Hair loss is always a cause for concern despite the phase or stage of life. No one wants to see a bald patch on their head. We all want full, thick and healthy hair (except for individuals who prefer going bald).
For the rest of us, rapid and sporadic hair loss is always a cause for concern. The cause of hair loss is traced down to a plethora of factors including certain diseases, usage of bad hair products, psychological habits and even poor diet habits and tight hair-do as well.
All these factors could cause a condition known as folliculitis which is an inflammation of hair follicles. Once folliculitis occurs, the follicles become weakened and would be unable to anchor the hair properly into the skin of the head thereby causing severe hair loss.
Like every other part of the body, the hair needs nutrients and so anything that limits the flow of nutrients to the hair follicles would eventually lead to hair loss.
Can Hair Loss Sometimes Be Normal?
Hair loss should not always be a cause for alarm as it proves to be normal in certain situations such as for patients undergoing chemotherapy.
For these set of people, hair loss is a completely normal effect of the process.
Also, for the elderly and aged people, hair loss is also normal. This is because their hair follicles have become weak with time and so it is harder for these follicles to properly anchor the hair into the scalp. As a result of this, their hair falls out.
Other times, hair loss could be a pointer to an underlying medical condition. For this reason, it is always advised that bouts of hair loss experienced is usually reported to a physician as soon as it is observed.
They would be able to infer the cause of the hair loss and would explain steps to take to curb the problem.
Hair Loss Remedy
There is no sole cure to the problems of hair loss as the solutions are directly related to the root cause. That is to say, that without finding the exact cause of the hair loss, curing it would be even more difficult.
If for example, the cause of hair loss in a certain individual is stress, advising them to wash their hair regularly would do nothing to stop the hair loss. There would be almost no change in the condition.
To stop the loss of hair, you would have to attack the cause directly and consistently. It is also important to note that hair loss progresses with time and so it should be dealt with as soon as it is noticed.
Leaving it be would only help prolong the problem and this would also prevent treatment from taking effect quickly.
Can Shampoos Be Useful In The Prevention of Hair Loss?
While there are a whole lot of solutions to hair loss, we find that shampoos are very helpful. In most cases, they are the key to rejuvenate hair follicles and boost hair growth for people suffering from alopecia.
This is of course if the hair loss is not attributed to a psychological disorder or a certain ailment.
It is almost impossible to get the perfect hair with alopecia creeping up on us when we least expect it to. Thankfully, shampoos have proven to be very effective in treating them.
The catch is to use the standard and effective ones as there are many different brands of shampoo in stores. It would do you good to find ones with the best ingredients that would help promote hair growth.
You could look up reviews on the internet to see products that have proven to be the most effective in terms of hair growth.
What Are Shampoos?
Shampoos are viscous liquids made for the main purpose of treating and washing of hair.
They are made from a combination of surfactants and co-surfactants all mixed in water to form a liquid substance that helps to wash off dirt and particles from the hair.
How Do Shampoos Work?
Along with dirt and particles in the hair, sebum also builds up in the hair and this is not very hygienic or healthy. It blocks the pores thereby preventing the flow of oxygen in those areas leading to hair loss.
Shampoos help eliminate all these troubles. The sebum contained in the hair is hydrophobic. This means that its oily nature does not allow it to dissolve in water.
The shampoo acts as a bridge between water and sebum by lowering the surface tension between the two.
This would cause sebum, dirt, and particles contained in the hair to bind with the detergent contained in the shampoo.
When you rinse with water, the hydrophilic component of the detergent molecule removes all the sebum and other particles contained in the hair.
Factors To Consider While Choosing a Shampoo
When taking a trip to the store to get a shampoo, you should keep in mind that a good shampoo should contain the following qualities;
- Easy rinsing
- Pleasant fragrance
- Gentle feel on the hair
- Low toxicity
- Does not irritate hair, skin or eyes
- Good texture/ viscous
- Slightly acidic
Types of Shampoo
Shampoos come in various kinds suited to various purposes. These shampoos are called specialized shampoos. They include:
Dandruff accumulates in hair as a result of the presence of certain fungi that include Malassezia furfur.
The dandruff shampoos usually contain anti-fungi agents like ketoconazole and disulfide that help combat the effects of dandruff and help to eradicate them.
These types of shampoos are excellent for colored hairs as they help to preserve the newly attained color and do not wash the dye off.
General Ingredients of Shampoos
This is a primary and essential ingredient of shampoo usually found in a concentration of 70-80% in a standard shampoo formula.
Deionized water is particularly preferred and used in the manufacturing of shampoos.
This is because it plays a big role in eradicating unwanted particles and ions found in the hair.
Also, a primary ingredient of shampoos, comprised of chemicals that help in the cleaning and treatment of hair.
They are comprised of surfactants that help lower the surface tension between water and oily substances in the hair to enable the effective cleaning of hair.
The detergent molecules contain both hydrophilic (affinity for water) and hydrophobic (no affinity to water) components.
