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Whether mercury amalgam fillings and hair loss are connected or not is a controversial issue. But more and more dentists are moving away from the use of mercury in dentistry
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Bamboo leaf tea for hair loss - can the high silica content of bamboo help strengthen our hair?
Can exercise CAUSE hair loss? Find out how this is possible - and what you can do to prevent it.
Are you a little overwhelmed by all the hair loss therapies and products out there?
If so, then this post is for you!
Here are 5 simple steps you can take today to improve the health of your hair. None are a miracle 'cure' for hair loss (if only!), but all can make a difference and are easy to do.
1. Consume plenty of protein and plenty of iron.
Your hair is almost ALL protein. So it stands to reason that a lack of protein will have an impact on its health!
To get more protein, eat lots of lentils, fish, poultry, eggs, nuts and Greek yogurt.
Iron is often neglected as an important nutrient for the hair. But some experts say that iron deficiency causes hair loss more often than we realize.
Some good sources of iron include meat, dark leafy greens, whole grains and oats.
NOTE: Our bodies aren't great at absorbing iron. But there are 2 ways we can get more iron from our food.
2. Use satin pillowcases.
They're not terribly expensive and they are SO gentle to the hair. They minimize breakage and reduce static.
As an added bonus, they are believed to help reduce wrinkles too!
Read more about this here...
3. Consider taking fish oil and blackcurrant seed oil supplements.
(Do remember to check with your doctor first). This combination is one of the few remedies PROVEN to have some real benefits.
Read more about this here...
4. Stop stressing your hair!
Is your part in the same place EVERY day? Do you wear a pony tail/pig tail in the same place EVERY day?
Then you are putting strain on certain sections of the hair.
If your hair is weak, those sections will break. (and yes, this does apply to even a simple part).
So change your styles as often as you can, moving around your part and changing the location of your pony tail.
5. Are you already using hair loss medication? If so, apply emu oil to the scalp first.
Emu oil is not the 'miracle' hair loss therapy some reports will have you believe.
But it is EXTREMELY well absorbed by human skin.
This means it will carry hair loss medication further into the scalp than it would otherwise go.
Read more about the benefits of emu oil...
I hope you found these simple ideas useful. Please do let me know how they work for you.
A few months ago we published tips from one of our readers, Anna, who was trying to improve both the condition of her hair and her overall health. Anna has just sent us an update on her progress, which we are happy to share with you here...
As you know, I had developed a protocol for my hair. I have now improved and I do the following.
Since my hair does not shed anymore, I became more daring and went ahead and dyed my hair. I chose an organic dye (made in Italy) AUD21.00 which I found at my Healthfood store. The dyes come in all sorts of colours and you can mix and match!! Fantastic! My hair looks healthy and shiny. It has body and shape.
I now use also all natural and organic shampoos and condtioners $12.95 each called WILD from PPC herbs (www.ppcherbs.com.au).
For inner health, I have 1 tablet Silica daily and nothing else in the form of supplement except that my diet is much leaner and healthier. I have a lot of walnuts, brazil nuts, almonds and pumpkin seeds. I eat lots of eggs, avocado and fruits amongst vegetables etc. and I sometimes drink coconut water. I exercise twice daily with my dog with an occasional swim at the pool.
Of course I go to restaurants and drink wine but this is only about once a week if that.
I am forever looking for ways to keep healthy, young and fit so recently, I have discovered Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy. I am looking into it as we speak and will no doubt make an appointment with a doctor soon.
One last thing, I read about Organic Bamboo Leaf Tea. I have ordered it from the States and it takes 6-8 weeks to get here! Am looking for an alternative supplier as this is too long to wait.
I hope this information is of some use to your readers I certainly am happier in what I do.
Thank you, Anna, for your tips. Bamboo Leaf Tea has recently caught our interest, too, so we plan to post more about this soon.
Mesotherapy for hair loss is one of the more affordable treatments out there - but does it actually work?
Hair loss is one of the most distressing symptoms associated with PCOS - here's how to get it under control.
Today we have a guest post from one of our readers, Anna. Thank you very much Anna, for sharing your tips.
I just washed, cut and styled my hair and I thought I would share my routine with you.
My hair has been coloured and thin for so long that it probably is about 10 or 15 years since it was full and healthy (judging by photos). I am not getting any younger and if I want to be able to restore some health to it before it is too late, then I have to take the bull by the horns and do something about it!
