Monday, September 27, 2010

Being Proactive about Hair Thinning/Loss!

Comment from hK: I have always been weary of the shampoo conditioner combinations. I was wondering whether you knew anything about using a shampoo conditioner combo, rinsing then using a normal conditioner like the tresseme natural moisturizing conditioner? As a male with thinning hair, most shampoos I use to thicken my hair are those combo deals, but they leave your hair feeling incredibly dry.

2 in 1 shampoo plus conditioner products work best for individuals with normal, healthy hair. What this means is: no real issues with oiliness, dryness, volume, or damage. These combo products would bring in unnecessary moisture for individuals with oily hair and not enough for individuals with dry hair. Dry haired individuals, like yourself, should follow up with a creamy conditioner at the ends. For more options, check out this link for a list of highly rated hair volumizing products.

Now hK, since you mentioned thinning hair, I thought to do a little bit of research in that area as well:

Main conditions associated with hair loss/baldness:
Male pattern baldness -- Condition that can occur at any age and is mostly hereditary. End result: Total hair loss in a short period of time.
Female pattern baldness -- Hair becomes thin all over the scalp except the front line. Does not result in total hair loss.

Genetics is not the only reason for hair loss, other contributing factors include: age, hormonal changes, stress, poor circulation of blood to the scalp, excess dandruff, illness, and excessive pulling or styling. Don't trust the common myth that over washing hair leads to hair loss. All that over washing does is lead to the faster removal of hair that has already disconnected from the hair follicle. Fun fact: It is perfectly normal to lose around 100 strands of hair in one!

Why can't we all look this good bald?!
Now that we know why hair loss may happen, let's talk about how to prevent/slow it down!
1) Invest in a high quality hair growth product: The best way to go here is all natural! Invest in a product that contains essential oils, natural herbs, and vitamin-rich nutrients to help your hair thrive. Stay away from products that contain only extracts, they aren't as powerful as the essential oils! Be sure to read the fine print when it comes to ingredients, as many 'natural products' still contain phosphates, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), mineral oil, etc. 
2) Eat healthy: Hair = protein. In order to promote healthy hair growth, indulge in a protein rich diet, including fish and protein supplement shakes. Diets laden with fats, sugars, alcohol, and junk food can inhibit hair growth.
3) Drink more water: Water, besides being refreshing and thirst quenching, flushes toxins, chemicals, and impurities out of your body which could be contributing to slow hair growth. Water also facilitates the transport of important nutrients. 

For those of you with thin hair woes, it may be beneficial to look into shampoos that don't contain sulfates. Although I have yet to find conclusive proof that SLSs 100% lead to hair loss, I've read enough to suggest that it is not the best thing for your hair and scalp. SLSs strip hair of natural oils making it weak and more prone to thinning. Luckily, sulfate-free shampoos are becoming more and more popular! Another good option is conditioner washing (co-washing) with a silicone-free conditioner. This way you are simply removing the dirt and oils from your scalp, without introducing harsh soaps to your fragile hair follicles. I have tried these options by way of the Curly Girl Method in the past and although I wasn't a huge fan at the time (I didn't follow the rules properly), all this research has me reconsidering it!

Hope I answered your question hk! Keep me posted on how things go. 


  1. wow Mani I feel very honored!
    I was surprised when I looked at the active ingredients in my Head and Shoulders 2 in 1 hair thickening shampoo. One of the ingredients was indeed SLS. I guess its a trade off, lose more but have whats left look thicker. I think im definitely going to try some of the other shampoos you suggested.

  2. @ hK: no problem man, glad to help! gluck with the shampoo/conditioner search :)