Stop f*cking with your hair. It's bad enough that you're probably mindlessly ruining it, but all that damage and pain can cause your follicles to jump ship and abandon your head. The average woman already loses 100 hairs every day, so just imagine accidentally speeding up the shedding process. Done patting your head to make sure those strands are still present? (It's okay, we know you did.)
Before we bombard you with a laundry list of things you should stop doing, like, ASAP, we should tell you: Not all hair loss is created equal. In fact, there are three types: Breakage, thinning, and *actual* loss—things you definitely don't want associated with your 'do.
With that in mind, we spoke to Adam Friedman, M.D., associate professor of dermatology at George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences and Allen Ruiz, Aveda global artistic director for hairstyling to get the facts.
(In other words—if you've wondered why there's SO MUCH HAIR clogging your shower drain, here's your "Eureka!" moment.)
You're vitamin deficient.
The biggies you really need to care about regarding your hair are B12 and iron, says Friedman. But you should probably be wary of signs you're not getting nearly enough nutrients in general. Just saying. (Yes, that was a total Mom Moment. No, we don't care.)
You're on certain medications.
There's a very long list—that we won't bore you to death with because we're nice—of medications that have hair loss as an unpleasant side effect. (FINE, we'll name antidepressants and high blood pressure pills as examples). We can't pinpoint a common ingredient causing the problem, so you'll have to ask your doctor about any meds you take (or plan to take) on the regular.
You always wear your hair up in a ponytail (or some other "updo").
That's a lot of stress you're putting on your follicles. If you love your hair, you'll wear it loose—or looser—and avoid excruciatingly binding hair ties.
You excessively use hot tools.
Blowdrying, flat ironing, curling every single day you're living counts as excessive. Beauty routine be damned! Sometimes, you should roll out of bed and greet the morning like, "Come at me, I'm **flawless**"
You dry your hair with a cotton towel.
Rub-a-dub-dub with anything BUT a towel. Dry, unforgiving fabric on wet hair is the ideal equation for friction (AKA say goodbye to those strands). Opt to "plop" your hair with a microfiber towel.
You're stressed AF.
That urge to rip your hair out when your boss asks you to do 431 things at once has a name and it's trichotillomania. Simple and delicious fix: Eat these 20 stresss-busting foods instead of tugging on your mane.
You just went through physical trauma.
Think pregnancy (oh, boy). Hair loss isn't immediately noticeable—Friedman notes that it usually takes place three months after giving birth. Why the delay? Hello, hormones. During pregnancy, the shift in hormones that happens to help you have a healthy term also keeps your hair in its "growth" phase. Once your body starts to recover post-pregnancy (hair still primarily in this growing phase), more hair suddenly shifts to a "resting" phase—the phase where strands usually falls out on their own—than the growing phase, which means you'll shed hair much faster than you normally would. So instead of losing 100 hairs a day, you could notice between 150 or 200 strands gone missing. There's no fix—your hair will get its shit together eventually.
You dye your hair too often.
Let's run through the dyeing process: You strip out color, throw foreign chemicals into it, and strut out of the salon like a totally new person. That's fine every now and then but too much coloring (yo, Kylie Jenner—we're looking at you) is like death for your hair.
You try to force out knots.
Take a life lesson from Drake and always start from the bottom. Be gentle, use a detangler, and work your way down-up. You're more likely to pull out your hair if you pull from the root.
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