Tag: hair loss

Let’s Talk … Summer Hair Damage

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It’s getting warm and we are already making plans for fun in the sun! In the interest of being proactive … why not discuss how to prevent summer hair damage. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!S

The Summer environmental stresses lead to increased reactive oxidant species and hair cuticle damage that result in inflammation, protein loss and oxidative stress on the hair fiber.  If caught early enough, before the cuticle is loss, adding moisture, protein and nutrients back to the hair fiber is important, then acidifying the cuticle with acidic pH products will help close the cuticle to reseal the fiber.

Summary (Product Ingredients that will help)

  • Acidic pH products (see below), especially shampoos and conditioners
  • ceramides (see below)
  • sun protection (mineral based makeup and powders), especially those that contain iron oxides are easy to apply to your hair part and will not affect styling — Hats off to that!

See related Health magazine article for products specifics (note: these recommendations may or may not be endorse by me … individual needs/preferences always vary). https://www.health.com/beauty/detox-hair

Wind Damage. Why: Heavy wind will mechanically disrupt hair fiber cuticles (like a tornado to roof shingles), which contribute to protein loss.  This can also happen with excessive detangling and wet combing. 

How to fix: Deep protein-based conditioner treatments, acidify cuticle 

Products that can help: look for products containing ceramides which help seal the cracks in the cuticle.

Sun Damage

Why: Heat from the sun will dry of the protective oil layer on hair shafts and deplete the hair of its natural moisture. Ultraviolet radiation present in sunlight can cause increased DNA and oxidative damage (from free radical species) 

How to fix: Prevention is better than cure. Coating the hair with coconut oil and zinc based products to help seal the cuticle from damage and filter UV before it reaches the fiber. 

Products that can help: Look for products with antioxidants, spin traps. Seek professional deep conditioning and/or protein treatments (not keratin treatment)

Humidity Damage

Why: Excessive environmental moisture can swell the hair fiber and disrupt the cuticle (roof shingle) leading to protein loss and frizzy appearance. 

How to fix: acidify the hair cuticle to lay the roof shingles down; add oil for protective layer to lock out excess environmental moisture. Coconut oil may be a good option to form that protective layer over your hair. It is non-greasy and easily absorbed into hair fibers. If your hair is fine, use less. If your hair is coarse, you may need to add an additional, heavier oil (or other alternative) on top of the coconut oil, occasionally.

Coconut Oil Pulling Benefits and My How-to Guide

Coconut oil

Coconut oil is now popular and widely used as a hair maintenance product. When looking into the published medical literature, some articles were found …

In fact, coconut oil was found to “… reduce protein loss remarkably for both undamaged and damaged hair when used as a pre-wash and post-wash grooming product”

J Cosmet Sci. 2003 Mar-Apr;54(2):175-92.

Products that can help: Look for Shampoos with acidic pH (4-5.5), most are >5.5

Click here to get medical article on shampoo pH … Int J Trichology. 2014 Jul;6(3):95-9.

Chlorine Damage

Why: Chlorine can break through the hair shaft and penetrate to the middle layer of hair called the cortex and bind, disrupting the hair cuticle, pigment cells and key proteins. 

How to fix: Prevent long-term chlorine damage by rinsing hair thoroughly with shampoo to remove excess chlorine. Replace the missing protein and reduce the inflammatory environment. Copper and zinc can be great aids to replace the chlorine molecule in the hair fibers.

Products that can help: Look for products with antioxidants, spin traps. Seek professional deep conditioning and/or protein treatments (not keratin treatment)

Salt Water Damage

Why: Salt changes the pH environment around the hair fiber, which will lift hair cuticles and increase friction between hair fibers leading to loss of moisture and protein.

How to fix: Deep protein based conditioners

Products that can help: acidic shampoos and deep moisturizing conditioners

Styling-Related Damage

Why: Hair that has been in a “maintenance hairstyle” all summer could be over-conditioned and will end up limp and lifeless, similar to the humidity damage.  Prolonged and tight hairstyles, such as weaves and ponytails could end in hair loss called “traction alopecia” 

How to fix: Take a break from the braids and ponytails, allow hair to break. If caught early enough, it should normalize on its own naturally within a few weeks of care. 

Products that can help: N/A – style adjustment. If product buildup is a factor, consider clarifying shampoos.

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