Can you prevent hair loss? We investigate

The secret is in the scalp

Many of you spend countless hours and dollars on preventative skincare, applying hydrating serums, massaging your face daily, and protecting your skin from future damage. But what of your hair…Did you know that much of your hair health is dependant on the health of your scalp? There’s a whole spectrum of side-effects that you can encounter from having an unhealthy scalp, ranging from dandruff all the way through to excessive hair loss.

We spoke with Vincent Nobile - co-owner and colour director of Headcase Hair – about the issue. He confirmed “an unhealthy scalp can cause inflammation that makes it difficult for hair to grow, causing a symptom called reactive hair loss”. While this issue doesn’t discriminate between the genders, men are most at risk of being exposed for their poor scalp health. While women can hide their scalp symptoms under a coat of long hair, men have nowhere to hide when dealing with dandruff, excess sebum production, and a thinning hairline. To help, we’ve rounded up the most common questions about preventative hair loss and overall scalp health for Vincent Nobile.

So, what is reactive hair loss?  

This means your hair loss is the result of a trigger, rather than because of a genetic predisposition to hair thinning. "Excessive daily hair shedding (known as telogen effluvium) occurs as the result of an internal imbalance or upset, such as a nutritional deficiency, severe stress, or poor care habits" explains Vincent. 

How much hair loss is normal?

Yes, the shedding of hair is a normal part of everyday life. Sadly, we see it every day clogging up our shower drains and collecting on our bedroom floor. “On average we lose around 80 strands a day, and normally you shouldn’t really notice this in the thickness of your hair as that same amount grows right back” explains Vincent. “It’s when you can actually see the gaps in the consistency of your hairline or hair parting that could spell disaster.” 

Do I have an unhealthy scalp? 

“Signs of an unhealthy scalp can usually be identified by either excessive oil or excessive dryness. Both extremities are equally as damning. Some oil is to be expected, as your natural sebum production protects your scalp from losing moisture and drying out too quickly. Too much oil however can cause greasiness, allowing bacteria to grow and resulting in dandruff and other scalp conditions. Excessive build-up of grease can also impair hair growth and lead to hair loss. On the other hand, if there’s insufficient sebum secretion, your scalp may end up dry, sensitive and itchy in the short term. In the long term, not having that barrier protection will cause your scalp to age much faster, resulting in serious hair thinning.” 

What am I doing wrong? 

“The most common triggers often come down to the products you’re using. Finding the right shampoo that helps to clarify without stripping too many of your natural oils is key. This oil works to protect the scalp, and without it, the scalp is left more susceptible to harmful ingredients that could potentially irritate your skin. Another common mistake is applying product too close to your scalp, as it can clog your scalp pores and cause oil to build up.” 

How can I treat my scalp?

1. Change your shampoo

“Look for a shampoo that will gently cleanse, and if possible, is free of sulphate, parabens and alcohol” advises Vincent. Tucker Browne offer a range of men’s hair products that put the health of the hair and skin above all else. All of the Tucker Browne products are made with marine extracts and sea minerals like sea kelp – a recognised healing ingredient that also promotes the growth of healthy strong hair. Their Strengthening Shampoo includes this as well as cactus extract, microalgae, eucalyptus oil and green tea extract. 

2. Treat your scalp 

“Incorporate a regular scalp care routine that includes exfoliation and hydration.” Christophe Robin’s Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt is an ideal scalp detoxing product. Simply apply a tablespoon onto damp hair and gently massage it into your scalp, working it into a lather. This process is ideal for eliminating chemical residue build up that becomes embedded on the scalp over time. Follow up this exfoliation with a hydrating treatment – like Virtue Labs Restorative Treatment Mask. The Virtue Labs Restorative Treatment Mask is a luxurious, deeply hydrating treatment mask with Alpha Keratin 60ku. It works to actively rehabilitate hair in need of extra care for an instant infusion of shine, moisture, and resiliency without weighing it down.

3. Massage 

“An easy way to improve hair growth is to perform regular scalp massages.” Massaging dilates small arteries within your scalp that increase the blood flow to the hair follicles. This, in turn improves the texture of your hair, making it thicker and stronger over time. It will also ensure that the nutrients you’re applying via haircare are being absorbed.