I decided to stop colouring my hair, partly because I found that whatever we were born with suits us best. Oh, sun drenched hair looked so much fun when young, innocent and naive! Today, I suffer porous and damaged hair, including bald patches and thinning hair.
So, here is my latest routine.
1) Every two months (or whenever I feel most appropriate), I trim my hair by an inch or two - just at the ends.
2) I wash my hair every second or third day with an organic shampoo called (iRaw) mango nectar. No hormones, no gluten, no palm oil - soap free, chemical free, cold pressed. I alternate with Tea Tree Shampoo.
3) Never use a conditioner. Just gently untangle hair after shampooing.
4) Rub a drop of Moroccan oil between your palms and massage THE ENDS of your hair. Do not rub onto the scalp and comb through.
5) Use the warm setting of your hairdryer to style. I sometimes, especially on a sunny day, let my hair dry naturally.
6) I usually do this routine about an hour or two before going to bed. I find that the next day, my hair looks full and bouncy.
7) Once a month or as often as you like, and after your final rinse, squeeze the juice of half a lemon on your hair. Pat dry with a towel and style. DO NOT RINSE. I find this feels like a natural volume building Mousse.
For inner health....
I started using Elle McPherson's The Super Elixir once a day. I have only started this week but I already noticed a bounce and a fullness in my hair. The Elixir contains some 45 types of herbs, spices, fruits, etc.. Being by Elle, she rests her reputation on it and therefore I trust it.
My daughter, Chantal has been using it for a couple of months and she swears by it. It was she who bought me my first packet. I am envious of her tongue that is clean and smooth, the sign of good health!
Of course, everyone has and uses what works for them. My routine works perfectly for me and I am sharing it for anyone interested.
Win an iRestore Hair Growth System - fight hair loss with the portable laser treatment unit you can use at home.
My experience with using Olaplex (™), the salon and home treatment designed to rebuild damaged hair
Find out if metoprolol could be causing your hair loss, and what to do if it is.
It's early days, but researchers from Columbia University Medical Center have seen encouraging results after patients with alopecia areata were treated with a drug called ruxolitinib.
Alopecia areata affects both men and women and can strike at any age. There are no treatments currently available that can fully restore the hair.
During the research, 12 patients suffering from the condition - all with at least 30% hair loss - were given oral ruxolitinib twice a day for 3 to 6 months.
Following the treatment, 9 of the patients had hair regrowth of 50% or more. By the end of the treatment, an impressive 77% of those who'd responded to the treatment saw regrowth of over 95%.
Once the treatment was stopped, a third of the patients suffered hair loss, although not to the extent they'd experienced it prior to the treatment.
Ruxolitinib is usually used to treat bone marrow disorders and is a type of medication known as a JAK inhibitor. Another JAK inhibitor - tofacitinib - had previously been tested as a possible treatment for hair loss, also with promising results.
Julian Mackay-Wiggan, MD, MS, associate professor and director of the clinical research unit in dermatology at CUMC and a dermatologist at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia - said
"Our findings suggest that initial treatment induces a high rate of disease remissions in patients with moderate to severe alopecia areata but maintenance therapy may be needed. While larger, randomized trials are needed to confirm the safety and efficacy of ruxolitinib in people with moderate to severe alopecia areata, our initial results are very encouraging."
If you would like to learn more about JAK inhibitors and what triggered the research into their potential effect on hair loss, you can read the full article on the Columbia University Medical Center Website.
If you're suffering from extreme hair loss - to the point where your scalp is showing - then your priority is to disguise the extent of the problem as quickly as possible.
Whilst establishing the cause of your hair loss is an important step in reversing the problem, restoring your confidence can feel even more urgent!
One product recommended by many visitors to this site is Joan Rivers Great Hair Day® fill-in powder.
This hair powder, which comes in 4 shades to match with your own color, is designed to blend in with your hair and scalp, effectively hiding thin patches and making your hair look fuller.
It comes with a brush that makes it easy to apply and an added bonus is that it's also GREAT for disguising grey roots, should that happen to be another problem you're facing.
The thought of it flaking off or dripping off in the rain - and giving away your secret - is an alarming one, but Great Hair Day® has an excellent reputation for staying in place until you CHOOSE to wash it out.
It's a fact... those of us with straight hair wish it was curly. Those of us with curly hair wish it was straight. Human nature being what it is, few of us are happy with the hair we were naturally blessed with!
