Bye, bye, hair loss! The best advice for healthy, powerful hair

strong hair


Hair loss, split ends and brittle hair often cause great grief - it does not have to be. Two experts give tips on how to care for your hair and scalp properly.

What are the most common mistakes in hair care?

"Many people use too much shampoo," says Corinna Peter, a dermatologist in Hamburg, "and maybe wash too often." As a result, during her hair consultation, she often sees a dry, flaky, possibly itchy scalp. A problem in itself, but also not a good basis for hair growth: "Healthy hair needs a healthy scalp." In order not to decrease too much, you should take as little shampoo as possible and wash less often than more often. Just as important: a mild product, one with skin-compatible washing substances or surfactants. For example, so-called amphoteric surfactants (such as betaines) or sugar surfactants, which are contained in many natural cosmetic products and are derived from renewable raw materials, are suitable. Both don't burn your eyes. Less good: so-called alkyl sulfates. Although the foam wonderfully, they can irritate the skin and mucous membranes, especially sodium lauryl sulfate (sodium lauryl sulfate on the list of ingredients). The foaming power of a surfactant has nothing to do with its cleaning power.

Can you make shampoo yourself?

For a basic recipe, simply dissolve soap flakes in boiled water. But: curd soap and natural plant soaps result in a soapy solution that is not good for the cuticle of the hair: it swells so that the scales stick out and the hair looks dull and shaggy after washing. You either need an acidic rinse afterwards or, even better, a recipe with mild surfactants and an acid (for example lactic acid, which also occurs in the body  ). Important: If you produce a large amount of shampoo, you must also preserve it for home use, because aqueous solutions only last a few days. The problem does not apply to solid shampoo pieces because germs need water.

Is split ends a hair disorder?

It is structural damage, says dermatologist Corinna Peter: "Healthy hair is not split." From a certain length of hair, split ends can hardly be avoided, even if you don't tend to. Because the further a hair grows, the longer external factors such as UV light, hot blow air, colour, pulling and tugging can act on it. From the scalp downwards, every hair becomes brittle. If you want to avoid split ends, you should try to reduce these stresses: tint better than dye, because when tinting, pigments attach to the hair instead of changing it. No perms and always wear a hat when walking in the sun. Blow-dry lukewarm, rarely use flat irons or curling irons.

What helps against oily hair?

Wash naturally, if also with a mild shampoo daily. "It doesn't hurt," says hair specialist Peter. Still, it might be worth delaying the washes. "The sebum glands adjust to this, after about a week without shampooing they produce much less sebum." Shampoos against oily hair often do not contain any special active ingredients at all but do without moisturizing ingredients and everything that complains, such as silicones or proteins. Dermatologists can also prescribe locally active drugs such as selenium disulfide, a substance that is also found in numerous anti-dandruff products. In exceptional cases, when the level of suffering is enormous, medicines that are also used for severe acne help because they reduce the activity of the sebum. Women who prevent with hormones can also switch to an appropriately aligned pill. And as emergency aid? You can keep a matt surface with dry shampoo.

Do dietary supplements provide beautiful, strong hair?

supplements for hair

Sometimes yes. " Iron insufficiency is one of the most widely recognized reasons for helpless hair development and going bald, particularly among more youthful ladies," says Peter. After all, it leads to anemia or less oxygen in the blood - and this immediately causes the body to down-regulate processes that consume a lot of energy. Just like hair growth, for which cells have to divide quickly. If the body lacks zinc, you can see the typical "zinc-deficient hair" under the microscope. The body also absolutely needs vitamin D in order to be able to produce healthy hair, just like biotin. The following applies to all substances, says Peter: "Nutritional supplements are particularly beneficial when there is a deficiency." This is almost never the case with biotin, even if it is actually contained in all products for hair and nails. Typical candidates for iron deficiency are women of reproductive age who do not eat meat: they lose iron with the menstrual period and do without a natural source for it. Vitamin D deficiency is also not uncommon, especially at the end of a long winter: the vitamin is mainly formed in the skin, under the influence of UV light, especially in the summer months. Zinc deficiency can also occur. But a suspected supplementation does not make sense for any of the nutrients, at least not in the long run. "Zinc, in particular, should be taken on your own for two to three months, because you can have too much of it." Better: first clarify whether you actually have a deficiency before taking pills.

Also Read: Wellness Physical fitness

Are flat irons as harmful as blow-drying?

