If you’ve read the 11 Reasons For Hair Loss in Women and you have found that none of them have applied to you, there still maybe other factors to consider.
If you are a fairly healthy person, but you notice that your hair is thinning in certain areas of your head, well this may be the list you are looking for, to help you answer your question of why you may be losing your hair.
1) Wearing your hair out often
I know first hand, that when we get our hair done we want to wear it out and let the whole world know that we look good.
I used to go to the salon and after I got my hair permed or straightened, I enjoyed wearing it down. It was great to see the new hair growth and how long my hair had grown.
I also loved to leave it down and just let the wind blow in it. I was happy when I wore it out because it was either in braids or under a wig somewhere for weeks. Looking back, I can see now, why there was so much hair loss and damage.
When you wear your hair out it is more susceptible to the out door environments (including articles of clothing and accessories you are wearing). The outside environment and the weather can cause breakage to your hair strands.
Wearing Your Hair Out In Cold Weather
In the winter months we try to stay warm by using central heating or hot air heaters to keep ourselves warm. When we use these heating tools in our home, car or work, it sucks the moisture right out of the air leaving our hair vulnerable to becoming dry, dull and brittle.
Going outdoors is equally as harmful. The cold winter winds cause split ends, breakage and damage to our hair shaft. If you use certain products in your hair that solidify when cooled (like coconut oil and shea butter), the cold weather can cause these products to solidify onto your hair strand and cause them to snap off or get tangled easily.
This same concept applies to wearing wet or damp hair outside in the winer cold air. The water molecules on your hair strand can freeze or solidify, causing breakage and damage to your hair strand.
Wearing Your Hair Out In Hot Weather
In the summer sun, we all know that it is very important to protect our skin from the UV rays of the sun. It is equally important to protect our hair from the UV rays as well.
The UV rays weaken the protein bonds on our hair shaft, which causes our hair to look dry and frizzy and to become brittle. When the protein bonds in our hair are damaged our hair will essentially develop split ends, get weak and fall out.
Furthermore, when you wear your hair out, your hair rubs against your clothing, accessories our jewelry, you are also putting your hair at risk for developing split ends and breakage. Again, if your hair is split or damaged, it can cause the whole strand of hair to split, causing weak dry, brittle hair and causing your hair to fall out.
This is especially true for us black women with natural hair. Our hair tends to be more curly and it is easier for our curls to latch on to our clothing and accessories and get snapped right off.
Protective Styling can help you to keep your hair safe, protected and growing longer, stronger and healthier (Read more Here)
2) Playing in your hair too often
I am guilty! If I can just touch my hair, I will. I never want anyone else to touch my hair, but I will sit there and touch it all day if I can! However, playing in your hair too often can cause thinning and here is why. When your hair is out you will play in it more often. By you running your fingers through your hair or twirling it around your finger, you are causing your hair to lose it’s natural moisture and you may accidentally snap, snag or damage your hair with the friction from continued movements or from your skin, nails or jewelry.
By playing in your hair, you strip your hair of it’s natural oils and you can actually be making your scalp/hair dirty, leading to other scalp conditions that irritate your scalp and cause hair loss. Also, stripping your hair of it’s natural oils, leads to dry, brittle and weak hair.
I don’t know why we do this, but we are putting our hair at risk for damage. I am now a pro at keeping my hair protected and you can be also.
3) Styling too often
Styling your hair too often is one of the top ways us ladies, damage our hair and cause hair thinning. Using the brush and comb frequently, will cause snags and knots in our hair. The constant friction of the brushing/combing motion will cause breakage and split ends.
Using head bands and hair ties (even the “ouch-less” brand) and other hair accessories, can cause our hair to be damaged, by causing split ends as well as breakage.
The best way to reduce the chances of this, would be to keep your hair in a Protective Stye and leave it alone.
4) Shampooing too often
Washing our hair is great and we all need to do it, but “over washing” can be a huge problem and is another habit that causes our hair loss.
For those of us who have an afro hair type, our curly, natural hair tends to get dry and lose it’s moisture a lot faster than other hair types and “over washing” our hair makes this happen even faster.
When you “over wash” your hair, you are stripping your hair of all of it’s natural oils. These natural oils actually protect and nourish your hair, and they are specifically designed for your body. You cannot buy an oil that gives your hair and scalp the nutriments it needs specially designed for you.
When you strip your hair of it’s natural oils you leave your hair vulnerable to a dirty scalp, which leads to blocked hair follicles, itching or lice. It also leaves your hair susceptible to dry, dull, life-less looking and feeling hair.
If you wash your natural hair, try to use a natural soap or shampoo.
Also, if you wash your natural hair, try to minimize how often you wash it.
If you do cleanse your scalp daily, you do not need to use harsh shampoos daily. Try washing with water only.
5) Wearing tight hair styles
Ladies, Ladies, Ladies!! Yes, we love to do our hair. There are so many styles that make us look and feel great!
I know first hand how styling our hair can be so creative and fun, but yet be so so damaging to our natural hair (if it is not done properly).
Wearing tight hairstyles like braids, weaves, tight buns and ponytails can actually cause a hair loss condition called:
Traction Alopecia which is caused by putting to much strain on the hair follicle which can lead to hair thinning and severe hair damage.
There are numerous styles that we can wear our hair in that will not damage our hair.
If we learn how to style our hair, in ways that will not cause hair loss, we will be just fine rockin’ our hair styles and looking fresh, while keeping our hair growing long, strong and healthy.