But when we are dealing with hair loss, it's important to remember that our priority is looking after our existing hair as well as we can.
For the most part, that means exposing our hair to as little heat as possible... which means NO FLAT IRONS!
One method for straightening without heat is the old-fashioned method of setting with rollers, assisted by slightly less old-fashioned straightening products!
1. Wash your hair with your favorite shampoo, then condition with whichever conditioner gives you the smoothest results. (For me, that would be Tresemme Keratin Smooth Shampoo And Conditioner).
2. Towel dry your hair. Separate your hair into sections, then put in rollers. The bigger the rollers are, the straighter your hair will be. I like Conair Body and Bounce Extra Large Foam Rollers which are perfect for fine hair like mine.
3. Leave your hair to dry. Yes, this can take a while without heat, so don't start this unless you know you have plenty of time to allow your hair to dry thoroughly. If not, you may need to give it a blast with the hair dryer (still less damaging than flat irons, though).
4. Once hair is nice and dry, remove rollers and brush it out. You might want to use a spray like Living proof Straight Spray to keep it straighter for longer.
PLEASE NOTE: It's impossible to get the look of flat-ironed hair without flat irons! So your hair will not look absolutely sleek and straight, particularly if it was very curly to start with.
It's also likely to curl if humidity is high, making this technique more useful in the cooler months of the year.
Nevertheless, it does produce reasonable results and - most importantly - it doesn't leave the hair feeling frazzled afterwards!
We all know that blow-drying our hair can be damaging, particularly if we hold the dryer too close to our hair and have the heat set too high. Nevertheless, lack of time means we often do the things we know we shouldn't in order to style our hair quickly... and blow-drying is usually the only way to achieve the look we want.
To make matters worse, many of us even go the extra mile to achieving the style we desire, throwing curling or flat irons into the mix and subjecting the hair to even more damage.
So it's a good idea to look at ways to make heat-styling your hair as gentle as possible... and one way to do that is to use a good heat protection spray.
A protection spray works in 2 ways...
My personal favorite hair protection product is TRESemme Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Protective Spray.
My hair is VERY fine and any other products like this that I've tried in the past have either weighed down my hair, or left some visible sign once it's dry (such as looking greasy).
TRESemme's Thermal Creations Heat Tamer, on the other hand, is extremely lightweight, yet still does what it promises.
What's more, it seems to do a great job of taming those frizzy ends in the areas where my hair tends to break, making it look silkier and smoother.
Two more things I love about this product are that
Could female pattern hair loss be affecting you? This page takes a look at the symptoms and shares advice about your options following diagnosis.
Asparagus is often touted as a hair loss remedy. According to the British press, even Prince Harry has tried it out as a solution to his hair loss problems.
So can asparagus really help promote hair growth and minimize balding?
Well, there's very little solid evidence to prove that it helps reverse hair loss, but asparagus DOES contain plenty of useful nutrients that may contribute to healthy hair growth...
So it's certainly worth trying to include more asparagus in your diet. There's no doubt it's a nutritious food that's good for your health in general...
...and if consuming it also improves the growth of your hair, then that's a tremendous bonus!
Not sure what to do with asparagus?
I love these 27 Delicious Asparagus Recipes from BHG!
Discover how a silk or satin pillowcase might benefit your hair AND your skin!
Does Rogaine® work? This article discusses who might benefit from Rogaine and looks at some of the possible side effects.
Ayurvedic medicine for hair loss - could it be right for you? This article looks at Ayurveda from a western perspective and whether this type of holistic healing might be appropriate for everyone.
Today is National Cheese Lovers' Day - and if YOU'RE a cheese lover, but feeling a little guilty about it, then you'll be happy to know that eating cheese is actually GOOD for your hair!
Cheese contains biotin.
Biotin is hugely popular as a dietary supplement to promote hair growth. Although there isn't a whole lot of evidence supporting its effectiveness as a hair restoration treatment, a LACK of biotin is believed to contribute to poor hair growth. So foods containing biotin are well worth including in the diet.
Cheese also contains protein, another important nutrient for over-all health... and particularly for the hair!
It's best to avoid "full fat" cheeses, which are high in saturated fat, and look instead for reduced fat or fat free varieties.
You should also look for brands with reduced sodium levels. I recommend avoiding cream cheese - it's not as protein-packed as other varieties and it can be very high in unhealthy fats.
