Hair experts will tell you that the hair is “very boring”. It likes routine and a steady lifestyle. If you’re a busy mother like me, juggling a family and a career, the reality is that there often isn’t enough time left in a day to give hair the TLC it needs.
Often, it isn’t until we notice scalp issues, thinning or shedding that we really start to look into the potential root cause of the problem. If you fall into this category and if you’ve spotted changes to your strands and/or scalp, there are things you can do to help nurture your hair back to health. First, you need to pin-point where the problem could be coming from.
So, from hormone fluctuations to stress, here are the five main issues that can affect the health and vitality of your hair….
Eva Proudman, expert hair trichologist and star of Discovery+ TV’s The Hair Loss Clinic, explains, “We do forget what’s sitting underneath our hair. The scalp is the growing medium for our hair. If you keep your scalp healthy and well-balanced, your hair will be healthy and well-balanced.”
If you are experiencing dandruff, itching or patchy growth, your scalp health is probably not at its best. If your symptoms are unmanageable, it’s important that you see a specialist for advice. However, there are a range of hair products available that prioritise scalp health with richly nourishing oils and serums that can be applied daily to encourage a healthy base for hair growth.
Women experience so many changes to their bodies throughout their lifetime. These are mostly due to our fluctuating hormone levels, which are affected by puberty, our monthly cycle, pregnancy and menopause. These fluctuations can play havoc with our hair and, in some cases, can lead to hair loss and thinning. The most commonly affected areas are around the temples and behind the ears.
Although hormonal hair loss is very common for women, it can be worrying and seriously affect your self-esteem. Fortunately, unless there is a more serious underlying health issue, hormonal hair loss is often only temporary and as the body finds balance, healthy hair growth will return. Of course, you should see a doctor if you are concerned about ongoing hair loss.
Lack of quality sleep
This is the big one for most of us! Lack of quality sleep is the culprit for so many issues we can experience when it comes to looking our best. Sleep gives your body time to heal and repair cells that may have been damaged due to stress or environmental attack. If we are not getting enough sleep, this prevents adequate repair and puts extra pressure on the stored vitamin and mineral levels. Ultimately, this leads to the body becoming worn down.
Similar to our fingernails, the hair on our heads is not vital for life and so it is the last area to receive nutrients. If the body is under pressure because it is not revitalising itself, it will divert nutrients to the essential areas and so hair vitality will be affected. Try to aim for 6-8 hours a night as a minimum.
Scalp health depends upon a constant supply of vitamins and minerals to remain healthy and encourage strong hair growth. Antioxidants in our diet are essential for allowing the scalp to protect itself and to prevent damage to skin cells that can lead to hair loss or disease.
Gut health plays a major role in regulating the whole body. In terms of hair, poor gut health can disrupt the body’s ability to absorb nutrients from food and supplements. This will lead to fewer nutrients reaching the scalp. Ensure you eat a balanced and varied diet, rich in fresh fruit and vegetables.
Prolonged and significant stress can force hair follicles to enter a resting phase. You may notice large clumps of hair falling out when brushing or washing the hair, and this hair not being replaced by new hair growth. Stress can also affect the texture of your hair as more stress hormones are present within the body that alter the thickness of the hair.
Hair loss caused by stress is reversible and hair will regrow in time, but it is important to try to find a lifestyle balance that allows you to enjoy periods of down-time and relaxation.
The good news is that our bodies love to find their own balance. If we aim to follow a balanced diet and lifestyle, your body will often regulate itself with little further input required from you. The odd glass of wine, late night or takeaway binge will have very little negative impact upon your hair or skin condition.
But if you feel like your hair needs an extra boost, look for products that support scalp health and hair vitality. In the latest celebrity edition of the OK! Beauty Box, Billie Shepherd has selected two hair products from Grow Gorgeous that give her scalp and hair the extra nutrients required by her busy lifestyle.
Her OK! Beauty Box contains 11 skin, bath, body and hair products from trusted brands including REN, Elizabeth Arden, Childs Farm, Gatineau, Burt’s Bees, Baylis & Harding, and Nip + Fab. At £45 here for over £200-worth of products, this is an affordable way to try out the products your favourite celebrities turn to.
The box includes a full size of Grow Gorgeous Hair Growth Serum, worth £30, which Billie has seen impressive results from. “I’ve found it’s really helped to thicken my hair, which is often damaged from over styling,” she says.
There’s also a travel size tube of Grow Gorgeous Thickening Hair & Scalp Mask which Billie calls “a ten minute treat” that adds instant volume.
Listen to Natalie on The Beauty Room, brought to you by OK! Beauty Box, for in-depth chats with your favourite celebrities, brands and beauty experts.