Many would agree that our hair is often our crowning glory, so when we’re noticing more than usual clogging the drain or trapped in our brushes, it can be really alarming. With August being National Hair Loss Awareness Month, we thought it would be the perfect time to highlight this widespread cause for concern for men and women alike. Dr. Robert Leonard, Medical Advisor to Keranique, an authority on hair restoration was able to answer our questions on easy ways to recognize hair loss plus, bust a few common myths surrounding the reasons for excessive shedding in women. And of course, we’re sharing some of our favorite products for getting healthy, luscious locks!
The Ponytail Test
For women, losing hair is heartbreaking. Often its just a period of greater-than-normal shedding (around seasonal changes) but sometimes hair loss and thinning is a sign of an underlying health condition, which is why if you suspect you’re losing more hair than normal it’s important to check in with your physician. But how can you tell if you’re just experiencing a normal shed or if you are actually losing hair? According to Dr. Leonard, an easy way to gauge if you are in fact experiencing thinning hair is The Ponytail Test.
1. Begin with hair down that is dry, clean, and not styled
2. Pull your hair back with both hands to form a ponytail where yours naturally rests
3.Using your thumb and your middle finger wrap your fingers around the circumference of your ponytail comparing the thickness to previous ponytails
4. Repeat once every four months
“Women know their own hair. As it thins, she is the first to recognize it,” explained Dr. Leonard. “The Ponytail Test is a very effective tool to validate what my patients already know…that their hair is really thinning. One of the most common signs of thinning hair is shrinkage of the diameter of a woman’s ponytail.” Interestingly enough this was how I initially discovered my hair wasn’t just shedding more than normal but it was in fact thinning all over and I was experiencing Telogen Effluvium, a common form of temporary hair loss. (Click here to learn more about TE.)
Fact or Fiction
“There are many myths about hair loss in women that have been perpetuated by both physicians and the general public,” shared Dr. Leonard. He busted a few for us below!
Myth: Stress is a major cause of hair loss.
Truth: This is not true except in the case of physiologic stress (physical trauma, high fever, childbirth, general anesthesia). Everyday stress that we endure does not cause hair loss.
Myth: Clogged hair follicles do not cause hair loss, though many claims are out there attributing this to it.
Truth: It is very important to use hair care products that thoroughly cleanse the scalp of cellular debris and sebum, but they do not cause follicle to become clogged, causing thinning hair.
Myth: Frequent shampooing, likewise, doesn’t cause hair to become thin.
Truth: To the contrary, daily shampooing is important to keep both the scalp and the hair clean.
Myth: Presence of mites is another myth described to thin hair.
Truth: Mites are part of our life—like it or not—that are found virtually everywhere. They do not cause hair loss.
Myth: Wearing a hat is a big myth.
Truth: This has been passed along from grandmothers to mother over the centuries. Sorry, Mom, it’s just not true!
Products We LOVE
Now that you’ve recognized whether or not you’re experiencing hair loss and know how to navigate through a lot of common myths it’s time to get your hair in tip top shape! These products have helped me reclaim my mane and even if you aren’t experiencing shedding, thinning, or hair loss, they are all stellar products for keeping the healthy, shiny hair you have!
Viviscal Extra Strength
This supplement is one of my must-haves. It’s used by celebs, models, and hairstylists and works wonders to help grow hair FAST and fill in spots that are thinning, especially because of TE. After three months you’ll truly notice results and after six my hair was growing like a weed. The ingredients include a marine complex, cherry extract, and horsetail extract. Viviscal Extra Strength One Month Supply; $49.99
Ouidad Superfruit Renewal Clarifying Cream Shampoo
Clean hair is happy hair and this sulfate-free shampoo from Ouidad is perfect for removing any product build-up and getting the scalp and strands super clean without stripping hair or drying it out. The shampoo uses antioxidant-rich ingredients like concentrated superfruit acids from acai, blueberry, cranberry, papaya, and pomegranate and banana extract to add hydration, shine, and bounce! My favorite part, other than how shiny it leaves my hair, is the smell – it’s an unbelievably invigorating, clean fruity smell! Ouidad Superfruit Renewal Clarifying Cream Shampoo; $18
Joico K-PAK Intense Hydrator
Keeping hair hydrated is key for it to look healthy and lush. While I love the entire K-PAK line from Joico, one product I can’t live without is the Intense Hydrator. I use this 5-minute treatment once a week and only on the middle and ends of my strands, as to not weigh down my fine hair. Joico K-PAK Intense Hydrator; $19.99
HairMax for den•si•ty Activator
This follicle booster helps to strengthen and nourish your hair from the root, by taking care of the scalp. It’s a leave-in serum that is designed for thinning hair and loaded with nutrients, antioxidants, and DHT blockers. Just spray onto a clean, towel-dried scalp and style as usual. HairMax for den•si•ty Activator; $45
Nourish your hair from the inside, out with our recipe for a biotin-packed smoothie (perfect for healthy hair growth!) Get the video here!
Any questions about this topic or the products, please ask away below!