Feel like you’re forever removing stray strands of hair from your sweater? Whether it’s down to heat styling, colour processing or the changing seasons, hair shedding can be a stressful experience. However, there are things you can do to help. Read on for our expert’s guide to hair shedding and the haircare products and styling tips you need to know.
Why is my hair shedding?
Most people have around 100, 000 hairs on their heads and typically, we lose around 100 of these each day. Each hair follicle undergoes a growth stage that lasts two to eight years, followed by a ‘resting’ stage that lasts about two months (where no growth occurs at all) and the hair then falls out with a new one growing in its place. This means between 80 to 90% of hair follicles are growing hair at one time – and about 10% are resting or ‘shedding.’ But if you think you’re losing a little more than that, there could be something up. “Some common reasons are friction from shampooing, brushing, styling, chemical treatments (including colouring), heat exposure and lack of moisture,” says Michele Burgess, Executive Director of Product Development at Oribe Hair Care. “Though the good news is, they’re all things that you can change or treat.”
What can I do to stop my hair shedding?
The absolute key to preventing hair from shedding is to keep your hair healthy, hydrated and strong. Start with the basics. “A shampoo and conditioner that strengthens and hydrates hair like Oribe’s Gold Lust Repair & Restore Shampoo and Conditioner are essential,” adds Michele. “These products contain a bio-restorative complex that reinforces the inner strength of each strand, minimising shedding caused by breakage.” Some people also swear by incorporating scalp care for healthier, stronger hair – it makes sense that if your scalp isn’t happy, your hair won’t have a chance. Oribe Serene Scalp Soothing Leave-On Treatment is good for soothing while Briogeo Scalp Revival massages the scalp to boost circulation and stimulate healthier hair growth.
Look for any ingredients that work to strengthen, add moisture and restore elasticity. “Hydrating oils like avocado and shea butters are ideal while proteins, vitamins, amino acids, biotin and niacinamide strengthen hair,” advises Michele. Briogeo Blossom & Bloom Ginseng + Biotin Volumizing Shampoo is enriched with vitamin B5 and biotin to strengthen and support healthy hair growth.
Will changing my styling regime make my hair healthy?
Absolutely. If you’re tugging at wet hair, blast drying it with intense heat and colouring it too, you may need to re-think things. Look at your regime and think about the ways in which you could be gentler on your hair. Fans of the Aquis Hair Towel Lisse Luxe swear by its softer, absorbent fabric that dries hair up to five times faster than a regular cotton towel, limiting the time you spend blow drying. And heat styling products can help rehydrate the hair, add elasticity back into the strands and make it less prone to breakage – as well as protecting your hair from the heat.
“Our hair is the most vulnerable when it’s wet, so before combing or brushing wet hair, it’s always worth adding a prep product,” says Michele. Oribe’s Supershine Moisturizing Cream adds nourishment with wheat amino acids, while boosting volume and Olaplex No.7 Bonding Oil minimises flyaways and frizz while protecting from high levels of heat.
Do supplements prevent hair shedding?
“A lot of people take supplements that contain biotin, a vitamin that’s known to strengthen hair and benefit the skin and nails,” says Michele. You’ll find it in tiny amounts in eggs, milk or bananas so it can be worth ingesting as a supplement or applying topically with a biotin-based shampoo or treatment if you feel like your levels might be low. The capsules in Ouai Dry Hair Supplement are rich in iron, omega-3 essential fatty acids and biotin and claim to promote hair growth while also preventing hair breakage and split ends. And Dr David Jack’s Skin + Hair + Nails helps hydrate from within with a blend of biotin, zinc and vitamins C and E.
However, it’s worth remembering that if you’re on keen on starting a course of supplements, you need to take them every day, for at least three months before you start to see results – they’re not a fast fix.