Hair loss is completely normal, but when you start noticing more hair in your hair brush or clumps clogging up the shower drain, it can be quite concerning.
Genetics may play a part in hair loss, as can an underlying health condition.
But there are several other influences that may be a factor like stress, weight loss or an iron deficiency.
While we can’t always prevent the cause of hair loss or thinning, there are things we can do to minimise it.
We spoke to Dr Ophelia Veraitch, Consultant dermatologist and founder of Dr Ophelia Comsecutical Skin and hair to find out what we could be doing wrong and how to things we can do to boss that hair growth.
Massage almond oil into your scalp
The state of your scalp can have a huge impact on the health of your hair.
A dry scalp or a scalp with a lot of product built up can lead to hair loss or thinning. This is because the build up slowly starts to suffocate the hair follicle, which can stunt growth or cause the hair to shed.
Dr Ophelia suggests massaging the scalp with oil, as she says “It’s the best way to naturally hydrate your scalp and hair and help both to retain moisture.”
“On the days I’m not going out I massage almond oil into my scalp and hair and onto my children’s scalp and hair too.
“This ritual comes from my Sikh background where having uncut hair (which I haven’t stuck to!) and importantly looking after your hair is a sign of respect to personal attributes that are considered god given.
“It’s common for Asian and Mediterranean cultures to put oil in the scalp and hair like this as a natural and effective way to moisturise our scalp and hair!”
Massaging almond oil into the scalp and hair like this helps to reduce frizziness of the hair and improve the condition of the scalp too.
“You can use coconut oil but I find this is smellier and harder,” she says.
“Alternatively argan oil is thinner so it’s better for people with finer hair.”
Use Olive oil on scalp psoriasis
Psoriasis is a skin condition that affects around 2 per cent of people in the UK and it can result in hair problems for women aged 45 and above.
It causes flaky patches of skin that are usually red and crusty with silvery scales and can occur in the scalp, resulting in fine scaling that looks like dandruff, a thick crust, or crusted plaques that cover the entire scalp.
Psoriasis is a chronic disease, this means that it’s long-lasting and usually involves periods when you have symptoms and then periods where you don’t have any. Whilst there’s no cure as such, there are a number of safe and effective treatments that can improve the symptoms and the appearance of the skin and reduce the severity and size of the patches.
Lifestyle measures such as loosing weight, exercise, healthy eating, stopping smoking and reducing alcohol intake can all help psoriasis.
Soaking your scalp in olive oil can help to ease the symptoms of psoriasis, says Dr Ophelia.
Simply cover the scalp in the oil, wrap it in cling film and leave it for several hours or even overnight.
Use hair growth tonics
Another option is to use hair products that target hair thinning and loss that contain ingredients which can help promote hair growth.
For example, the sleep hormone melatonin isn’t just to regulate the circadian rhythms, it’s also a great antioxidant synthesised in hair follicles.
The expert recommends finding a hair growth tonic like Dr Ophelia Hair Growth Elixirs, to optimise luscious and beautiful looking hair.
Don’t towel dry wet hair
A common mistake people make is drying their hair with a cotton towel.
The hair shaft is made of keratin. The outermost layer of the hair shaft is known as the cuticle, and is made of overlapping keratin cells.
The hair cuticle works as a protective layer, but if not looked after, damage to the hair cuticle can make the hair look and feel dry and unhealthy.
Towel drying wet hair can cause damage to the keratin cells in the cuticle.
Instead, either pat your hair dry or use a microfibre cloth or a t-shirt.
Myth – Towel drying helps conditioner absorb into the hair more
There’s a common misconception that towel drying your hair before using conditioner makes the product absorb into the hair shaft more easily.
But Dr Ophelia warns against it.
“This argument to me is that it’s a bit like using sand paper on your skin to make active ingredients absorb better into the skin…. I don’t know why anyone would purposefully damage the cuticle of the hair shaft in order for the conditioner to be ‘absorbed’.”