Help for thinning, balding hair is probably the most requested advice I get from the hundreds of e-mails I receive each week. This problem can be broken down into different categories such as thinning due to medications, hereditary thinning and pressure put on the hair and hair line which will we call self inflicted thinning, therefore I will try to break down each category to the best of my ability.
The first category we look at this month is self inflicted thinning and balding that often comes with the wearing of braids and weaves that are way to tight or not properly taken care of do to a lack of knowledge. Ponytails, hair falls or weaves that are too tight and apply extreme pressure on the hairline. What happens in many cases is that one will get their hair braided into small zillion individual braids that are so tight they pull and tug on the hair line. I will see ladies with inch of hair braided from the baby hair to side burns and if you look closely you will notice a pulling look around the forehead which is one indication that the hair is braid way too tightly. Also ahead ache latter that day or the following morning is and indication of braids that are way too tight. In addition, when braiding the hair line (front and back) you are dealing with what is called or known as baby hair. This hair around the hair line is almost always finer softer hair that is not as thick in diameter or as strong as the other hair throughout our head of hair. Back in the day when I was an avid wearer of the small individual braids (zillions as we called them), I would wake up on many occasions with a sore head and a raging headache out of this world, but I didn’t think too much of it back then and just chalked it up to battle scars.
I remember at some point and time I would have my hair braided and they would braid an extremely large amount of hair to and extremely small amount of hair around the hair line that would always end up either sliding off or breaking my hair off leaving me breakage around the hairline. If this pattern is continued over and over it ultimately leads to the thinning and eventually balding. If you have read my hair guide you know that I am not a fan of small individual braids and much prefer cornrows that are much healthier and gentler to our hair.
Ok, so what do you do if you have been a victim of self inflicted thinning and balding?? Well, the worst thing you can do is continue to put your hair into the same stressful styles that landed you into this situation in the first place. I know that sounds like common sense but you know how we are about our hair, and you will find women who after suffering hair loss with continue to put the weaves and braids back into their hair because they either just don’t know what else to do or they are trying to cover up the problem not realizing they are doing more harm than good.
The next thing you need to do is determine whether or not permanent damage has been caused to the follicles which will happen after repeated trauma to the follicle which can result in balding and hair will not be able to be regrown in those areas. Or, if the follicles are just laying dormant and need a little stimulation and encouragement to begin growing again. To determine the extent of damage you will have to be down right aggressive and more concerned with the health of your hair rather than the look of your hair (so if you need to grab a wig, go out and purchase one). I would then begin taking a high dosage or Biotin and MSM in addition to getting on a good hair vitamin. I don’t believe that it’s necessary to use vitamins to grow or maintain long healthy hair, and although I currently use my own vitamin now, I didn’t use any vitamins during the entire first year of growing my hair out. However, in this situation, it is imperitive to make sure that your follicles are getting the necessary nutrients it needs. Biotin which is a “B” vitamin helps to stimulate the hair follicles by bringing much needed oxygen to your scalp thus stimulating the hair follicles. MSM which is organic sulfur is another must have that will aid in boosting your hair growth. To read more about Biotin and MSM please visit my hair glossary.
Lastly, you need to do daily scalp massages in the areas that are suffering with the thinning and balding with a essential oil that is known for stimulating the hair follicles, such as Rosemary, Peppermint, Basil oil, Thyme oil, Cedarwood oil & Carrot Seed oil (the description for all these oils can be found in the hair glossary). Then follow up with your weekly regimen to make sure that you are keeping your scalp clean and your hair deep conditioned and properly moisturized.
Hopefully after a few months of diligently following this routine you should notice some peach fuzz growing in these areas which is a great sign and means that the follicles were laying dormant and should be able to recover over time. If the opposite is true and your don’t notice any change then it can be safe to assume that the hair follicles could possible be damaged beyond repair. I would suggest that you continue the routine a few months longer and consult a qualified dermatologist who may be able to do some further testing.
Next month I will cover “Oh my thinning hair” hereditary thinning and go into greater detail about some natural remedies that can be applied to help in this area.
Until next month…..