The run up to Christmas and New Year’s Eve is traditionally thought of as ‘party season’. Packed full of unhealthy pitfalls from drinking too much and often smoking more, as well as surviving on less than nutritious party food, it can take its toll on the health of your hair before you even think about the effects styling can have.
Whilst everyone wants to look their best for whatever events they may be attending, there are a few precautions worth bearing in mind to prevent hair loss or damage due to intensive styling during this period.
Here are a few tips to ensure your hair starts the New Year off on a healthy note and, if you don’t feel you are getting the right balance of nutrients from your diet to promote healthy hair from the inside out, topping up with a dedicated hair growth food supplement can be beneficial.
Bleaching, perming or relaxing treatments
If you use chemical treatments on your hair, particularly harsh formulations used for blondeing, perming or relaxing the hair, you are already putting it in a certain amount of jeopardy. These chemical processes change the cellular makeup of the hair, often leaving it weaker than before and more prone to breakage. Minimize the negative effects by not having these treatments too often and if you use home kits always read the instructions and stick to them religiously.
Whether your treatment is carried out by a hairdresser or if you’re doing it yourself, a patch test is extremely important – even if you have used the same product before – in order to check for potential allergic reactions. Regular intensive moisturising treatments and avoiding heat styling as much as possible is also advisable for bleached hair or hair that has been permed or chemically straightened.
Brazilian blow dry
Although the reports appear to be largely anecdotal, there have been a number of complaints linking the Brazilian Blow Dry treatment to hair loss. This keratin-based straightening treatment not only involves chemical solutions but also often requires the hair to be subjected to extremely high temperatures. High heat has been known to cause the hair to snap along the shaft, giving it the appearance of thinning as it leaves behind weakened hairs that tend to look frizzy.
The best way to deal with this type of breakage is to visit a hairdresser and see about having your hair trimmed or cut in a way that snips off the damaged areas. If this is too extensive, a hair loss specialist may be able to advise on the best way to deal with advanced cases, especially if there is also increased hair fall.
Belgravia’s senior hair loss specialist Leonora Doclis, advises, “hair extensions are one of the worst possible things that you can do to your hair.” She often sees women whose extensions have caused them hair loss after they fall in love with the instantly fuller or longer look they give them. Many celebrities from Jennifer Aniston to Ariana Grande have spoken out about their experience of losing their hair after using extensions too frequently but this has not put others – including many older women – off.
If you want to use hair extensions to boost your hair on a temporary basis we would recommend using clip-in versions as these can be quickly added and removed so can be less damaging than sew-in or tape extensions. Try to use them just for the event, wearing the hair naturally or tied loosely the next day in order to let the follicles recover from the extra strain the additional weight has placed on them. Failure to allow sufficient resting periods can lead to the hair loss condition Traction Alopecia. Although effective treatment is available, if this is allowed to continue over long periods of time without intervention, it can lead to permanent bald patches. These tend to be located where the extensions were afixed and are often accompanied by a receding hairline as this is the area affected by the excessive strain extensions can cause.
Tight braids, high ponytails or buns
Any hairstyle that involves the hair being pulled taut can potentially also cause traction alopecia. Most commonly the hairstyles that cause this type of hair loss are tight braids, cornrows, high ponytails and buns. The hair loss condition is also known as ‘Ballerina Baldness’ due to the number of professional dancers affected through having to wear their hair in tight styles too often.
Whilst sporting one of these styles for a day or two for a party isn’t likely to cause much damage in the majority of cases, these hairstyles are certainly risky if they are worn on an on-going basis. More brittle hair, such as afro hair types, can be more susceptible to this type of issue. As with hair extensions, tight hairstyles place the follicles under a lot of extra strain. This can cause them to gradually deteriorate, leading to weaker hair and hair loss. Traction alopecia treatment can be helpful to those who notice these types of signs, but the hair also needs to be rested to allow the best possible recovery.
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.