess sebum.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: Occasional use of Apple Cider Vinegar balances the pH of the scalp and prevents oil buildup.
- Tea tree oil and Peppermint oil are both excellent for deep cleansing your hair.
- Rosemary oil and lemon also adequately minimize the oil in hair.
6. Split Ends
The ends of your hair split into two more hair when you have split ends. They give a brittle and fray look, making it harder to properly style them.
- Extreme weather conditions
- Excessive hairstyling
- The heat from blow-drying and straightening
- Chemicals used in hair products like shampoos, conditioners, and dyes
Split ends do not have a remedy. Taking good care of your hair and cutting them frequently works best.
- Frequently trimming your hair from the ends may help in reducing split ends.
- Candle cutting is also known as Velaterapia. An experienced professional takes a small section of your hair, twists it together, and exposes it to a burning candle for a few seconds each time. Though said to be fruitful, this process comes with possible side effects. Some experts worry if it worsens split ends and damaged hair follicles due to exposure to intense heat.
- Hair masks: These moisturize hair. Though do not get rid of split ends, hair masks may aid in concealing them.
- Conditioners: Apply leave-in conditioners to clean, damp hair. Sweet almond oil and Argan oil prove to be excellent conditioners due to their hydrating properties.
A Few Quick Tips
- Since many hair problems are a result of stress, effective stress management may be a solution for your damaged hair.
- Understanding the requirements of your hair is the first step to a healthier mane.
- Always use essential oils with another base oil.
- Hot water is more effective in cleaning your hair from any form of buildups like dirt or grime. Evidently, it also drains out the protective sebum layer from your hair.
- Coldwater strengthens hair cuticles. Unlike hot water, cold water doesn’t wash away the natural oily layer responsible for protecting your hair.