WHAT CAUSES HAIR LOSS?
It can be hard to pinpoint the exact causes of hair loss–a quick search on the web will pull up a multitude of articles and posts detailing various anecdotes that’ll have you wondering if there’s anything that doesn’t affect hair loss. To simplify things, the main causes of hair loss can generally be split into two categories: internal and external factors. We’ll go through each of these factors, and at the end we’ll recommend specific ingredients, treatments, and products that will help mitigate your concerns.
GENETICS & HORMONES
Hair loss can be hereditary. Male pattern baldness is a common type of genetic hair loss, caused by a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which shrinks the follicles and inhibits growth. Immune conditions such as alopecia areata can also attack the follicles and cause fallout. Childbirth or menopause can also cause thinning, due to a drop in estrogen and progesterone, hormones that influence growth and density.
Sometimes, hair loss is just a natural part of the aging process. As you age, your hair tends to shed more while the growth rate of your hair naturally slows down, leading to thinning. Your hair also tends to become finer and more fragile as you age.
Hair loss can be a sign of environmental stressors in your life. Stress can trigger something called telogen effluvium, where the hair sheds excessively and prematurely during the hair’s resting phase. Thankfully, this type of hair loss is usually temporary, and once the stressors in your life are removed, your hair should gradually return to its normal state.
HEAT & COLOUR DAMAGE
Too much heat styling and colour-processing can also be the culprit if your hair has been looking thinner than usual. These factors can all strip the hair of essential moisture and nutrients, leaving your hair feeling brittle, dry, and compromised, and more prone to fallout and thinning from breakage.
THE K-BEAUTY APPROACH TO TREATING HAIR LOSS
While both western and K-beauty hair loss treatment products focus on the same active ingredients for combatting hair loss, they differ when it comes to the overall formulations of the products, and hair care philosophy. In the K-beauty world, the emphasis is on creating formulations that provide lightweight and gentle healing and nourishment without feeling heavy. Natural ingredients are usually favoured over synthetic ones, and special attention is paid to making sure that the scalp–and not just the hair itself–is maintained at a healthy state.
KEY INGREDIENTS TO LOOK FOR WHEN CHOOSING YOUR HAIR CARE:
MSM, short for methylsulfonylmethane, is a compound rich in sulfur, which helps strengthen and improve the elasticity of hair to keep it in the growth phase for as long as possible. MSM forms bonds that strengthen natural keratin proteins in the hair to prevent breakage and promote growth. It also contains anti-inflammatory properties that may be helpful in soothing scalp conditions for healthy follicles and an optimal growth environment.
A mild shampoo specially formulated to target hair loss is a good first step to your hair care routine. This shampoo contains a special complex of 5 different types of vitamins to nourish and fortify the strands. Rosemary extract provides a gentle cleanse to avoid further irritation and inflammation. The addition of MSM helps to stimulate the scalp for growth and helps form bonds with the hair’s natural proteins to bolster the integrity of your strands.
For those looking for a more natural remedy to hair loss, studies have shown that rosemary may have a hand in stimulating hair regrowth, similar to minoxidil, a popular medication in the treatment of hair loss. Though more research on this is still necessary for any conclusive results, rosemary is still a great hair care ingredient to add to your routine as it is a naturally anti-inflammatory and moisturizing ingredient.
This hair tonic provides an extra boost of nourishment to compromised hair with a blend of oils featuring rosemary, cedarwood, and mandarin. This also contains MSM, and a specially formulated Vitamin Active V complex containing 5 different types of vitamins targeted towards strengthening the hair and stimulating the scalp.
Collagen contains amino acids that help replenish and re-build keratin in the hair to keep your locks healthy and strong, mitigating loss and fallout. It also provides an antioxidant effect that fights harmful free radicals and promotes healthy hair. As collagen is a proven and effective skincare ingredient, it can also benefit the skin on your scalp to create a healthy environment for growth.
This shampoo is low in pH, which helps close up the hair follicles for smoother hair to prevent frizz and tangles that can be more prone to snags, breakage, and knots. A boost of collagen helps with strengthening the hair and binding moisture to the hair to keep your locks silky and hydrated.
Peptides are already well known for their skin rejuvenating benefits, but studies have shown that they can also be helpful in playing a role in hair loss prevention. While research on this is still new, copper peptides may be able to stimulate the scalp for hair growth by increasing blood circulation around the follicles. They may also be effective in extending the growth phase of the hair cycle by bolstering the hair, prolonging the life of the hair before it enters the shedding phase.
Enriched with 11 different types of nourishing and moisturizing peptides, this hair tonic fortifies the scalp and hair for shiny, lustrous locks and a soothed scalp. This tonic smooths out the hair to make it easier to brush, preventing tangles and breakage. Collagen and biotin also feature in this tonic to turn dry and brittle hair soft and bouncy.
Ceramides are a naturally occurring compound in the hair. Ceramides help smooth down the cuticle of the hair to help with moisture retention, shine, elasticity, and smoothness, which in turn helps hair stay strong against environmental damage and breakage. Products containing ceramides help replenish natural ceramide levels and balance the hair.
This rich and nourishing hair mask is full of ceramides and collagen that hydrate and repair damaged hair to restore a soft, silky sheen. Treat your scalp and hair to this mask for an extra boost of gentle care to protect and strengthen your hair during its healing journey.
Biotin is an essential ingredient for reinforcing keratin levels in the hair. Though research on the effect of biotin on hair loss is still in the early stages, there’s no disputing the fact that it helps improve keratin levels in the body, which in turn can have beneficial effects on the hair, as keratin is essential in keeping the hair shiny, smooth, and frizz-free. Strengthening and conditioning the hair against damage and tangles is an effective way to minimize as much fallout and breakage as possible.
This tonic contains natural fermented black tea, also known as kombucha, to invigorate the scalp. Herbal extracts such as ginseng, mugwort, camellia, and mint work alongside an infusion of biotin to gently soothe your scalp and promote a healthy environment for hair growth.
WATCH OUT FOR DAMAGING HAIRSTYLES
Hairstyles that are too tight can also cause a kind of temporary hair loss called traction alopecia. Tight hairstyles, such as tight ponytails or buns, can strain the scalp and pull out the hair. Over time, if the same section of the scalp is being aggravated, small patches of thinning hair can appear. If this is caught early on, the scalp and hair can usually make a full recovery simply by switching to gentler, looser, and less damaging hairstyles.
Switching out your traditional hair ties for a scrunchie can sometimes make all the difference. Scrunchies are more gentle on the hair and do not tug on the hair as much as traditional hair ties, and they naturally make your hairstyles looser to relieve strain on your scalp–not to mention, they instantly make any ‘do look cuter!
A soft headband is another great option for gently keeping your hair out of your face. This headband is made out of a plush material that provides a gentle, pain-free hold without pulling or tugging too tightly on your hair.
YOU’RE ALL SET TO START YOUR HAIR LOSS RECOVERY JOURNEY
Hair loss can be a difficult, sensitive, and frustrating situation to navigate. At the end of the day, the best way to treat hair loss is by nurturing your scalp and hair with nourishing and gentle ingredients that will strengthen and protect your strands, and by being kind to yourself and embracing your hair in all its various stages as it goes through a journey of recovery.