At The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research, we treat hair loss resulting from a wide variety of different medical causes, ranging from common genetic pattern hair loss to hormonal irregularities and auto-immune disorders. However, we also know that external, environmental factors can contribute to hair loss as well, particularly during the summer months. Not only does dry and damaged hair tend to look thinner, making any hair loss that you may be experiencing more noticeable, but certain hair styles and hair care practices can also potentially damage the hair follicles and result in permanent hair loss. Here are some helpful tips for keeping your hair healthy this summer.
Avoid Environmental Damage
The best way to keep your hair from getting damaged is to avoid the environmental factors that can damage it in the first place: sun, salt water and chlorine. We all know that ultraviolet radiation from the sun can damage skin, but it can also break down the chemical bonds that make the keratin of the hair strong, potentially leading to weaker strands, split ends, and fading color. Similarly, salt water and chlorine can both dry out the hair strands by stripping away the shingle-like outer layers of the hair cuticle that protect the deeper, more delicate layers from moisture loss. Clean tap water readily binds to the hair and reinforces the outer layers, making it more difficult for chlorine to penetrate, so simply rinsing your hair before swimming can prevent much of the potential damage.
Treat Your Hair Gently
Many people lighten or streak their hair for the summer season, and summer heat can often make tying the hair back in a ponytail a necessity. However, both practices can cause a lot of harm. Much of the natural oil that protects and moisturizes the hair resides in its pigment, so if the color is removed those oils get stripped out as well, leaving the hair prone to drying out. Additionally, popular summer hair styles like tight braids, pony tails, and “man-buns” place an undue amount of stress on individual hair follicles. This can potentially result in a form of hair loss known as traction alopecia, where the hair strands are pulled out and the damaged hair follicles produce progressively thinner hairs during each growth cycle. Although usually only temporary, the damage from traction alopecia, if left untreated, can be very serious and in extreme cases may require hair transplantation surgery to correct.
Preserve and Protect Your Hair
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and taking just a few simple steps to protect and moisturize your hair can often make a world of difference. A high protection sunscreen spray for your hair, or simply covering the hair with a hat, can prevent ultraviolet damage, and using sulfate-free shampoos minimizes damage to the hair shaft. A leave-in conditioner can also go a long way towards preserving the hair’s natural moisture. Maintaining proper nutrition for hair growth and adequate hydration can also help keep the hair healthy, and the specialists at The Griffin Center can recommend nutritional shakes and supplements that will help keep your hair looking its best.
Every season comes with its own unique hair care concerns, so if you have questions about what you can do to help maintain your hair health, follow us on follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ to get the latest news about hair restoration and if you have concerns about your own hair loss, please contact The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration or The Griffin Center for Women’s Hair Loss so that we can schedule an appointment for a full hair loss consultation.