- Keep it clean. Seems to be a broadly believed myth that washing your hair will cause it to fall out. Not so! And clean hair looks thicker than dirty hair. Try a volumising shampoo and avoid anti-dandruff shampoos – unless you really do have dandruff. A flaky scalp is caused by dry skin and that’s bad for hair quality. If your scalp is dry, give your head a conditioning massage.
- Resist the temptation to rub it dry! Either get hold of a microfibre towel designed to soak up moisture or let your hair air-dry after washing. Wet hair is extremely stretchy and brittle.
- It’s not just a chick thing! Use a hair dryer! Chicks use the good ol’ hair dryer to create volume, so why not us guys too?
- If a hair dryer’s not your thing then run your fingers through your wet hair to style it. Avoid brushing and combing wet hair if you can, or if you must, be extremely gentle. Pulling on wet hair and causing electrostatic flighty strands on dry hair has a thinning effect.
- Use volumising mousses and styling products, believe it or not, some of those babies really work! Bit of trial and error for us guys, but well worth mastering the art.
- Rock the up-do. Using styling products to push your hair up gives the impression of more hair than the regular parted style.
- Protect your noggin from the sun. Seems pretty darn obvious, but sunburn to both your scalp, and therefore your delicate follicles as well as to your hair can all end in diminished strands!
- Ditch the ciggies! There’s lots of research that shows that smoking contributes to hair loss in several ways. If you needed another reason to give up – then this is it!
- Get a professional haircut. Don’t let your girlfriend or your mum anywhere near your hair unless she’s qualified. Nothing looks worse than a bad cut. Hair stylists know how to get the most out of what you’ve got
- Shake in some cotton hair fibres. These clingy micro fibres just slot right in and provide an instant thicker hair look. We like Nut Job 100% natural fibres of course!
Before and after applying Nut Job - just a few seconds later.
Could your shampoo be contributing to your hair loss?
In the race against time we are constantly looking for better, healthier ways to live and treat our bodies. Only a few years ago you would walk into JB Hi-Fi expecting to see not much more than CDs and DVDs, now you’re greeted with a wall of health-related wearable tech before you even spot your first CD.
It’s no secret that being more active and more closely scrutinising the chemical additives we put into our bodies is beneficial to our health, however, many of us are forgetting to pay attention to the chemicals we put ON our bodies.
And so it’s no surprise then, that the spotlight has recently been turned onto the products we put on our hair and scalp, especially if we find ourselves on the journey down the hair loss path.
A common chemical in hair products is sodium laureth sulfate which, according to New York’s Hair Loss Control Clinic seems to cause a dramatic decline in the hair growth cycle, prolonging the hair loss phase (normally three months) by a factor of 8. Simply removing the corrosive and irritating effects of these ingredients begins to restore the healthy function of the hair follicle.
But what are natural hair care products and are they worth the switch?
Chemical Free, Organic Shampoos and Conditioners
Unlike most of the supermarket offerings, the newer, natural shampoos and conditioners use essential oils along with plant and herb extracts to naturally cleanse and nourish your hair without having to expose it to damaging chemicals.
Here is a list of the benefits of going chemical free:
Safe for everyday use
Won’t strip the hair of natural oils
Won’t interact with or strip hair colours
Won’t dry hair out and make it brittle and susceptible to breakage
Safe for use on all hair types
Safe for use by the whole family, children and pregnant or breastfeeding mothers included
Usually smell AMAZING!
However, chemical free shampoos in particular can be difficult to lather. Shampoos that do not contain sodium laureth sulfate will be more difficult to lather since SLS is an anionic detergent and surfactant which is added as a foaming agent.
Chemical Shampoos and Conditioners
These are your run of the mill supermarket and chemist brands. They use chemical cleaning agents to clean the hair, some of which can be harmful to your health. They usually contain SLS which makes them:
Easy to lather
Super (and maybe too much) cleansing power
Can be very cheap
However there is much evidence that some of these chemicals:
Are often harmful to hair with regular use
Strip hair of natural moisture which can cause breakage, i.e. there is such a thing as ‘too clean’!
