I On Beauty Chapter 18 - For Tresses Feeling Their Age

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PHOTO COURTESY OF IRENE MICHAELS

One of the most frightening experiences to me was when my hair was starting to fall out, I was absolutely beside myself. Although it's common to lose up to 100 strands of hair in a day, hair loss can also occur because of the following reasons stress, after giving birth, some diseases or medical treatments, hereditary and, most commonly, because due to the aging process. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, "about 80 million men and women in the United States have this type of hair loss. Luckily, most causes of hair loss can be stopped or treated. It was especially alarming to me since I was a hair model for many years and I was not prepared for this particular part of the aging process.  However, whether you are a model, a housewife or a corporate executive; it is never a good feeling. I tried all sorts of products to prevent hair loss, ate all sorts of nutrients related to rebuilding hair follicles, and slept with awful smelling creams that were not to appealing to me or the opposite sex.

With all this in mind, and knowing that at some point we will all go through this, I've put together a list of ways to prevent hair loss with some tips on what to do if you are already going through this.

Visit your doctor, dermatologist or your hairdresser - At the first sign of hair loss, especially if it's sudden instead of gradual, you should consult with your doctor, dermatologist and certainly your hairdresser to determine any underlying factors. These professionals will be able to determine the cause and provide necessary treatment accordingly. I use John Zuluaga, a virtual genius hair stylist, at MC Lash Studio & Beauty Bar in Chicago. John noticed I had patches of hair loss, that I did not even recognize and that is when we started to use the Keratasse line, which has helped tremendously.

Topical treatments - Following any advice provided by your healthcare or haircare professional, you can also try topical treatments that can be made at home. Some examples include: boiling potatoes with rosemary and using the liquid as a rinse; mixing egg yolk and honey to use as a hair mask; brewing two bags of green tea in one cup of water and applying (once cool) to hair leaving it in for one hour; adding aloe vera gel to your shampoo; mixing one tablespoon lemon juice with two teaspoons of coconut or olive oil and leaving mixture on scalp for one hour; rinsing hair with a combination of apple cider vinegar and warm water after washing.

Massage - A daily hand massage on your scalp will help stimulate circulation while stimulating hair follicles, keeping them active. Start near your forehead, with your thumbs at your temples, and slowly begin to make firm pressure with your fingers as you move along the middle of your scalp. Extending outward with each pulse of your fingers, taking time to slowly massage every section. As a bonus, adding essential oils - like lavender, almond, rosemary or peppermint - provides an extra layer of aromatherapy, enhancing your overall well-being. Do this daily, for a few minutes, whenever possible.

Maintenance - Using a natural bristle brush will help stimulate hair follicles, increasing blood flow to the scalp. Make sure to brush your hair once it's dry or use a wide-tooth comb, gently, on wet hair. Letting your hair dry naturally, instead of using a hot dryer, also helps prevent hair loss and hair damage. The same applies for any heating tools you may use. Washing your hair in lukewarm - not hot - water prevents scalp and hair damage. And, try not to pull your hair into tight ponytails, buns or braids, using soft methods instead (never in the same space).

Diet - Of course, a well-balanced diet does your body good, so adding supplements like sources rich in protein and B vitamins, can help promote full and healthy hair. Try smoothies made with lettuce, capsicum and carrots or spinach with berries and chia seeds. Vitamin C helps prevent breakage and brittle hair so load up on oranges, guava, peppers, papaya and dark leafy greens. And always make sure to drink plenty of liquids to keep your entire body, from head to toe, hydrated and replenished. As always consistency is key to success!!!
 
Happy Hair Days!