Men may not be able to control their receding hairlines, but you can do something about the increasing amount of hair you notice is clogging your shower drain. While some female hair loss is normal (according to experts, 50 to 100 strands a day is standard), you want to do everything you can to minimize loss and maximize your count of thick, healthy, shiny hair. Here are the seven cardinal dos and don'ts when it comes to preserving your hair:
Use an elastic that is too small or tight on your ponytail, says Tina Dizon, lead stylist and founder of L.A. salon The Private Room. She also recommends staying far away from anything that resembles a rubber band. “The grip is too harsh on strands and will cause breakage.”
Run a soft bristle brush through your hair before you step into the shower to shampoo. “It’s important to detangle and smooth the strands for fewer tangles, so you aren't pulling hair out every time you cleanse,” says Dizon.
We’re all guilty of it, but really try not to yank on your roots when brushing. “You’ll only end up with a bundle of knots on the ends which result in breakage over time,” says hairstylist Anthony Nader, who’s tended to the hair of Miranda Kerr, Gisele Bundchen and Cate Blanchett. “Always comb your hair with a wide-tooth comb when wet, as fine-tooth combs and brushes weaken strands by stretching them out so they snap off."
Invest in a botanical hair oil: “Apply to your scalp at night and rise out in the morning,” says Nader. “This will lubricate your scalp and keep the skin supple to encourage hair growth." At least one study indicates that natural botanical (plant-based) products effectively treat alopecia.
Pull hair back into a ponytail when it’s wet and let it dry that way. “This includes topknots or any other style of bun, too,” Dizon explains. “When hair is wet, it has more elasticity and stretches around the hair tie. As the hair dries it will shrink around the tie, resulting in breakage and loss when you remove it.”
According to Nader, you should try Viviscal, a supplement that claims to nourish already thinning hair and promote new hair growth. “It’s an investment, but from my experience it makes a significant difference,” he says. “Different hair styles and coloring take their toll over time, and the cocktail of ingredients works to strengthen strands back up.”
If you have long or colored hair, it’s a no-no to rub it dry with a towel. You’re just weakening your hair. “I always recommend towel ‘blotting’ your hair, as this doesn’t rub the cuticle the wrong way which leads to having dry, frizzy hair rather than shiny strands,” says Anthony. “You’ll be amazed at the difference in controllability.”