1. Shampooing too much or not enough
Keeping your scalp clean is extremely important for healthy hair growth, but how often you will need to shampoo to prevent hair thinning will depend on your hair type. If your hair becomes oily quickly, you will need to shampoo your hair every other day, but if you have a dry scalp, you don’t need to wash it as often.
People with very curly hair in particular often have a dry scalp and hair, and they often don’t need to wash their hair more than once a week. But even if your scalp is dry, washing your hair regularly is very important, as it prevents inflammation, which, in turn, can cause hair breakage and hair loss. This is especially true if you’re using styling products or trendy dry shampoo powders in your hair, as these products can build up on your scalp.
Some home remedies and at-home hair treatments can help hair thinning and hair loss.
2. Brushing your hair too often
It’s a common misconception that brushing your hair as often and as much as possible makes your hair healthier. In reality, however, brushing your hair can break and pull at it, especially if you’re brushing it wet. If you find that it’s difficult to detangle your hair when it’s dry, wait until your hair is at least 75% dry and then start brushing it using a comb.
If you have long hair, you can also use a detangling spray or a pea-sized amount of hair oil on the ends before brushing it out to aid the detangling process. As for brushing between washes, don’t do it unless you have to and forget about that 100 strokes a day myth, it actually hurts your hair.
Also, use the right brush:
If you’re prone to hair loss, brushing gently with the right brush is necessary. Since it’s likely that your hair is already damaged and fragile, it’s best if you skip brushes that will tug on your hair or heat up while blow-drying, so stay away from the popular boar-bristle brushes and metal brushes. Instead, choose a soft and gentle plastic brush with a vented base, or even better, a wide-toothed comb.
Apart from being much better for your hair, plastic brushes are also lighter on your wallet, so it's a win-win situation.
3. Bleaching or relaxing the hair
Chemically processing your hair will damage and weaken the hair strands and can even hurt your scalp. If you already have fine, brittle hair, bleaching it will further damage it, but regular bleaching will hurt even the strongest hair. Extremely overbleached hair can become so fine and brittle that it will break even at the roots, this is especially common in the areas where we already have finer hair, like the hairline and the temples.
If not done professionally, hair bleaching can even cause burns on the scalp that can be the reason for hair loss as well. As for chemical straightening, it’s even more damaging than bleach, which is why hairdressers will never relax your hair twice, as it can literally dissolve your hair since they use such strong chemical agents.
4. Not following a healthy diet
We can bet that you've heard at some point that our hair is essentially dead tissue, and it’s true, our hair, much like our fingernails, is largely comprised of keratin, a hardened protein that doesn’t need the amount of nutrients other human tissues require.
Still, our hair grows out of our skin, namely our scalp, which, in turn, requires a lot of nutrients to feed hair growth. If our scalp is malnourished, our hair becomes thin, brittle, and some hair follicles may not be able to hold on to a hair strand as well as they used to.
Similarly, people on extreme dieting plans and vegetarians can experience hair loss, so you have to watch your vitamin and protein intake if you’re on a restrictive diet.
5. Heat-styling your hair too often
If you’re using a hair dryer or a hair straightener every day, or even every time you wash your hair, your hair may be more prone to falling out. This is why we recommend limiting the use of blow dryers, curling irons, hair straighteners, and heated rollers.
The American Academy of Dermatology also points out that using high heat frequently can cause hair loss and recommend air-drying your hair as much as possible. If you do favor blow-drying your hair, it’s recommended to wait until it’s about 75-80% percent dry before doing so. This way you'll cut down the time your hair is exposed to the heat and ultimately have a fuller head of hair.
6. You’re ignoring an itchy scalp
A voluminous, full head of hair starts with a healthy scalp, and that's why an itchy and dry scalp should always be treated, otherwise, the itching can break your hair and the scalp condition can weaken your hair follicles, causing hair loss.
You can use over-the-counter dandruff shampoos or shampoos that contain zinc or selenium to treat the scalp. Another method is to add a few drops of tea tree oil to your shampoo. If these over-the-counter methods don’t work, see a dermatologist and they will help you treat the scalp issue, and it will improve your hair density as well.
7. You’re using the wrong styling products
Instead of beautifying your hair, some styling products, such as hairspray and gels, in particular, can do more harm than good. This is because they often contain a lot of alcohol and dry out the hair and scalp.
Apart from that, these products can create buildup on your hair that’s often difficult to clean, and it will make your hair more prone to falling out when you’re styling or combing it. To protect your hair, stay away from styling products that contain alcohol, waxes, and choose hair oils and lightweight styling products instead.
8. You’re stressed
One of the common reasons for sudden hair loss is stress, with many people running into this issue a few weeks after a stressful event or during an extended difficult period in life. Traumatic life events, such as a divorce or bereavement can trigger hair loss up to 3 months after the event itself.
This type of hair loss is usually temporary, but it’s still important to watch out for stress, as it was observed that chronically stressed people, on average, have thinner hair (as if the stress itself wasn’t enough). We’re not quite sure why it happens, but it’s likely because of a hormone called cortisol (also known as “the stress hormone”), which can cause hair loss.
9. You’re wearing a hairstyle that’s pulling on your hair too much
Anyone with long hair will know that the struggle of keeping your hair out of your face is real, and we’re tempted to pull the hair back in a tight bun or ponytail or tame our hair by braiding it. Or, maybe, you’ve been struggling with hair loss or lack of volume for a while and decided to get hair extensions?
If any of these apply to you, be aware that these hairstyles can cause a type of hair loss called traction alopecia. This is because these hairstyles constantly pull on your hair and damage the hair follicles. Over time, this damage could become permanent.
To prevent traction alopecia, don’t tie your hair too tight and alternate between low and high ponytails and buns. Use silk or fabric ties instead of rubber or plastic ones. If you’re wearing cornrows or braids, untie them from time to time and let your hair rest.