Can irritate the scalp contributing to or exacerbating issues like dermatitis and dandruff
If you’re looking for a great range of natural shampoos and conditioners that will boost your hair volume and help you slow your hair loss, we recommend Carelli natural hair care products, available here.
All of NutJob’s hair fibre products are natural too, so you can rest assured that your complete hair care system is free of harmful chemicals.
Looking for a Woman's Hair Loss Blog? Click here to head over to the Women's Hair Loss Blog written by women for women.
“Mate, I tell everyone about Nut Job, whether they are planning to have transplants or never even considered it, if there's gaps to fill, you won’t find anything that looks this natural. I am just so stoked that I found Nut Job online and I’ll be a customer for the long term. In fact, if you guys are looking for someone to become a permanent advocate for Nut Job, I’m your guy.”
Thanks Alan, that you are!
Read Alan's story...
Meet Alan, He’s 36, married with a young baby. He lives in the inner west in Sydney and works in the city. It was in his mid twenties when Alan first noticed his hair starting to thin out. He thinks it was thinning before he actually noticed it, but he wasn’t expecting it so early, particularly as his dad had lots of hair.
Fast forward to his early thirties and the idea of a lack of hair from that point onwards was freaking him out. He looked into hair transplants but the quote of around $10,000 was just too much, having only recently got married.
Someone suggested he try getting a transplant overseas and to cut a long story short, he went ahead and had a transplant in Thailand. He had 3,000 FUT - frontal, mid and crown replacements and is mostly happy with the result.
All except for the fact that, while he clearly has more hair now than he did before the surgery, he still has some gaps. Only now the gaps are in a less symmetrical pattern, in fact it now looks a bit strange as the gaps are not consistent with male pattern baldness.
About six months ago Alan discovered Nut Job and although the transplants initially changed his life and provided some more confidence in his appearance, it was the Nut Job that made the final and most startling difference.
Each morning Alan shakes in some Nut Job natural fibres onto the areas that have grown back rather thin as well as the few gaps which will never have hair.
“... if there's a gap to fill, you won’t find anything that looks this natural. I am just so stoked that I found Nut Job online and I’ll be a customer for the long term...”
Thanks Alan !
Scientists studied the regeneration of hair follicles in response to patterned hair plucking in mice. They discovered that by plucking 200 hairs in a specific pattern in a limited area, more than 1000 hairs grew back in their place as well as nearby. Interestingly, if the hairs were plucked from random spots or over larger areas, this regeneration did not occur.
Why Did This Happen?
Scientists believe that the affected hair follicles were able to communicate with other follicles and send them a sort of distress signal. Those follicles then responded by regenerating as much as five times the amount of replacement hair.
This phenomenon is similar to the way that bacteria functions. Bacteria are able to communicate with each other through a chemical signalling system called quorum. They use this to detect when their numbers are strong enough to achieve their objective.
Can This Help My Hair Loss?
This finding is a big breakthrough for science, but unfortunately not a big breakthrough in hair loss yet, even though it may sound like one. Male pattern baldness occurs due to hormones and genetics, which are not impacted by this process. According to lead researcher, Cheng-Ming Chuong, more study is needed to determine whether these findings may be able to contribute to combating hair loss in the future.
So there you have it. Although many hair loss bloggers may be touting this study as the breakthrough we have all been waiting for, it seems to be a bit of a red herring. Still, here’s hoping that these findings lead to further study which may provide that breakthrough we’re all ready for!
In the meantime, you can always cover your balding spots and thicken your hair with natural hair thickening fibres.
IS THERE A CURE FOR HAIR LOSS IN MEN
How do you know if you have male pattern (genetic) hair loss or if you have another health problem causing your hair loss?
