We all know that certain things, such as smoking cigarettes, eating the wrong foods, and drinking too much alcohol are bad for our health and can also cause hair loss. But there are plenty of other ways in which we may unwittingly be self-sabotaging our hair on a daily basis.
Here are five common – yet surprising – ways in which you might be risking your hair without even realising.
1. Watching too much TV
A recently released study by the University of Pittsburgh has found that the more time adults spend watching TV when they are around 30 years old, the more likely they are to be obese within five years. Their data was collected from a group of 3,269 men and women who were studied over a 15 year period. Those who watched four or more hours of television every day were found most susceptible to excessive weight gain. Higher rates of smoking and drinking were also prevalent within this group.
Given obesity has known links to hair health – the strain of extra weight plus nutritional issues can lead to dull, brittle hair, or thinning hair from Telogen Effluvium, whilst other related health complications such as diabetes and heart disease can also cause hair loss – this is an important consideration. So, if your preferred marathons relate to Netflix, it might be time to revise your viewing habits for the sake of your hair.
2. Following fashion trends
Intricate braids, Kylie Jenner-style hair extensions and Rita Ora-esque high ponytail hairpieces may be big news in the beauty world but following these fashion trends can be a bad move for your hair. If your hairstyle is too tight, heavy and/or fixed to your head for long periods of time, you run the risk of developing Traction Alopecia as well as headaches. This common hair loss condition occurs when too much tension is placed on the follicles, causing hair loss in the strained areas, as well as around the hairline.
Although treatment for Traction Alopecia can produce promising regrowth results, prevention is the best option. So if you want to wear a braid, make sure it’s not too tight and take it out at night, same for hairpieces and when it comes to hair extensions we recommend you give them a miss altogether. If you absolutely can’t, then try lightweight clip-in versions that you wear once in a while and, again, take them out at night to minimise the chance of damage.
3. Taking vitamin supplements
The act of simply taking a dietary supplement to enhance your intake of vitamins and minerals is generally a good thing and should not affect your hair. However, the problem comes with certain nutrients which, when regularly consumed to excess, can cause hair loss. Most notably these include biotin, zinc, selenium and vitamin A.
If you are frequently taking a supplement which already contains the daily recommended allowance of these potentially problematic nutrients, anything you eat or drink on top of that which also includes these will put you over the limit.
This can lead to thinning hair all over the scalp brought on by a condition called Telogen Effluvium, as mentioned above. Whilst this is temporary and should clear up on its own in up to six months, it can also trigger or exacerbate genetic hair loss in men and women with an existing hereditary disposition.
4. Living in a soft water area
This is something of a ‘trick’ point as washing your hair in soft water doesn’t actually cause or lead to hair loss. Instead it will simply leave your hair softer and cleaner than hard water so your hair will tend to look ‘limper’.
Many people who move from a hard water area to a soft water one notice the change in their hair and can panic that they are losing their hair due to the apparent change in density. This is absolutely nothing to worry about and can be solved simply by using volumising or texturising hair styling products – a much cheaper option than moving house again!
There are hair loss treatment solutions for all the conditions outlined above. So, if you are concerned you may be shedding more than normal, speak to a hair loss specialist who will be able to assess your situation and tailor a bespoke regrowth plan to your specific, personal needs.
The Belgravia Centre
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.