Your hair can start falling out for several reasons, including stress, illness, improper nutrition, hormones and aging, but improper hair-care is also a common reason for hair loss. It's completely normal to lose some hair -- on average, between 50 and 100 strands fall out daily -- but if you find your hair falling out in clumps in the shower or when you run your fingers through it, it’s time to take preventative measures to protect it from shedding further.
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Maintain a healthy diet to keep your hair healthy. Choose foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, protein, zinc, iron, magnesium and vitamins A and C. Good choices include salmon, tuna, roast beef, chickpeas, oysters, egg yolks, peanuts, lentils, chicken, turkey, dark leafy greens, whole grains and sweet potatoes.
Keep your scalp healthy. Dandruff and a dry, itchy scalp can contribute to hair loss. Apply a hair mask to your scalp once a week to keep the flakes at bay. Mix 2 eggs, 1/4 cup of witch hazel and 1/8 cup of vodka in a bowl. Apply it to your scalp before washing your hair. Massage it into your scalp for 10 minutes before rinsing and washing your hair as usual. If you suffer from dandruff, use a specially formulated dandruff shampoo every day for one week until the dandruff clears; use once every week thereafter to help control the problem.
Give your hair a break by ditching the ponytails and tight hair accessories, which cause pulling on the hair follicles. If you choose to use hair accessories, select clips and pins that have a rubber pad, and opt for fabric hair ties rather than rubber. Also, use hair dyes, perms, relaxers, sprays, gels and mousse sparingly; overuse of these products can make your hair unhealthy, brittle and more susceptible to breakage.
Put down your heated styling tools. The extreme heat from blow-dryers, curling irons and straighteners makes tresses damaged and brittle, and can lead to hair falling out.
Wash, dry and comb your hair properly. It’s important to wash your hair regularly, but it’s not necessary to do so every day. Instead, skip a day or two in between each washing. Avoid rubbing your hair with a towel when it’s wet. Pat it dry instead to avoid pulling the strands or breaking the hair. Wait for your hair to dry before combing or brushing. Wet hair is more elastic, so it breaks easier than when it’s dry. Let your hair air-dry completely, then proceed with brushing or combing.
Take a daily multi-vitamin and mineral supplement, as well as vitamin B12, vitamin D and vitamin B6 supplements. Check with your doctor before taking daily vitamins and supplements. You may also need an iron supplement. Many people -- especially women -- have surprisingly low iron counts, which can lead to hair loss. Your doctor will likely do a blood test to determine if you are iron-deficient.
- The Dr. Oz Show: Why Is My Hair Falling Out?
- FoxNews.com: Foods That Prevent Hair Loss -- How to Get the Seven Essential Anti-Balding Nutrients
- Allure: Five Things You Can Do Now to Prevent Hair Loss Later
- The Huffington Post: 11 Ways To Prevent Hair Loss According To Experts
- American Academy of Dermatology: Hair Loss -- Who Gets and Causes