Hair fall seems to be a problem most of men and women face in today’s hectic life. The stress, unhealthy lifestyle, change in climate or location are definite causes for that. But in spite of the healthy diet, we may end up facing hair fall issues.
A lot of people complain about their hair falling more after they start working out or start consuming whey protein. Increase in physical activity or higher protein consumption can affect our hormones, which may result in hair fall or acne.
I have faced both the issues and now have learnt to keep them under control. In this post, I will share how my hair fall started, what all I did to fix it and finally what worked best for me.
- As the article title clearly states ‘controlling hair fall’ and not ‘stopping hair fall’. I still have falling hair, but it’s manageable. Also, since my hair growth and hair texture has improved, I don’t complain about hair fall.
- This post is entirely based on my experiences. I do not have any medical degree, and hence I refrain from commenting on medicines or vitamins.
- Unfortunately, dermatologists could not solve my hair fall problem, but I don’t discourage anyone from going to one. And if you find someone who could help you, please share your experience, it will help a lot of people.
How my hair fall started
I have thin, silky, straight hair and they were long too while I was in college. When I began preparing for IIT entrance exam, and then gotten into IIT, my hair fall started. Though, it was not too bad.
After completing my graduation, I moved to Chennai for my first job. Weather change caused acne and hair fall within few weeks. In the beginning, I thought it would reduce once my body gets acclimatised. But it didn’t. My job expected a lot of international travel and every time I used to come back to Chennai, and my hair fall used to increase dramatically.
After two years, I moved to Bangalore. I felt that with a better climate, my hair fall might improve. But the condition got worse when I started working out and started taking protein supplements.
I always followed a balanced diet, and with my fitness regime, I became even more conscious of what I eat. Though, this did not improve the hair fall.
Hair fall treatment fad
After about a year of facing the problem, I decided to visit a clinic that specialises in hair fall and hair re-growth treatments. (not using any names, but they are quite popular and well spread in India)
The treatment started with hair composition analysis, and then I was prescribed medicines, medicated oil, shampoo and treatment sessions at the clinic. The clinic was selling all the supplies as they recommended using only their products.
The weekly cost of this was coming about Rs.1500-1800. I religiously followed what doctor suggested and underwent that treatment for about one year. The complete treatment and medication cost me Rs.85000-100,000 in 2008-09. I am sure this would be way more expensive now.
Believe it or not, there was hardly 5% change in my condition.
After this, I met two more dermatologists, who gave me iron and vitamin C supplements, along with hair fall tablet, Follihair. Again, these medicines cost me a lot, and the course went for up to 6 months with each doctor.
Every time I went to a doctor, they asked me the same set of questions –
- if I eat deep fried or spicy food – Answer NO
- if I drink enough water – Answer YES
- if I take a lot of stress – Answer NO
- If I eat a balanced diet – Answer YES
How severe is my problem and how I am managing
After these frustrating experiences, I call it quit with dermatologists and decided to care for the problem myself.
I get about 20-30 strands fall every day. And the days when I apply hair oil, it increases slightly.
Before I begin with the remedies that worked for me, I want you to understand these three pointers –
Point 1 : Stop worrying about hair fall. It’s the most challenging part. I accepted that the lifestyle I have comes with a price – hair fall. As we grow, we get exposed to the different climates. Everyday life stress affects us too. Combining all the effects, hair fall to me seems like a natural outcome.
Point 2 : Every doctor asked me to stop whey protein, and I did, but still they couldn’t control my hair fall. So, please don’t curse your whey protein for it.
Point 3 : If your problem is not too severe, say 20-40 strands a day, you will most likely be able to control it yourself. If it’s more than that, try finding a good dermatologist.
Remedies that worked for me
I have been following few home remedies for my hair fall since last 4-5 years. Did it improve my hair fall? Not much probably. But, it did improve my hair growth and hair texture a lot.
Being 100% honest as I don’t want to bluff like other blogs, by saying that these tricks will do wonders to your hair. Also, these remedies will give you small incremental changes, so be patient.
1. Learn to deal with your stress
Stress is the primary reason for any anomaly in our body or delay in recovery from a disease. And this is what causes hair fall as well.
Let’s understand what I mean by stress. Most of us relate stress to an intense emotional problem that we face. But that’s not all the stress that we have.
What I am talking about is daily life stress like getting stressed while stuck in traffic or your maid not working correctly or choosing the correct school for your child etc. All these small chores of life put your mind through a lot of stress.
