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8 Ways to Fight Hair Loss & Thinning Hair

Read This Before You Put on Those Hair Extensions.

It happens all the time: You take a shower and by the time you’re finished, you have a clump of hair stuck to the wall. (My husband calls it my “bird’s nest.”) Like most women, I’m always losing hair in the shower, when I blow dry it or just going about my day. It’s insanely annoying and I’ve met with my doctor to make sure there’s nothing serious going on. (Thankfully, there’s not.) That said, I did some research to find ways that can help. Many of these are common sense tips, but it’s always good to have a reminder. Here’s what the experts say if you’re experiencing thinning hair and hair loss.

#1 Don’t overbrush your hair and handle with care.

I use a wide-tooth comb in the shower so it doesn’t get easily tangled in my hair, but I’m going to try this Tangle Teezer brush that’s good on wet and dry hair. It’s flexible and supposed to prevent breakage.

#2 Only use sulfate-free shampoos, conditioners and hair products.

If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the years, it’s that we need to read the labels of our beauty products just like we do food labels. Sulfates are found in most mainstream shampoos and hair products and they are extremely drying to hair and can cause breakage. I’m thinking about trying this Dermachange shampoo and conditioner--it’s vegan, almost totally organic, natural and has good reviews.

#3 Eat a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables and foods high in omega-3 fatty acids.

This goes without saying, but how many of us really eat a truly balanced diet? If you’re not, your hair could be paying the price. The best foods to help combat hair loss and thinning hair include vegetable oils, flaxseed, walnuts, dark leafy vegetables like kale and spinach, and fish like mackerel and salmon.

#4 Keep stress to a minimum.

This is definitely easier said than done, but it’s a lifesaver. Literally. Not just for your hair, but for YOU! My doctor recently told me, “What is stress? Essentially, it’s inflammation. So if you don’t want to inflame your body, you need to manage your stress.” How do you do that? Engage in activities that help you relax, whether it’s reading, walking, gardening, going to see a movie or deep breathing.

#5 Drink plenty of water.

This is another no-brainer, but it’s surprising how many people still don’t drink enough water. (At least 8 glasses a day.) Your body--including your scalp and hair follicles--will work better when hydrated.

#6 Avoid using blow dryers and hot irons.

Even though blow-drying is a must for most of us when we’re going out, if you’re worried about thinning hair or hair loss, you really shouldn’t use them more than a few times a week. Instead, let your hair air dry as often as possible. (Quick tip: If you loosely twist your hair into a topknot when it’s partially dry, it comes out bouncy and full of volume.) A fast-drying microfiber towel is a great option for fine and delicate hair.

#7 Take a multivitamin every day.

This is something my doctor recommended for me once I got my blood work done. I was low on iron and vitamin D, which is common with people who follow a vegan diet. Ever since I started taking a multivitamin it has improved my numbers significantly. Make sure to consult your doctor before taking any vitamins. Once you’re good to go, I highly recommend this vegan supplement from Deva, which has proven to work for me.

#8 See your doctor and get your thyroid checked.

Speaking of doctors, if you notice hair loss or hair thinning that seems more than usual, make an appointment to get your blood work done and check your thyroid. Hair loss could be a sign of hormonal issues and that’s all related to your thyroid. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!

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Written by Mar Yvette

Mar Yvette is an on-air host, lifestyle expert, writer and editor with 10+ years of experience working with some of the world’s most recognized media companies.