Even more harmful. "There is simply more heat arriving in a smaller area directly on the hair," says Corinna Peter. Heat damages hair, after all, it consists of a protein building block, the amino acid cysteine, which is linked to form long chains, the keratin. And we can observe that protein changes under the influence of heat with the steak in the pan. Damaged hair also releases the moisture that is stored in the cuticle under further heat. To avoid damage, you should always blow dry a little further away and not as hot as the device can handle. When straightening, you cannot keep a distance if wavy hair is ironed over and over again. That doesn't do the hair structure any good either, says Peter: "If you straighten too often, you risk structural damage."

Can you use dry shampoo permanently?

Yes. "It doesn't harm hair or scalp," says Corinna Peter. Dry shampoos absorb fat and moisture, like baby powder or healing clay, and are then brushed out. Not completely, however, so that after a few uses, there is usually an urgent need for washing, simply because the hair feels and feels different. If you have an allergic reaction, which is quite possible, you should wash the product off immediately and not use it again.

Are there effective home remedies?

Yes, especially burdock root and coconut oil. It is best to massage the" I prescribe both to each and every individual who has extremely dry and fragile hair," says Peter. tips sparingly in the morning. It just looks healthy and not greasy. Or you can take care of your scalp by letting the oil soak in overnight and washing it out in the morning. " Any individual who has the inclination that hair and scalp dry out subsequent to washing their hair should check out it. Especially if the scalp is itchy too." And which is better, coconut or burdock root? "The effect is the same," says Peter. Burdock root oil has the advantage that it can be easily dripped out of the bottle and distributed immediately. Coconut oil or fat is solid at room temperature and must first be warmed and liquefied in the palms of the hands. But it smells a lot better.

Are there any other simple tips?

Eat well, so take enough vitamins and proteins and therefore also the hair building block cysteine. And: don't constantly turn night into day. Because the hormone melatonin, which is primarily formed in the dark, apparently plays a role in hair growth: individual studies have shown that it boosts it. According to dermatologist Peter, a relic from cave times: in winter, when it is very dark, you need more fur. Not only daylight but electrical also inhibits melatonin production. Peter: "Sufficient sleep is, therefore, a factor for beautiful hair, which is often underestimated." There are now (over-the-counter) hair serums with melatonin that are said to improve growth and structure.

What does strength training have to do with hair?

training for hair

"The training itself has nothing to do with it," says Corinna Peter. Nevertheless, there is the following connection: If you want to build muscle, you usually pay attention to sufficient protein intake, "and that is also good for the hair". This is often done using protein shakes. Many of these preparations are enriched with the amino acid L-carnitine because it is said to support fat burning. "It was found by chance that L-carnitine improves the hair structure, at least in a test tube," says Peter. "It doesn't get more hair, but the individual gets thicker." There is also a fundamental interaction between sport in general and hair: "You feel better through exercise, and the better you feel, the better your hair is doing".

Is it true that silicone should be avoided?

From an environmental point of view, yes. Because sewage treatment plants do not completely filter silicones out of the wastewater, and the substances can accumulate in organisms. A number of cyclic silicones are also toxic to aquatic organisms and as of February, must no longer be found in washable cosmetics. Natural cosmetics completely dispense with silicones and thus their quick effect: the fabrics attach themselves to the hair surface and at the same time cure possible breakages visually. The hair looks fuller, smoother and healthier without changing anything inside the hair structure. Silicones adhere so well that they are often not easy to wash off, which is not an advantage: "In the long run, these substances are deposited on the hair shafts, especially fine hair becomes visibly heavier, which can also provide shine and smoothness, or the moisture-binding panthenol. Silicones can be recognized by the endings "-con" or "-xan" in the ingredient list, or by smartphone: The "Code check" app indicates numerous problematic ingredients. Simply photograph the barcode of the product, which can also provide shine and smoothness, or the moisture-binding panthenol. Silicones can be recognized by the endings "-con" or "-xan" in the ingredient list, or by smartphone: The "Code check" app indicates numerous problematic ingredients. Simply photograph the barcode of the product.

Are dandruff caused by a fungus?

At least the yeast Pittosporum ovule often plays a role. It is actually quite harmless and sits peacefully on everyone's skin and scalp. But it can get upper water, for example, if there is too much sebum. This is a problem, especially with so-called seborrheic eczema. This disease mainly affects middle-aged men and is accompanied by red spots on the face and scalp and many yellowish, greasy scales. It usually cannot be cured, but it can be treated well in the acute episode, especially antifungal and active dandruff ingredients, possibly also cortisone creams or gels. Other causes of dandruff are, for example, a rare form of psoriasis that occurs on the head (psoriasis capitis), neurodermatitis, allergies or other fungi that cause illness. Dandruff can also simply be an annoying cosmetic problem with no disease value. Then it is a matter of solving them and throttling their production. Dandruff shampoos often contain antifungal agents such as ciclopirox olamine, ketoconazole or piroctone-olamine, the corneal salicylic acid or the all-rounder selenium disulfide, the fungal and germ-inhibiting and dandruff-releasing properties are attributed. The treatment is worthwhile, but you often have to do it repeatedly. Because if you have the tendency to dandruff, they usually occur again and again.

