Diminishing Returns - Hair Loss
We don’t have all the answers to why hair stops growing, but eventually our follicles start to fritz. According to Dr. Ryan Welter, a board-certified hair restoration surgeon in North Attleboro, Massachusetts, men and women alike will experience hair loss as a result of aging. Contrary to popular belief, women often suffer earlier than men—at the time of menopause. “During the process leading up to the inactive follicle, hairs continue to cycle, but they become smaller and thinner with repeating cycles until the follicle eventually becomes fully inactive,” Dr. Welter says. Adding to the tress stress, product buildup—resulting from a lack of cleansing and scalp skin circulation—contributes to lifeless locks and hair loss, says Younghee Kim, owner of Younghee Salon in New York. “The issue with product buildup is like when you put too much detergent in your laundry and you have to rinse more to get the soap out,” Kim notes. “When it comes to our skin, we apply much more than we need. Conditioning the scalp helps remove the buildup.”
Here, we offer some strategies and products that will breathe life into your bouffant.
1. HERB REVERB
Serums provide oxygen to and microcirculation activation of the scalp. Ingredients, such as rosemary, pump follicles with life-saving nutrients, but their use should be limited. “Rosemary and rosemary oil have a lot of anti-inflammatory and wellness effects—but like
a lot of things, it’s not a good idea to apply it too often,” says Dr. Welter.
we like: Carita Cure Anti Chute Hair Loss Care ($75, caritadirect.com)
2. PROTEIN POWER
Select a shampoo that contains proteins and reduces inflammation. “Hair is full of protein and vitamins,” says Welter. ”A lack of these building blocks, or stress to cells in follicles that use them to produce hair, can translate to poor growth.”
we like: Vegan Hair Therapy Shampoo ($24.99, vegantherapy.com)
3. THE ONCE-A-WEEKER
A rich, oil-based, au naturale formula works to cleanse the scalp and strands of buildup, leaving it thicker and able to grow. “Apply this once a week over dry hair and scalp, and massage for two to three minutes,” says Kim. “I’ve even seen this product help clients with alopecia.” For dry hair, try a more intense nourishing option.
we like: René Furterer Complexe 5 ($45, dermstore.com) or René Furterer Karité Intense Nourishing Oil ($36, dermstore.com)
4. BRUSH HOUR
“The best way to brush hair is to start from the hairline, then brush front to back, side to side, back to front,” says Kim. Brushing also massages the scalp. “Scalp massage is very helpful in stimulating oxygenation and blood supply—but don’t pull on the hairs,” says Welter.
we like: WIGO Cushion 100% Boar Bristle Brush ($24.99, ulta.com)photograph by getty images (model)