Hair loss that is hereditary is beyond your control, and preventing shedding caused by stress is easier said than done. But, there are some habits and mistakes that can worsen hair loss issues. Here are a couple of things to watch out for and how to fix them.

Making One of These Your Go-to Style

~The problem: You’re wearing super tight ponytails, buns, braids or any other style that involves pulling the hair back tight. These styles can end in hair loss from too much tension on the scalp. This is called traction alopecia.

~The sign: You start noticing short hairs along your hairline that aren’t being pulled back, because the longer hairs (that typically hide these short hairs) have fallen out.

~The fix: Make sure when you put your hair up there is some movement at the hairline and when you braid your hair, the braids are a little loose. It’s a good rule of thumb to be sure you can wiggle the hair around the crown. Some people don’t know that extensions and clip in pieces can cause traction alopecia. It’s a good idea to give your hair breaks from these hair styles since they create tension and pulling on your hair.

Not Researching Side Effects

~The problem: There are some medications that (in some people) have caused hair loss. Some like: birth controls, some acne medications, certain antidepressants, drugs lowering cholesterol, and some blood pressure medications.

~The fix: Before starting a new medication, be sure to discuss if hair loss is a possible side effect with your doctor. If it is, your doctor may be able to recommend an alternate medicine that still addresses your main problem without adding the stress of hair loss.

Keeping the Heat

~The problem: One word: HEAT! Flat irons, blow dryers, and curling irons are just a few examples of damage causing tools. Constant use of these can lead to thinning by creating air bubbles within the hair shaft that make strands more susceptible to breakage.

~The sign: Because this isn’t hair loss where it comes out from the root, you typically won’t see more scalp showing, but you’ll start noticing your hair looking thinner or breaking easier than they used to.

~The fix: When blow drying hair, set on cool setting and, if possible, avoid using hot styling tools altogether. If you HAVE to style hair with heat, be sure to use a heat-protectant product first, be sure to have tool set on medium heat, and only go over a section once or twice, not 5 or 6 times.

Vitamins & Nutrients

~The problem: If you have a well-rounded diet, it’s kind of hard to be vitamin or nutrient deficient, BUT, hair loss has been linked before due to a lack of certain nutrients like b vitamins, selenium, zinc, iron, and protein. While this is fairly uncommon, it does happen.

~The fix: Be sure to take a good look at your diet and be sure to take in your recommended daily allotment of macronutrients, minerals, and key vitamins.

Jumping From One Shade to the Next

~The problem: Drastic color changes, which typically require harsh chemicals. Constant or extreme color changes can leave your hair weaker and prone to breakage. Example: going from platinum blonde to dark brown at one time is probably not a wise idea.

~The fix: Try to stay within one or two shades of your natural color, especially if you have thinner hair or are prone to hair loss. If you do not have hair or are not experiencing thinning hair, you can do more drastic color changes, but do them gradually (one or two shades each time) to lessen stress on hair.