We can not eliminate these from life, but we can learn to deal with them. Exercising and meditating helps release this stress. Also, do spend some time in recreational activities that you like, for example listening to music, drawing or painting, cooking, talking to family members, going out for a little walk towards day end.
2. Moisture scalp with oil
Apply hair oil once in a week. Choose coconut or olive oil, whichever suits you. Mildly heat the oil before application (during summers, no need to heat). Apply oil to the scalp and hair ends. Give gentle massage and NOT rub hair roots; this may damage the roots.
An important tip, drink a glass of water or green tea post head massage. It helps blood circulation to hair roots.
2. Replace your spa session with curd application
Instead of taking spa at salons, apply curd to your scalp at home. Whenever I go for a haircut, the hair stylists suggest me for hair-spa as soon as they spot my hair fall.
All a spa does is moisturise your scalp. And for that, I think it’s better to stick to natural resources. Apply curd on your scalp for 30-40mins and then wash it off. You will immediately see the impact of this.
If you have been wasting your money on that, stop now. The curd is a much simpler and cheaper substitute for that.
If you have dry hair, you can add honey in the curd to make it even more moisturising.
It’s certainly not possible to do this before every wash, but try doing it once a week.
3. Choose an Ayurvedic hair mask or make it at home
This old-school practice works fantastic. Remember, our mom and grand-mom used to prepare a reetha / shikakai mix to bless us with long healthy hair. Time to pick up on that again.
With the busy schedule, I don’t get time to make it myself, and hence I use the Biotique hair mask which is an ayurvedic mask and suits my hair texture. You can try this or choose any other brand that you prefer.
If it is possible for you to make it at home, nothing like it. I always prefer natural and homemade applications.
Tip to make the mask more effective: Mix it with two spoons of curd for added benefits.
4. Experiment with shampoos
Shampoos seem so trivial that we don’t believe them to be the cause of hair fall. We always think that it should be something within our body that’s causing all the problems.
I wash my hair 6-7 times a week, depending on which days I workout. Using shampoos so frequently damages our scalp and leaves it dry. This is why choosing right shampoo is essential.
Most of the sources suggest switching to Paraben-free shampoo. Paraben is the element that makes your shampoo hard. Hence they are better than rest of the shampoos in the market. Though, in my experience, these paraben-free shampoos can’t be used every day since after two washes my hair starts feeling sticky. Since these shampoos don’t have paraben, their cleansing power is mild.
To deal with this problem, I use multiple shampoos. Switching between a regular shampoo and the one without paraben, helps me keep a clear scalp and reduce paraben on my hair.
Tip for shampoo : it’s advised to keep changing your shampoo in every few months.
5. Use filter water for hair wash
If your water supply is also delivering hard water, time to get a filter fitted to your tap.
If you already have a filter in your kitchen and don’t want to invest in another filter just for hair wash, you can fill a bucket from your kitchen and use. I do this every day. 🙂
6. Nourish your hair ends and Remove split-ends regularly
Nourish your hair ends and Remove split-ends regularly
I use a conditioner every time I wash hair. The times when I don’t use it, I feel my hair ends get dry, and my hairbrush gets stuck, resulting in breaking a lot more strands. If you also face the same issue, do use a conditioner.
In addition to this, remember to keep removing split ends on a regular basis, I do that every three months. If you have faster hair growth, you can do that every two months as well.
A little tip for conditioner : If you don’t want to use conditioner, you can try curd as well (unless it makes your hair sticky).
7. Follow a balanced diet and Drink ample water
This tip is something you would learn from many other sources as well. Eat a balanced diet including all macros – protein, carbs, fat. Rely on natural sources of protein and consume a variety of foods.
Don’t avoid carbohydrates; they are essential for our body. They help you elevate your moods and reduce stress levels. Read about how carbohydrates help maintain our body.
The best sources of fats, which is another essential for our body, are nuts and ghee. Nuts especially are the best friends of your hair. I consume 10-12 almonds every day. Soak them in water or have it just like that as snacks. I feel investing my money in nuts rather than wasting it on doctors. 😉
In addition to food, maintain your hydration levels by drinking 3-5lts of water every day.
Hair fall is a significant issue for women and men who workout. So if you have any tips to share, please leave your comments below.
PS: Below is a video by Guru Mann, explaining changes in diet that will improve hair loss. Hope this strengthens the fact that medicines can’t fix this problem.