Update Jan 15th 2016 - this survey is now closed
Thomas Jefferson University’s Department of Dermatology & Cutaneous Biology is conducting a simple survey to look at how people disguise their hair loss, and how doctors might improve the advice and cosmetic options they offer their patients.
The survey is short and completely anonymous - also, its purposes are strictly educational, not commercial in any way.
To learn more and to take part, please click the following link:
Iron and hair loss – there certainly seems to be relationship between the two. Find out why too little – or too much – might be causing YOU to lose your hair.
Did you know that your traditional Thanksgiving Dinner is brimming with nutrients good for promoting hair growth?
Turkey is an excellent source of lean protein. The hair is composed of a huge percentage of protein, so it's very important to ensure your diet contains PLENTY of it! Turkey also provides us with zinc. Zinc deficiency may cause dandruff and hair loss.
Brussels Sprouts contain lots of vitamin B6 and vitamin C. B vitamins assist in the creation of the red blood cells that distribute oxygen and nutrients around the body (including the hair follicles). And vitamin C helps the body make collagen, which is very important for healthy hair growth. So it may be worth gritting your teeth and forcing down a few sprouts, even if they're not your favorites!
Pumpkin and other orange veggies are rich in beta carotene, which your body converts to vitamin A. This helps support the healthy growth of your body's cells, including the hair cells.
Spinach may not be quite as powerful as Popeye would have you believe, but it's still a 'superfood'. It's brimming with iron - a deficiency of which is believed to play a big part in hair loss.
Red wine is abundant in bioflavonoids which protect the all-important keratin in your hair. What's more, red wine contains resveratrol, which is believed to reduce hair loss. (See? You really DO need a little red wine with your dinner for medicinal purposes!).
So instead of feeling guilty about accepting second helpings on Thursday, tuck in with relish and think of all the good you are doing for your hair!
Bobby pins (or 'hair grips' as they are known here in the UK) are great for holding the hair just the way you want it... IF you can get them to stay in.
Up until recently, mine had a habit of sliding out of position and eventually falling out altogether.
Then I came across a couple of simple tips for solving the problem, so I thought I'd share them here with you!
For more tips to help you deal with your thinning hair, don't forget to sign up for my newsletter.
Do you often think about changing your hair style but hold back from ever doing anything TOO drastic?
If so, you're certainly not alone. Most of us would LOVE a new look (particularly if a current hairstyle is hard to maintain thanks to excessive shedding!).
But it's scary to commit to a significant change, because if you don't like it when it's done, there's very little you can do about it!
That's where the virtual hairdressing website TheHairStyler.com comes in VERY handy.
This site allows you to see what you would look like with literally THOUSANDS of different hairstyles. You simply upload your photograph, then use the simple tools to try on loads of different styles, lengths and colours.
With a glowing review from the Wall Street Journal, who described it as 'the most realistic virtual hairstyler', TheHairStyler.com uses top-quality, large professional images, truly enabling you to see exactly how a new hairstyle will look, WITHOUT the risk of cutting your hair.
Its database includes everything from celebrity hairstyles to classic looks, plus hairdos from salons across the world.
Included with each photograph is advice for achieving that style, with step-by-step instructions and guidelines about which face shape, age, hair texture and density the style will work with. This makes the website incredibly useful. I may like the LOOK of a Jennifer Aniston hair do, for example, but closer reading confirms that my fine, flyaway locks may not be up to it.
Once you've chosen a hairstyle that looks good on you, you can simply print it out and take it to your hairdresser.
For added entertainment, the site allows you to experiment with make up, too, so it's very easy to design yourself a whole new look BEFORE buying all the cosmetics needed to achieve it.
The best feature of all?
It's totally FREE!
Have fun creating a whole new you!
Hair loss laser treatment is becoming a popular therapy, with devices on the market declared safe for home use. But does laser therapy REALLY help restore hair?
If you have thinning hair, then it's very important to take extra steps to protect it during the colder months.
Chilly temperatures are notorious for having a negative impact on the hair - yet many of us still tend to overlook the hazards of winter weather and only think seriously about hair care in the summer.
So here are 8 ways to look after YOUR hair as temperatures plummet...
Instantly hide hair loss with these products designed to disguise thinning hair. Easy to use and very effective.
A reader wrote to me to ask if it's common to lose hair after a hysterectomy. She'd been losing a significant amount since her surgery and wondered if there could possibly be a connection.
The fact is that her hysterectomy very likely COULD be the cause of her hair loss issues. Here's why...