Ok, so first let’s debunk some myths: Wearing a baseball cap or beanie doesn’t cause hair loss. Neither does washing it too often*, over-styling, over combing or frequent brushing.
There is a significant relationship between smoking and the speed of the progression of male-pattern baldness, so if you needed another good reason to quit smoking – there it is!
Since 95% of male hair loss is caused by male-pattern, genetic hair loss, there is very little that can be done to avoid it happening at some point in your life, for those with the inherited gene.
There are some treatments that can slow it down such as minoxidil and finasteride, but these types of treatments tend to be expensive and only effective while you are using them. The hair loss returns as soon as you stop using them.
So let’s look at some of the healthier solutions and other causes that can be reversible.
TAKING CARE OF YOUR HAIR AND YOUR SCALP
*While frequent hair washing and styling doesn’t in itself cause hair loss, the use of some of the cheaper shampoos which contain harsh chemicals - which dry out both hair and scalp - can be a contributing factor. Dry brittle hair tends to break which means less hair to work with. In addition, a dry and unhealthy scalp can result in poor hair follicles which need to be healthy to grow healthy hair.
Try a chemical free shampoo and conditioner like the Carelli range which you can purchase here. If you are concerned that your scalp is really dry the Carelli range comes with an oil which you can apply to nourish follicles.
Hair loss in both men and women can be caused by stress. Stress on the body in terms of illness or sadness and loss can cause sudden hair loss which will usually right itself when the stress is over. It can take up to three months for hair loss to appear after stress and this is because hair growth works on a three month cycle. So if you have a sudden appearance of hair loss, think back three months.
VITAMINS AND HAIR LOSS
A lack of certain vitamins and minerals such as zinc, vitamin B, iron and a diet low in protein can all cause hair loss. But before you use Dr Google as your guiding light, you should get a blood test to determine if you have any of these deficiencies. This is because there are many side effects to having too much of some of these in your system too.
Male-pattern baldness is not curable. However you can disguise it very easily with a shake in fibre like Nut Job. These fibres are made from cotton and many thousands of men use them to boost confidence and self-assurance.
To determine if you have classic male pattern baldness or a metabolic cause of hair loss, the pattern that the hair loss is making is usually the way to tell.
Male-pattern baldness starts with a receding hairline and then gradually falls out in what is often called a horse shoe shape, leaving the hair around the sides.
Whereas if your hair loss is caused by one of the physiological or metabolic causes like stress, a vitamin or mineral deficiency or a health problem then the loss is likely to appear as more general thinning.
Some of the other options for disguising hair loss include hairpieces and surgery. Hairpieces have come a long way since the old “rugs” of yesteryear and as for surgery, well that’s an expensive and time consuming option. Best you do some thorough research before embarking on either of these.
Styling tips and tricks are still a good option. Keeping thinning hair short is always a good idea as longer hair lends itself to a comb over look which is always very aging. Longer hair tends to drag also and this can enhance the appearance of the scalp as hair is dragged down. Short hair is much easier to style and there are lots of short hair styles which can adequately cover the scalp.
If you do keep your hair short, then the shake in hair fibres can make each hair look up to ten times thicker which gives the overall appearance of much more hair.
Overall the best advice, if you are worried, is to head to your GP for a general check-up. Something that men are usually reluctant to do but something that can be extremely worthwhile, especially if you discover there was something simple you could have done with diet or vitamins to slow down the inevitable!
If you are a young guy (or young at heart) and concerned about your hair loss then you may have asked this question. Unfortunately the answer is not as easy as yes or no. There a few different types of alopecia as well as many other reasons you could be losing your hair unrelated to alopecia. A misconception seems to exist that ‘alopecia’ means chunks of your hair spontaneously falling out and never returning. This is not really the case, and if you read on, you will discover that whilst alopecia can mean complete hair loss, it’s more likely to mean something far less dramatic.