These components help to eradicate dirt, particles and sebum build-up in the hair. Some detergents in shampoos include;
Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate
This is mainly derived from an ammonium salt. It is usually created in laboratories and it serves as a very effective surfactant.
This means that it is able to lower the surface tension between two elements or surfaces to aid effective cleaning. When added in shampoos, it creates lather.
It is used to eliminate the surface tension between the substances in the hair and the hydrophobic parts of the shampoo. The lather it creates helps it wash off grease and other unwanted substances contained in the hair.
An improved form of ammonium lauryl sulfate is the Ammonium laureth sulfate that has added oxygen due to the process of ethoxylation.
This form is more soluble and less aggressive than the regular ammonium lauryl sulfate. It also removes sulfate residues left behind after washing. It gives off a milder and softer effect.
Sodium Laureth Sulfate
Sulfates are essential in shampoos as they help eradicate dirt and unwanted particles all the while maintaining the natural shine of the hair.
The sodium Laureth sulfate is naturally derived from coconut oil and is a surfactant that helps in the cleaning and washing of hair. It also helps in the softening of water and creating foam for ease of cleaning hair.
VIDEO: How To Check Shampoo For Sulfates
This video explains how you can find out the ingredients in shampoo that can strip the hair of its natural oils and make the scalp dry.
No one wants to use a shampoo that doesn’t create lather easily. Actually, it is believed that the more lather a shampoo creates, the more it cleanses the dirt from our hair.
Foam boosters do just that as they create lather once they come in contact with water on the hair.
They are similar to detergents in that they are fatty acid derivatives and they also have a hydrophobic and hydrophilic component.
They include Cocamide monoethanolamide and Cocamidopropyl betaine.
Cleaning agents, particularly shampoos are known for their thickness and viscosity as well. Thickness in shampoos is achieved in a couple of ways and by using a couple of substances including
These are usually composed of lipophilic materials and they incorporate their thickness into the shampoo formula to make for a very viscous shampoo formula.
Naturally Derived Thickeners
Many substances in nature have thickening properties. When they are mixed into formulas for manufacturing shampoo, they make little alterations to the composition and impart thickness into the shampoo.
They work as polymers that absorb water and increase the viscosity. Hydroxyethylcellulose is an example and should be used in measured amounts or it would make for a very viscous shampoo formula that leaves a lot of residues on the hair.
These can absorb water as well as oils to increase the viscosity of liquids. They usually include magnesium aluminum silicate and silica.
These are one of the most sought after thickeners, they swell upon addition of water and are excellent for the formation of crystal clear gels. Carbomer is an example.
These are said to be the most common form of thickeners used in shampoos as they are easily accessible. Sodium chloride is an example of an ionic thickener.
These are used in shampoos to improve the overall texture of the hair after washing.
They are also very useful in counteracting the effects of harsh surfactants of the hair. They ensure that the shampoo has a relatively mild effect on the hair and on the scalp. They include polymers and silicones.
Due to the fact that shampoos are made from organic components, they are vulnerable to attack by microbial organisms and preservatives help prevent actions by these organisms. They include methylparaben, phenoxyethanol.
Understanding Our Hair Follicles
Hair follicles are minute tube-like structures on the surface of the epidermis that help anchor the hair properly into the skin of the head. Of the components and structures of the hair, they are one of the most important.
The scalp alone has over 100,000 follicles. The base of the hair follicle is the hair bulb and it serves as a route through which the hair follicle gets nourished.
In general, the hair follicles are a very important structure of the hair as they help grow the hair.
For this reason, alopecia is usually traced down to an issue stemming from the hair follicle. Any damage to the hair follicle can bring terrible effects to the hair.
How Shampoos Prevent or Stop Hair Loss
Shampoos prevent and stop hair loss by different means. They improve the flow of blood to the hair follicles. This ensures that they are nourished and strengthened enough to allow them to perform their functions as best as they can.
The blood contains oxygen and nutrients required for the sufficient production of hair and so the supply of blood to the scalp and hair follicle is an ideal way of preventing and stopping hair loss.
Shampoos also help to maintain the pH of the hair. They help the hair and scalp to be healthy and as clean as possible.
Hair loss occurring as a result of the overproduction of sebum is cured by the use of shampoos with ingredients better suited for this problem.
Sebum build-up in the scalp causes blockages and prevents the production of hair. Shampoos infused with ingredients such as Aloe vera help control the production of sebum and keep your hair healthy and strong
Ingredients That Can Boost Hair Growth.
When trying to cope with alopecia, it is important to look out for shampoos that do not only carry out the task of cleaning your hair.
You should also look out for shampoos packed with ingredients that can treat your hair as well as boost your hair growth.
Studies carried out with caffeine show that it is retained in the hair after washing and it is excellent for slowing down the effects of alopecia.
Shampoos containing caffeine are a must-have to combat the effects of alopecia. It is known to help in strengthening and stimulation of hair follicles that may have been weakened or gone into hibernation for one reason or the other.