Hair goes through a typical cycle of growth, but a hysterectomy - or the medications prescribed to cope with the symptoms of menopause - can cause the cycle to speed up. This would lead to the hair falling out more rapidly.
The effect tends to be temporary and usually stops when either your body has recovered from the surgery or your medications are reduced or changed.
Your body's balance of hormones tends to change after a hysterectomy - and hormones can have a big impact on the hair - (see my Estrogen and Hair Loss page for more information).
Speak to your doctor if you feel this may be afecting you, as you may need HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy).
After any surgery involving a loss of blood, you may need to consume extra iron. Iron deficiency is a well known cause of hair loss! Try to include more iron-rich foods in your diet - if you are severely deficient in iron, your doctor may prescribe iron supplements.
Some women experience hypothyroidism following a hysterectomy. Hypothyroidism - which can cause hair loss - is a condition where your body does not produce enough thyroid hormone (you can read more about hypothyroidism here).
Discuss your concern with your doctor, who can check your thyroid levels.
We all know that it's important to protect our hair as much as possible against the chlorine in pool water. It can leave the hair very dry - mine always feels like straw after a dip in the pool and takes on a rather unflattering green tint too!
The obvious solution is to wear a swim cap.
But if you're anything like me - and your cap doesn't look quite as fetching as it does on the lovely model in the photograph - then you'd rather resort to ANYTHING than wear a swim cap!
Not only are they one of the most unattractive 'accessories' ever invented, they can also be really uncomfortable to put on and take off.
Perhaps any that I have worn have simply been too tight for me - but I feel that they place my hair under tension (the LAST thing it needs!) and that I get breakage as a result.
A quick and easy alternative is a leave-in cream called Phillip Kingsley Swim Cap.
It was originally developed for the first US Olympic Synchronized Swim Team and - as the name suggests - it acts as a barrier between the pool water and your hair. It also contains UV protection, so it gives you some protection from the sun if you're lucky enough to be swimming in an outdoor pool.
It's easy to use - you just comb it into wet hair. And a bonus is that it has a lovely, conditioning effect - after using it, my hair felt even better than before!
Diabetes hair loss - discover the many reasons that diabetes can cause thinning hair and what steps you can take if it's happening to you.
I hate getting my hair wet at any time other than when I need to wash it. That's because - if it gets wet - I need to dry it, which causes damage.
Yes, I have to do this on hair-washing days, but that's why I try to keep those days to a minimum. And yes, I could allow it to 'air dry', but I have the type of hair that frizzes when damp and subsequently dries frizzy. So in order to keep it looking as neat and smooth as possible, I just HAVE to get the blow dryer out if it comes into contact with water.
A vicious circle!
I don't get on with shower caps too well - they tend to be 'plasticky' and make me sweat, so my hair ends up frizzy anyway.
But I've found another easy way to keep my hair dry in the shower - and it's something you can do at home or when you are traveling!
Just put on a cotton T-shirt, then start pulling it off over your head. Stop at the point where the neck of your T-shirt is all around your hairline and the rest of the T-shirt is hanging down your back.
Just twist it around a few times, then tuck in the ends (either at the back or front of your head, whichever is the most comfortable).
And there you have it - a lightweight, instant turban that will soak up any dampness that dares to threaten your hair!
When your hair is fragile, protecting it from the sun is a MUST.
The sun dries out your hair - it's as simple as that - and whilst we all hope for natural highlights, most of us end up with frazzled, brittle ends instead!
There are 3 good ways to protect your hair from the sun's harmful effects. Make sure you are doing at least ONE of these this summer!
This is actually doubly beneficial, since a hat with a decent brim will offer protection for your skin, too.
Avoid visors, or hats with mesh tops. These don't offer complete protection. The best option is to search for a hat that actually has a UPF rating (preferably of around 50). This will truly protect your hair and your delicate scalp - particularly important if your hair is quite thin.
There are loads of stylish headbands/hairbands on the market these days that you can use to cover most of the hair.
Alternatively, a simple updo or bun - where you can tuck those fragile ends out of the way - will do the trick.
I like the styles suggested here - most of these seem 'do-able' for the average woman!
If you can't cover your hair, then use a treatment designed to protect it from UV rays.
I love Crack Styling Leave-In Treatment - it offers UV and thermal protection, so you can also use it to save your hair from damage by heat styling. (Be careful with it if you have fine hair like mine, though - if you use too much it can look a little greasy).
