Information and Solutions for Men and Women

Hair Grooming Do's and Don'ts

Follow these hair grooming tips to minimize hair loss.

You may think that hair-loss is completely determined by genetics and aging. And while that is partially true, there are many things that you can do (and not do, for that matter) to prevent hair from thinning more than it already has. Try these great grooming tips to keep your mane in great shape for years to come as well as hairstyles and accessories to help your hair look great right now—even some special tips just for men. But be sure to tell your doctor about any sudden hair loss, as sometimes this can be a sign of an underlying health condition. 278

Table 81: Grooming Tips—Do's & Don'ts for Thinning Hair
Use hair products with sunscreen. Sunlight breaks down the keratin proteins in hair. Shampoos, conditioners and other products with sunscreen can prevent this and other oxidative damage from ultraviolet (UV) rays. 73-74 Be afraid of coloring your hair. Experts say the protective benefits from UV radiation that semi-permanent and permanent hair dyes offer outweigh any initial damage to the hair shaft74
Opt for a natural tangled -hair remedy that's lighter than chemical sprays. Try rubbing some rosemary essential oil into your palms, and then lightly run fingers through damp, tangled hair. 279 Use harsh chemical detanglers or combing/brushing wet hair74, 279
Use shampoos with natural ingredients and fortifying nutrients such as vitamin B5 and antioxidants (e.g., vitamin E) to help keep and promote a healthy scalp and strong hair. 280 Over-wash. Good hygiene helps keep hair healthy, but most of us wash our hair too often, resulting in a loss of the hair's natural lubricating oils. 281
Use a detoxifying shampoo, but not that often. Experts recommend once per week for those who live in more polluted, urban areas and/or those who use styling products on a daily basis. 280 Forget to rinse your hair after swimming in chlorinated pools or other water with potential pollutants. 280 Chlorine can causes oxidative damage to hair fiber. 73
Let your hair air dry almost all the way and then (if you need to) blow your dry hair on the cool setting and upside down for added oomph! This will help hair appear fuller and will also add shine. 74, 279 Avoid using heated styling tools on a regular basis. Over-use of curling irons, hair-dryers, straightening tools, and other heated styling implements have been known to cause damage to thinning and fine hair. Try to limit use to special occasions only, or on the lowest heat settings. If you are using them, make sure to use a protective product, especially on the drier ends. 280
Use a root-booster on your roots, and a light styling mousse for added volume. Be sure to look for hair-healthy ingredients.279 Go heavy-handed with hair care. Using products such as thick gels, heavy-hold sprays, or even too much of a lighter hair product will weigh the hair down and make it appear flatter and thinner. 279
Get a professional cut that fosters volume, depth, and contrast. 281 Cutting away split ends makes hair look less frizzy and evens out broken hairs. 74 Let your hair stylist tease your hair. Many hairdressers will use teasing, or back-combing, the hair to create tangled masses and the illusion of volume — a cuticle-damaging procedure that will ultimately lead to hair breakage. 74
Use a wide-spaced, Teflon coated comb and/or a vented ball-tipped blow-drying brush.These are good choices to avoid as much friction damage to the hair, as well as prevent heat build-up between the brush and hair when blow drying. 74 Use narrow-toothed or natural bristle brushes. These types create lots of friction and hair breakage. 74
Treat that itchy scalp. Have your doctor take a look at your scalp – it just may be a skin condition that needs treatment to heal and stop the itchies! Conditions such as seborrhea and even fungal infections can cause itchy scalps – and on their own can lead to hair loss. 76 Scratch your hair and scalp. You can actually cause hair loss from cuticle damage with only 45 minutes of scratching (and it – trade;s cumulative!) 74

Tips for Men

Just because you are a man does not mean you are immune to wanting to look good. It is a common misconception that men just accept their thinning hair without a worry — but one look at the number of hair replacements done or sales for minoxidil products or hair pieces specifically for men proves how important hair is to men too. 2, 9

While treating your hair loss there are some grooming tips just for guys that can help improve the appearance of thinning hair: 285-286

Table 82: Hair Tips Especially for Men with Thinning Hair
Get a cut that leaves the hair a little choppy on the top, or try going for the shaved look, which (according to GQ) can be an attractive option. (Be sure to use sunscreen!) Use the comb-over to disguise hair loss.
Leave it a little longer on top to disguise a receding hairline. Grow hair long in the middle of the scalp.
Go for a 2-inch cut to minimize bald spots. Go shorter than 2-inches — shorter hair allows light to shine through to your scalp. Unless, of course, you are going for the bald-is-beautiful look by shaving off all your hair.
Cut facial hair to match the shorter hair style. Try to make up for scalp hair loss with bushy facial hair.
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