I don’t think I can thank you all enough for your great tips and advice in this post. Beauty and fashion related posts on E&C always solicit a ton of passionate responses. It makes me think I should just be a beauty blogger instead. Well, not really, but I do know that a lot of E&C readers know quite a bit about all things health and beauty related. Since a lot of you asked, I wanted to do a follow-up post to share with you the steps I’m taking to having healthier, fuller hair.
1. Aveda Invati
After reading (and re-reading) your comments, I decided to splurge on buying the full line of Aveda Invati products (thanks, Katie, for the recommendation!) When possible I lean toward natural beauty products. My mom used Aveda products when I was growing up, so the line caught my eye right away. There are three products in the system, an exfoliating shampoo, thickening conditioner and scalp revitalizer that you spray on your scalp 2x a day.
I’ve only been using the line for 1 week, so I can’t say I notice a huge difference in the amount of shedding I’m experiencing, but my scalp feels much healthier and the thickening conditioner has made my hair feel so much fuller! The only down side? I don’t love the smell of the scalp revitalizer. Joe jokes with me that it makes my hair smell like an old man. Thankfully, it fades after a couple hours.
2. Wear and Care
I’ve been doing this for a while, but after I started losing more hair I have re-committed to washing my hair no more than every other day. Sometimes I’ll stretch it to 3 or 4 days with the help of a little dry shampoo, but anything more than that and I start to go a little crazy. As my hair gets longer, I think it will be easier to wash it less frequently.
My stylist and others also gave me a few tips that I’ve started to follow:
-After showing, always use a wide-toothed comb or pick to comb your hair. Never use a brush or fine toothed comb, which can damage delicate wet hair.
-Use a deep conditioner once a week (I like this one and if I had unlimited funds, I would recommend this one)
-After showing, rub a little conditioner or coconut oil into the very ends of your hair before drying to keep ends healthy.
In the past, I’ve been very spotty about how frequently I take my vitamins. I think it’s incredibly important, especially since I’m a vegetarian, but I’ve been known to drop off the vitamin bandwagon from time to time. No more! It’s time to get serious about vitamins. I discussed the vitamins I’m taking with my doctor, and he was in agreement with my current course of action*:
-B12 (found in many animal products, so it’s important for vegetarians/vegans to make sure they’re getting enough)
-Prenatal Vitamin (both my doctor and my stylist recommended this)
-Biotin (more information here)
-Fish Oil (there are more reasons than just hair health to take this supplement)
4. Blood Test Results
Being overly cautious, I made a doctor’s appointment to have a blood test done. Hair loss can be a indicator of a number of different deficiencies or medical issues, and I wanted to be on the safe side. A handful of you left comments on my last post letting me know that you had similar experiences with hair loss while you were eating a vegetarian diet. I’ve been vegetarian for 2 1/2 years now and closely monitor my protein and iron consumption, but I made my doctor aware of my questions up front. Thankfully, all my blood work came back 100% normal, no anemia, no protein deficiency or other issues to be found.
5. Hormonal Changes
I told my doctor that I had recently (in the last 7 months) gone off birth control pills. He told me that hormonal changes, like going off the pill, can cause your body to go into an adjustment period while it starts to regulate its own hormones again. This, in turn, could be a hair-loss culprit. I’ve read that it can take anywhere from 3 to 4 months after a significant environmental or hormonal change for your hair to start to shed, which would make the timing of my increased hair loss perfectly in line with this theory.
6. Stress Less!
I’ve mentioned in passing that the last couple months have brought a season of increased stress for various reasons. My doctor also said that in addition to hormonal changes, stress can have a significant impact on your hair. We’ve been working on eliminating some of the stressors that we can change (lots of travel, busy schedules, being over-committed) and developing healthy coping mechanisms for the things that we can’t change. I found this article, which talks about stress and hair loss, to be really interesting.
*As always, consult your medical professional about the benefits and risks before starting any new supplements. Safe vitamins and dosage levels vary by person and I am in no way an expert.