Can hair dye cause cancer?

No. "There is no cancer risk from hair dye for consumers because the problematic substances have been banned for a long time," wrote the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment a good ten years ago. Nevertheless, the discussion about possible carcinogenicity arises, again and again, says dermatologist Corinna Peter. "But the currently approved colors can be assumed to be harmless if they are used according to the instructions. The products are toxicologically well protected." Hair loss also has nothing to do with hair coloring. With one exception: when there is a strong allergic reaction that scars the hair roots. The substances contained in hair dyes are among the most common triggers of allergic reactions. That is why the test in the crook of the arm recommended according to the instructions for use is useful, if not absolutely safe. Natural hair colors can also cause allergies; they are mushy and smell intensive. Your advantage: They do not attack the hair structure and are ecologically better.

Help, my hair is falling out. What can I do?

hair falling

Make an appointment for a hair consultation as offered by dermatologists and university clinics and don't wait too long. Because the earlier you treat, the more promising the therapy. Getting started yourself is not a good idea, says Hans Wolff, dermatologist and head of the hair consultation at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich. He considers most of the water to be ineffective, and Wolff is also not convinced by the study data with caffeinated hair lotions or shampoos. The drug minoxidil, on the other hand, almost always helps, but falsifies the diagnosis and obscures it the real cause of hair loss. "Treated hair is a real disadvantage when you come to the hair consultation," says Wolff. Also not very useful: Upload pictures to doctor portals for a first, quick assessment by the dermatologist (for example for 39 euros at OnlineDoctor.de). Dermatology is an optical subject, says Wolff. "With hair loss, however, this applies only to a limited extent," said the expert. "Because the feeling of 'I have had my hair out for weeks' cannot be depicted visually."

And what happens during the consultation hour?

First of all, it is clarified: Have there been diseases or serious therapies? Where exactly does the hair fall out, rather diffuse, i.e. distributed over larger areas, or in certain places? What does the hair look like under the microscope? For a trichogram, about 20 to 50 hairs are plucked to examine the roots and which part of the hair is in which phase. In healthy hair, over 80 per cent are in the growth phase, which lasts two to six years and in which the hair grows about one centimeter a month. Less than three per cent are in the transition phase and less than 20 per cent in the two to four-month rest phase, at the end of which the hair naturally falls out. Per Trichogramm to deviations can detect and predict how it in the coming months continues. A so-called Trichoscan with photo and software support also determines the number and thickness of hair - without tearing out hair. Depending on the survey and examination, blood is also taken and checked: is there enough iron, are the thyroid values ​​normal? Are there any other indications of diseases? "Even advanced syphilis can cause hair loss," says Wolff. One of the most common forms of hair loss is hereditary (androgenetic alopecia), which affects both men and women. The blood vessels that supply the hair roots with nutrients recede. As a result of the lack of supply, the growth phase suddenly becomes very short, transitional, and so the rest phase begins much earlier. The hair falls out too early. In the case of circular hair loss, the alopecia areata, the immune system is to blame. Diffuse hair loss can have many reasons, from iron deficiency to the pill, and other medications can cause increased hair loss. Info at: hair diseases.de

What role does stress play?

stress issue

The psyche has a huge impact on hair. "I actually see that every day in the hair consultation," says Corinna Peter: "Separation, bullying, overwhelming, all of this can lead to hair growing worse, thinning, falling out." Typically, such loads result in suddenly much more hair than usual coming to rest. "This is why this type of hair loss begins almost exactly four months after the stressful situation." Conversely, there is also a connection between hair and psyche: if the hair is not sitting or hanging down strangely, it is worse. This also has to do with the fact that shiny, beautiful hair is associated with health for most of us. In addition, hair expressed your own personality; on such days, you may have the feeling that you are sending the wrong signals. All of this then leads to the bad hair day phenomenon: on days when the hair is unmanageable, everything seems to go wrong. Peter also sees the interaction between hair and psyche as an opportunity: "You can often react to it and pamper yourself a bit on such days."

How is hair loss treated?

