Hair Loss, Hair Thinning, and How it Applies to Our Microlocs
I have served hundreds of women for loc rehab and repair, so I always get questions about preventative measures which I will share with you in this post.
There are different types of hair loss, and most women experience at least one of these throughout their lifetime. This can occur for a multitude of reasons, keep reading for some MAJOR tips I use to help prevent hair loss and thinning.
First, let's get into some basics about the hair.
There are 4 stages of hair growth, 3 are active.
- Anagen phase- hair growth phase where your hair is growing ½ inch or so a month, this phase can last 3-7 years in healthy individuals.
- Catagen phase is the transition phase, it lasts about 10 days.
- Telogen phase- The resting phase which lasts about 3 months, hair strands are not shedding or growing, they’re just there.
- Exogen phase is where the hair is actually shedding and releasing.
Each strand of hair goes through its process independently, so they are in different phases at different times. On average, we lose about 50-100 shed hair strands per day.
When it comes down to hair loss or thinning, something triggers groups of hair to all enter a certain phase at the same time. There is something that disrupts the natural cycle of hair growth. This is called Telogen effluvium, a reversible condition in which hair falls out after a stressful experience.
A few examples of this are hormonal imbalance, metabolic issues, illness, poor nutrition, childbirth, surgery, extreme dieting, and trauma can all potentially cut the growth phase short, making you enter into the resting phase. This is when you can experience a large amount of hair shedding as hairs go into the shedding phase together instead of independently.
Alopecia, scalp conditions, and tension are all a constant disruption to the cycle of hair growth.
The body is a well-balanced system of multiple systems, and they all rely on each other. Consistent stress or significant stress shows on the hair, so loss, illness, life changes etc. all make a difference in the way the hair grows temporarily.
If you are noticing that your hair is not getting to a certain length, you may have some disruption to the hair cycle. Keep in mind, your expectations should be realistic because everyone has a different hair growth rate.
Let’s talk about how this relates to locs, since we’re not combing or detangling.
When it comes to locs, the base of your hair being strong is very important. If you have a lot more shedding than normal, it can definitely lead to weakened locs, and some breakage of the locs. Hair loss often happens in the top of the head or the edges.
Tension alopecia happens from excessive pulling, tugging, and tight styling. This can happen with any hair style, but the risk is higher if you are tightly palm rolling and styling your locs.
For all locticians out there, consider if the hair is in a state of:
Actively losing hair
Recovery and rehab phase after excessive shedding is done
Hair is just naturally thin
Here are some preventative measures that you can consider to help your body and mindset stay as healthy as possible.
- High nutrient dense foods help the body to produce healthy blood flow, and ultimately hair growth. Chlorophyll, spirulina, sea moss, along with others work in harmony with your body chemistry. Always get a good regimen from your dermatologist, and doctor.
- Foods like excess sugars, dairy, meat all cause inflammation in the body and scalp and can lend to a disruption in hair growth.
- If you are making significant changes to your diet, and you’re reducing your calories for weight loss, make sure you’re adding in high-nutrient dense food to actually feed the body on a cellular level.
- Be cautious about your hair products, sometimes the chemical ingredients can have an impact on your hair growth cycles. Certain ingredients even suffocate the oxygen that our skin and scalp absorb. There are also hormonal disruptors in hair and skin products
- Universal signs of beauty are youth and vitality!
- Rosemary as a whole plant, or essential oils are great. Some lesser known herbs like ylang ylang, clary sage, tea tree, msm sulfur are also great. MSM sulfur actually shortens the resting phase and increases the growing phase of your hair.
- Review the technique and tools…Are the tools too large? Are they snagging the hair? Are you noticing thinness or weakness over time?
Hair is an indicator of what is happening internally. It’s critical to look at how we handle trauma and change. Making sure we put ourselves in spaces and environments conducive to our mental well being.
Being in persistent and constant states of stress can undo everything you may try to do nutritionally, so make sure you’re looking at the body as a whole physical and emotional being. I hope this helped you to identify, or even prevent hair loss and thinning with your hair, and the hair of others.
Share this post with a friend who is struggling to get back on track with their hair.
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