Types of Alopecia
Alopecia Areata. Chances are that this is what’s popping into your head when you think of alopecia. Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease which can present with patchy hair loss all over the scalp (diffuse alopecia areata), complete baldness of the scalp, like the famous actor Telly Savalas pictured here (alopecia totalis), baldness in one area of the scalp (alopecia areata monolocularis), hair loss in multiple areas (alopecia areata multilocularis), hair loss in the beard only (alopecia areata barbae), and total hair loss including: head, face, body, pubic hair etc. (alopecia universalis).
Areas of hair loss in patients with alopecia areata are usually well defined, rounded patches. Like most autoimmune diseases, it occurs due to the body’s inability to differentiate between its own cells and foreign cells. This leads to the body attacking its own cells, in this case, the anagen hair follicles. Alopecia areata is pretty rare (affecting 0.1 – 0.2% of people) so it’s unlikely alopecia areata is the reason for your hair loss. It is, however, more likely if you have other autoimmune diseases or have family members with alopecia areata or other autoimmune diseases.
Thoroughly examine the pattern of your hair loss, and if you believe your hair loss is occurring in well defined, circular patches, you may, in fact, have alopecia areata. Ask your GP to have a look and perhaps refer you to a specialist.
If it is determined that alopecia areata is the reason for your hair loss, don’t fret, because often the condition will fix itself within a few months to a year. There are also medications (most commonly corticosteroids) that you can take to speed up the return of your hair. You may get flare ups from time to time, especially during periods of stress, so it’s important to keep yourself happy and healthy.
Androgenic Alopecia. Androgenic alopecia is also known as male pattern baldness. This actually IS likely to be your problem as unlike alopecia areata, it affects up to 70% of men. If this is your problem, you’re likely to have noticed a receding hair line as well as at the top of your crown. Think of it as sort of a horseshoe of hair around your head, the front and top missing.
Visit your GP for a general health check and mention you are experiencing thinning hair. A blood test can be ordered which could rule out other possible causes. The bad news about this one, though, is that there is currently no cure. While there are some products that may increase hair regrowth for the time you are using them, they never actually reverse the issue in any permanent way.
Be careful not to buy into the vast array of expensive chemical lotions, potions and drops that are supposed to regrow your hair – they have a very limited efficacy. Your doctor may recommend some dietary changes and/or supplements to ensure that there’s nothing else causing your hair loss, but for the most part, you’re going to want to invest in a cotton hair fibre like Nut Job which will cover any thinning patches you may have.
Non-Alopecia Hair Loss
We often see the following types of hair loss in women, since women with thinning hair are much more likely to look for causes and solutions. However, they can also happen to men.
So what if you don’t think you have alopecia and you are not a guy who believes he is balding yet? Why is your hair falling out!? Well, there could be a number of reasons. The good news about these problem causes is that they are usually temporary and can fix themselves!
Telogen Effluvium. Just like androgenic alopecia, telogen effluvium is really common. This occurs when your body has been through a period of stress. This could mean emotional stress like a divorce or losing your job or it could mean physical stress like major surgery or dramatic weight loss. Your body reckons your hair is pretty unimportant, so as soon as you go through a stressful event and your body needs to assign resources all around your body, it pretty quickly stops seeing hair as a priority.
You may be thinking, “well this isn’t me. Life’s good at the moment.” Well, your hair goes through various phases, so it may be weeks or even months until your hair reacts to your stress. Think back three months or so, perhaps the issue happened back then. The good news, if this is your problem, is that once your body has regained its equilibrium your hair is very likely to come back. You can’t really speed it up, but you can use Nut Job to cover your thinning areas.
Vitamin and/or mineral deficiencies. Though this is more common in women, it’s possible that low iron and/or B12 could be your problem. Your doctor can verify this for you with a quick blood test. Like telogen effluvium, once your deficiencies are corrected, your hair will return on its own. And you guessed it, Nut Job will work perfectly to hide your thin patches until that happens.
For women with thinning hair, more information can be found at The Australian Women's Hair Loss blog.