6) Trying too many new products
It’s sad to say but I use to be a “product junkie”. I wanted to try all the “Hot” products that the celebrities were using. I eventually stopped using harsh chemicals in my hair and switched over to all natural products, but I was still using too many. My hair started thinning, but I didn’t know why. I thought that using more natural products would make my hair grow faster and healthier, so why was I losing my hair?
After losing most of the hair along my hair line and edges, I finally realized that I was allergic to Aloe Vera. If you look at the ingredients in almost any natural and/or organic hair product, Aloe Vera is in there somewhere. If I had just stuck to a few main products, I would have caught the hair loss before it got so bad. Unfortunately, I was not able to catch it early because I was using so many products that I didn’t know which one was causing my hair loss.
Since, I didn’t know which product was causing me to lose my hair, I continued using it. I didn’t know when I used it or how long I used it for. This was a huge problem when it came to figuring out why I was losing my hair and how to stop it. It was like trying to find “a needle in a drawer full of products”.
You might be a “product junkie”, like how I used to be. You might love to buy new products for your hair and try them out for various reasons. Maybe you like the smell of a new product, you may read the label and want to try the product, you may find a sale on a product and decided to buy it, and the list goes on.
Trying new products can make your hair dry, dull, lifeless and very unhealthy. When you put too many products on your hair or are trying too many new products, your scalp may not like it. It may be too much for your body to handle or you may be allergic to a product, which can cause your hair to fall out.
7) Using too many or very harsh chemicals
I know that us afro textured ladies know all about this Reason Number 7.
Perms, Hair Dyes and Hairsprays are all filled with very harsh and dangerous chemicals. These chemicals not only affect the overall look, feel and “health” of your hair, but they are very damaging on your scalp and body in general.
I use to perm my hair every 4 to 6 weeks. My hair stylist use to leave those chemicals on my scalp, until my scalp would start to burn. Once it was burning, she would leave it on my scalp for another 5 to 10 minutes (depending on what she was doing). After I got the chemicals washed and my hair was styled, my scalp would hurt and sometimes my scalp would be so damaged there would be puss oozing out of my hair follicles.
I did this for about 5 years of my life. After 5 years I decided enough was enough. I did not want to have “good looking hair”, but feel like someone was stabbing me in the scalp with a knife.
The chemicals were so harsh that my hair dresser had to wear gloves to apply the perm, but her hands were more tough than my scalp was. That is just a little comparison to how harsh those chemicals must have been.
Overtime, using irritating chemicals can cause damage to your scalp or you can even cause permanent damage to your hair follicles called scarring alopecia or central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia (CCCA), which is another major reason why many black women afro-textured hair suffer hair loss.
8) Using heat too often
The texture of African American women’s hair, tends to be very thick and curly. I have type 4C hair and that is the most course and most curly hair type you can have. Because our hair is so tightly curled and coiled, we tend to use methods that involve heat, to straighten out our hair and make it more manageable to style or wear out.
We can straighten our hair by using tools like, hot combs, straighteners, curling irons, blow dryers, etc. When we use these tools on our natural hair, we can cause major and irreplaceable damage to our hair strands which can result in hair thinning. You can burn your hair, which causes your hair to be weak and brittle. The heat will cause your hair to be frizzy, dull, dry, have split ends and cause hair loss due to breakage and damage.
In my natural black hair regimen, I don’t use any heat on my hair at all. I have been growing my hair for 2 years and I have no desire to put heat in my hair. I am sure at some point I will use heat in my hair, but my hair has been so damaged and traumatized already, I want to let it continue to grow and flourish without risking damage by using too much heat.
9) Sleeping on a pillow (not covered with silk/satin)
When our day is over and after working hard all day and then coming home and dealing with our family, we are tired! All we want to do is put our head on our pillow and go to sleep!
Unfortunately, sleeping on a regular pillowcase can cause friction as you toss and turn for hours on your pillow at night. As I mentioned above, that as a black woman with afro textured hair, our natural hair tends to dry out easily and this can cause breakage. Keeping your hair in protective styles in the day is just as important and keeping your hair protected at night.
When you turn and rub your hair on the pillow at night, you are also stripping your hair of its natural oils and moisture, causing your hair to dry out. This in turn causes breakage and split ends, which ultimately leads to dry, dull and brittle hair.
You can reduce the chances of this happening, by sleeping on a silk or satin pillowcase. The material of silk/satin keeps moisture in your hair and the silky material allows your hair to move around smoothly on the pillow, reducing the risk of snags, knots and split ends caused by friction.
I have known people who have smoked all of their life and they seemed to have been healthier than me. They even said they feel great! They looked great to me. Because of this, I decided not to add smokers to my previous list of 11 Reasons Why Women Lose Their Hair, but I will add this to habits of why you may be losing your hair.
When you smoke the toxins from the cigarettes are causing damage to the DNA of your hair follicle. This causes an imbalance in your bodies systems that are responsible for tissue and cell formation and generation. This will cause confusion in your hair growth cycles and it can also cause inflammation of your follicles causing your hair to fall out.
I revealed some of the benefits of oxygen for hair growth above and we now know that clean oxygen is good for your body and scalp, but oxygen filled with toxins can damage not only the cell carrying the oxygen, but any organ that the toxic oxygen is delivered to.
These are my Top 10 Bad Habits that I truly believe are causing us women to face alopecia, premature hair loss and hair thinning. If you are anything like me, we already know, which habits we are going to stop, to guarantee that we are not suffering from alopecia and other hair loss related conditions.