Find out what lupus is, the most common symptoms, the types of hair loss it can cause, and how it's treated.
Can caffeine cure hair loss? Is drinking more coffee REALLY the answer to our prayers? Find out the facts about the research
Thinking of using a humidifier for hair growth? Whilst it may not make the hair GROW any faster, it can definitely help protect the hair that you have.
In April 2015 the media excitedly reported a new 'cure for baldness' based on hair plucking. But what was the truth behind the headlines?
Onion juice for hair loss – on this page I'll take a closer look at just what's behind this ancient 'cure' and why you may not want to dismiss it completely out of hand.
A connection between a lack of omega fatty acids and hair loss has often been suggested by experts. New research adds weight to the idea that what you eat really can affect your hair growth.
We've all heard of dry shampoo - in fact, I've mentioned it on this site quite a few times as I find that it not only does a good job of making the hair look fresh and clean, but it adds a lot of volume too!
But did you know you can also get dry conditioner?
It's handy for stopping the ends looking dry, which does tend to be a problem with dry shampoos. The way a dry shampoo works, of course, is by absorbing excess oil from the hair - but since the ends aren't that oily anyway, it merely dries them out.
A dry conditioner is just what you need to make them look healthy again.
You apply it a few inches from your roots to the ends of your hair, then just brush it through. Quick, easy and effective!
Another plus is that a dry conditioner may help prevent the split ends caused by flat irons, if you apply it just before straightening. That being said, straighteners are best avoided if you're already suffering from hair loss - tempting though poker straight hair may be, it's more important to concentrate on nurturing your existing hair.
Whilst Oribe Soft Dry Conditioner is one of the more popular brands, I find it a little pricey.
My conditioner of choice is TIGI Rockaholic Dirty Secret Dry Conditioner which controls my fine, flyaway hair very well, WITHOUT breaking the bank!
I've battled for years with hair that tangles easily, probably due to its fragile state. The slightest agitation with a towel leaves it looking like a mass of cotton candy, which takes forever to carefully detangle with a comb. Unless I'm careful, this can lead to a LOT of breakage.
If you're suffering from a similar problem - or perhaps your hair tangles easily because it's frizzy or very curly - then you might like to try Little Twig All Natural, Hypoallergenic Conditioning Detangler, which I've only discovered recently and totally fallen in love with!
You simply spray it into your hair and comb it through, preferably with a detangling or wide-tooth comb. It instantly conditions the hair, making combing oh-so-much-easier, and it smells absolutely delicious!
If you're on a budget, however, there are a few other options you can try...
Create your own detangling solution by combining 1 tablespoon of your regular conditioner with 1 cup (8 fl oz) of water.
Apply to your hair with a simple spray bottle (these can be picked up very cheaply from most discount stores, or you can treat yourself to one that's a little bit more robust, like the SPRAYCO).
Simply apply a little organic, unrefined coconut oil to your palms, rub briskly together and smooth over the hair before combing.
Don't overdo the oil, though! Whilst some hair types can stand up to - and even benefit from - the application of coconut oil, very fine hair (like mine) can end up looking greasy if more than a tiny amount is used.
If you've woken up with your hair in a tangle and want to avoid breakage by tugging at it with your hairbrush, Tami - a visitor to this website - suggests taking a dryer sheet and gently rubbing it over the hair. Not only does it make it easier to comb out, it reduces static and makes it less flyaway.
To be honest, I'm a little uncomfortable with this method, as I can't help wondering about the potential damage caused by whatever chemicals dryer sheets actually contain! Nevertheless, it could be a good fix for occasional use!
Solutions for everyday hair problems are great - free or low cost solutions even more so!
Please do keep your tips and suggestions coming - you can contact me here!
Postpartum hair loss can come as a shock. This is what causes it and what you can do to keep your hair looking good.
Adding volume to your hair is a great way of disguising the fact that it may be thinning.
One of the most effective methods – and one I used often as a teenager back in the 80s – is back-combing. But since my hair has become more delicate, it's a technique I avoid like the plague.
So here are 3 other ways to achieve volume. The first one is a little more gentle if your locks are VERY stressed… the other two are more suitable if your hair is strong enough for a little styling.
Intended for those days when you just don't have time for a full shampoo and blow-dry, Batiste Dry Shampoo is a product that you spray into the roots to leave your hair looking clean and non-greasy.
A bonus is that it also seems to add quite a bit of lift, making the hair look fuller once you've used it.