If possible, by treating the underlying problem, i.e. compensating for deficiencies, regulating hormones, changing the stressful situation. (Over-the-counter) medications with minoxidil, which is applied to the scalp as foam or solution, are often used. Minoxidil widens the blood vessels and ensures that the hair roots are better supplied with nutrients. In this way, you want to stimulate hair that is already in the resting phase to grow again. For men, there is another option for hair loss due to the condition: tablets with finasteride. The substance inhibits the enzyme 5-alpha reductase, which converts the male sex hormone testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). And DHT is essentially responsible for the hair loss caused by the condition. Finasteride is a helpful tool says, Wolff. However, the drug is also suspected of causing permanent damage. That is why it is important to exchange ideas with your doctor before use. 

The male sex hormone or DHT also plays a role in women, which is why an antiandrogenic birth control pill can have a positive effect on hair loss by reducing the number of male hormones. Brand new is the JAK inhibitors (not yet approved for this in Germany) known as rheumatism drugs, which seem to be able to do more than anything else with alopecia areata (immune-related hair loss). But: "Treatment costs of currently over 10,000 euros per year for a medical problem that is not life-threatening, I don't find justified," says Wolff. To cause permanent damage. That is why it is important to exchange ideas with your doctor before use. The male sex hormone or DHT also plays a role in women, which is why an antiandrogenic birth control pill can have a positive effect on hair loss by reducing the number of male hormones. 

Brand new is the JAK inhibitors (not yet approved for this in Germany) known as rheumatism drugs, which seem to be able to do more than anything else with alopecia areata (immune-related hair loss). But: "Treatment costs of currently over 10,000 euros per year for a medical problem that is not life-threatening, I don't find justified," says Wolff. To cause permanent damage. That is why it is important to exchange ideas with your doctor before use. The male sex hormone or DHT also plays a role in women, which is why an antiandrogenic birth control pill can have a positive effect on hair loss by reducing the number of male hormones. Brand new is the JAK inhibitors (not yet approved for this in Germany) known as rheumatism drugs, which seem to be able to do more than anything else with alopecia areata (immune-related hair loss). But: "Treatment costs of currently over 10,000 euros per year for a medical problem that is not life-threatening, I don't find justified," says Wolff. The male sex hormone or DHT also plays a role in women, which is why an antiandrogenic birth control pill can have a positive effect on hair loss by reducing the number of male hormones. Brand new is the JAK inhibitors (not yet approved for this in Germany) known as rheumatism drugs, which seem to be able to do more than anything else with alopecia areata  (immune-related hair loss). But: "Treatment costs of currently over 10,000 euros per year for a medical problem that is not life-threatening, I don't find justified," says Wolff. The male sex hormone or DHT also plays a role in women, which is why an antiandrogenic birth control pill can have a positive effect on hair loss by reducing the number of male hormones. Brand new is the JAK inhibitors (not yet approved for this in Germany) known as rheumatism drugs, which seem to be able to do more than anything else with alopecia areata (immune-related hair loss). But: "Treatment costs of currently over 10,000 euros per year for a medical problem that is not life-threatening, I don't find justified," says Wolff. Those with alopecia areata (immune hair loss) seem to be able to do more than anything else. But: "Treatment costs of currently over 10,000 euros per year for a medical problem that is not life-threatening, I don't find justified," says Wolff. Those with alopecia areata (immune hair loss) seem to be able to do more than anything else. But: "Treatment costs of currently over 10,000 euros per year for a medical problem that is not life-threatening, I don't find justified," says Wolff.

Can you actually turn grey overnight?

grey overnight problem

No, pigments (they give color to hair) cannot fall out of length. But the hair roots can stop incorporating pigments into the hair shaft overnight so that only white hair grows back and you turn grey prematurely and comparatively quickly. Such reprogramming of the hair roots can, for example, be serious infections or extreme psychological stress. The pigment-producing stem cells perish at the same time. The real surprise of the latest research by a team of dermatologists at Harvard University (USA) was that stem cells could be controlled via the sympathetic nervous system that mediates stress.

Can everyone be helped during the hair consultation?

No. "It is difficult with severe courses of hereditary hair loss, and when the hair follicles are already scarred, and the scalp is as smooth as a mirror, nothing works anymore," says Peter. "But for about 80 per cent of patients, there is already something that can be substantially improved." Sometimes it helps to talk about the hair problem. Some were worried, for example, because their mother's hair is just going out, but they would have very healthy hair themselves. It also happens that the actual topic lies somewhere else, that it is about dissatisfaction with yourself. Often, ageing also plays a role, because the hair becomes thinner and brittle over the years, like the bones. "Only there is no standard here, unlike in bone density measurement", says Peter. "And the point at which someone starts suffering from their hair is different for everyone."



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