For alopecia resulting from the buildup of dandruff, this ingredient is highly effective against it as it is an anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal agent that treats dandruff and helps to nourish the scalp and hair follicles.
Obstruction in blood circulation to the hair follicles is a major cause of hair loss and the saw palmetto fruit extract is ideal for improving blood circulation back to the follicles as well as stimulation of the follicles.
Biotin is an essential ingredient in hair growth shampoos as it strengthens the follicles and improves the elasticity.
Red clover is an anti-inflammatory agent that eliminates scalp and follicle irritations. It is also ideal for adding a natural shine to the hair as well as increasing the strength of the hair follicle.
This is a hair booster as it is packed with minerals and a lot of vitamins that help promote the growth and strengthening of hair.
Sebum build-up in the scalp closes the scalp and prevents oxygen from reaching those areas. This contributes to alopecia.
Aloe vera is recommended for this task as it has enzymes that can open up the hair pores and it is effective for treating scalp conditions. Also, aloe vera has alkalizing characteristics that maintain the pH levels in the scalp
Rosemary is excellent for promoting blood circulation to the hair follicles, it also helps treat dandruff.
Green Tea Extract
Scalp irritations are a cause of alopecia and they usually occur when we use products that cause irritations on the scalp. They are usually marked by itchiness and sores.
Green tea extract is a natural way of getting rid of these kinds of irritations. It is recommended that if you have scalp irritations, you get shampoos infused with green tea extract.
It’s stress relief and anti-inflammatory properties are perfect to solve your troubles.
Dry scalp is a cause of dandruff which is also a cause of hair loss. Lavender oil is one of the best remedies there is to treat dry scalp, its anti-bacterial properties help to clean the scalp.
You can never go wrong with shampoos that are infused with honey as they are hydrating agents that help to remedy dryness and restore luster to hair, it also clears itchiness resulting from dry scalp.
Penetrates the hair, nourishes the follicles and adds luster to the hair
Avocado oil is a natural source of vitamin B and E and helps strengthen the hair thereby prompting growth and preventing alopecia.
Shampoos infused with lemon are very active against dandruff and are effective for promoting hair growth
Tea Tree Oil
This oil is known to have one of the highest penetrating abilities that allow it to nourish the hair from the inside. It penetrates the scalp and relieves blockages that prevent hair growth, it also prevents sebum build-up.
Ingredients of Shampoos That Contribute To Hair Loss
While shampoos have been known to be a solution to hair loss, this is not always the case as some of the shampoos are infused with harmful chemicals/ingredients that do more harm than good in the long-run.
Such ingredients are:
While sodium chloride sees use in shampoos as a thickener, it also has negative effects. Sodium chloride in shampoos can contribute to the itchy and dry scalp which eventually causes hair to fall off easily.
This is used in shampoos because it helps absorb chemicals. The downside is that it causes scalp irritations which can prove problematic for the development and growth of the hair follicles.
Dry hair contributes to alopecia as it provides an avenue for the growth of dandruff which eventually leads to the falling off of hair.
This chemical causes dryness of the scalp and if used too consistently, it can destroy the keratin.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
This is a common chemical used in the manufacturing of shampoos because of its foaming properties and its cleansing properties as well.
In the process of cleansing, this chemical removes all traces of oil from the scalp. This is a negative effect of this chemical because the hair needs a certain amount of oil for it to be nourished adequately and without any oil at all, alopecia occurs.
Petroleum is a component of many cosmetic products mostly because it is able to restore shine and luster. The downside to using it, however, is that it replaces the natural oil in our scalp.
The petroleum used as a replacement is synthetic and so it lacks the nutrients contained in our natural oil. This affects the follicles and causes hair loss.
While petroleum in shampoos provides our hair with their much-needed luster and shine, we lose every element of our natural oil and this can be very detrimental to our hair follicles
This chemical is used in shampoos and other cosmetic products to balance the PH. It does its job quite effectively except that it damages the scalp in the process and makes for the dry and itchy scalp which leads to hair loss in the long run.
Quaternium-15 is used in shampoos and it causes allergies to the scalp which would inevitably lead to alopecia.
Steering clear of shampoos infused with this chemical would do your hair a whole world of good. They rid your hair of all traces of its natural hair and leave you with very dry and brittle hair.
It is also known to cause scalp irritations and it presents negative effects to the follicles in that it interferes with their ability to regenerate and produce hair.
While we treat alopecia and try to combat its effects and prevent its further occurrence, we should keep in mind that shampoos might not always be the solution.
They might be the cause and so it pays to check the ingredients contained in shampoo before you begin to use them.
It’s recommended that you go for shampoos that have a lot of natural ingredients as these types would be mild and gentle on your hair and would present you with no irritations at all.
Also, while fragrances and scents are appealing when browsing the shelves for a new shampoo, it should not be your main priority particularly since some of the fragrances used are harmful to the health of your hair.
Look out for natural shampoos and you’ll do just fine!!!