Be warned – it DOES leave a slight residue on the hair, but I find it a great time-saver and a super-easy way to add some much-needed volume on those flat days.
This makes a BIG difference to the way it looks once dry.
Wait until your hair is around 3/4 of the way dry before you start styling it (so either let it start drying by itself, or 'rough dry' it with the blow-dryer).
Then, take a section of the hair and pull it the OPPOSITE way it falls naturally, using a round brush. Continue to gently but firmly pull the hair in that direction as you dry it, using the nozzle of your hairdryer to direct hair DOWN the hair shaft.
Work repeatedly from the root to the ends until the hair is dry. Add even more lift by directing the blow-dryer at your roots from underneath the brush as you hold it up.
Concentrate in particular on the crown and the part of your hair – once you've added lift to those areas, the overall effect is of increased volume.
You can put these in when your hair is damp and just wait for it to dry, or you can finish it with the blow-dryer if you're in a hurry. I like Conair Mega Self Holding Rollers, although I do use a clip to keep them in.
To add maximum volume, the secret is to put in the rollers using the technique described above – i.e., pull the hair the opposite direction to the way it falls.
With either of the last two methods, you can boost your results by using a hair volumizer.
We all do it - we take a shower, then wrap our hair in a towel (usually one that's larger and heavier than necessary), then walk around with it like this for a good 10 minutes, sometimes longer.
We may even think that we are doing something that's GOOD for the hair - after all, letting the towel soak up all that excess moisture is better than blow-drying with heat, isn't it?
Actually, in this case it isn't!
Wet hair is stretchy and when you wrap it in a towel you place the hair all along the hairline under such tension that it begins to break. If you've ever noticed lots of wispy hair around your hair line, then this could well be the cause.
Although a towel is the worst culprit (because of its weight and rough texture), turbans can be damaging too, because even they cause tension along the hairline.
Here's what you SHOULD do after washing/conditioning your hair...
Squeeze the hair GENTLY all over. You might like to try a cotton T-shirt instead of a towel. It's still absorbent, but far kinder to the hair. Continue until you've removed as much water from the hair as possible, thereby cutting back on the drying time.
DON'T rub the hair - it causes unnecessary tangling. If you hair DOES tangle, apply a leave-in detangler and comb through gently.
And if your wet hair is long and the feeling of it on your shoulders temps you to wrap it up out of the way, solve the problem by placing the towel over your shoulders, instead!
I came across these recently - pretty head scarves designed to restore your confidence if you're suffering from hair loss as a result of chemotherapy.
The scarves are available at SunGrubbies.com, a leading online retailer of sun protection products. A beautiful alternative to other head coverings, these scarves are comfortable to wear, gentle on the scalp and versatile.
Although the majority of Sungrubbies other products offer sun protection, it's important to note that these scarves don't. Nevertheless, I think they're pretty and feminine.
It's natural to want to hide hair loss. We really do see our hair as our crowning glory, so if it's falling out then we'll do all we can to disguise the problem.
But there are a couple of conditions that can be made worse by using wigs or weaves, and one of those is folliculitis.
Folliculitis is a condition where the hair follicles become inflamed, either due to being blocked (perhaps by oil or grease) or as a result of bacterial infection. It tends to cause small bumps on the scalp, which can become very itchy and sore.
As the condition gets worse, it can cause the hair to fall out… and if it's left for TOO long, the severe inflammation and scarring that result can damage the hair follicles beyond the point of repair, causing permanent bald patches.
If you are experiencing these little bumps on your scalp, it's important to go and see your doctor. The condition can usually be treated quite easily. The biggest mistake, however, is to try and hide the hair loss associated with folliculitis by using a wig or weave.
Using a weave puts tension – or traction – on the hair. This can cause problems by itself – women with hair constantly under tension often find themselves the victims of traction alopecia – tension-induced hair loss.
But if you're already already suffering from folliculitis, the constant pulling at your existing hair is going to cause the hair follicles to become even MORE inflamed. And this, of course, will lead to further hair loss and a greater need to hide it.
Whilst using a wig may not pull on the hair, it can cause any bacteria on the scalp – if present – to multiply. That's because it traps the heat against the scalp – and if your folliculitis is bacterial in nature, then you will see the problem getting worse.
In summary then, if you see ANY evidence of folliculitis on the scalp, then have it checked out by a medical professional before it develops into a problem that needs hiding.