5 million is the exact number of hair on our bodies. We grow hair all over our bodies except on the lips, palms and soles of our feet. Apart from keeping us warm, hair protects our nose, ears and eyes from tiny dust particles and also enhances our beauty. Yet, many of us are unhappy with the way our hair looks. So, in this article, we will cover some of the most common hair problems and how to solve them.
Most common hair problems
Honestly speaking, we’re all in love with our hair. A bad hair day is something no one likes. If it happens once in a while, it’s okay, but if it happens all the time, it’s a total nightmare. The truth is that there are only very few people who have never had problems with their hair. The rest of us have experienced at least one hair problem in our lives regardless of the type of hair we have.
Taking good care of your hair, therefore, plays a crucial role in boosting the beauty of your hair. Nevertheless, the path to healthy hair is not an easy one. We have become more susceptible to an array of hair problems. Below are some of the most common hair problems we suffer from:
1. Grey hair
This is one of the most common hair problems in the world right now. It’s a fact that hair changes its texture as we get old. In fact, approximately 50% of the population go grey at age 45. However, as at now, premature grey hair is fast becoming a nuisance among both men and women.
So, why do some people get grey hair in their 20s? No one knows the exact reason why, but there are many factors that contribute to early greying such as hormonal imbalance, malnutrition, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, genetic disorders, chemotherapy and overusing electric dryers and hair dyes. It is also believed that stress and lack of iron, copper and B vitamins in your daily diet can contribute to early greying.
How to fix grey hair: Relax and avoid stress, keep hydrated at all times, stop smoking and try to incorporate more copper, iron and vitamins in your diet. You can alternatively choose to cover grey hair, by going semi-or demi-permanent. It fades grey hair very fast and is less harsh as compared to permanent dyes. However, this process should be done by professionals because a major colour change can cause a lot of harm if not done correctly.
2. Dry hair
Most people think that dry hair is a hair type. The truth is, dry hair is one of the most common hair problems that both men and women have to contend with. Having dry hair means your hair is experiencing major problems and needs to be remedied well before it leads to frizzy hair, split ends, thinning, breakage and hair loss.
The lack of certain oils and moisture which is necessary to keep your hair hydrated is the main reason behind dry hair. This mostly happens due to exposure to sun, wind, perms, too much heat, washing it too often or overusing hair dyes.
How to fix dry hair: In order to hydrate the strands of your hair, you need to use a good quality shampoo. You’re safe washing your hair every three days instead of twice a day. After washing, apply olive oil to make your hair shiny, soft and manageable. One thing to remember is not to comb your hair when it’s still wet because it can result in split ends and breakage. Also, try using a moisturizing leave-in conditioner and hot oil treatment to fix dry hair.
3. Split ends
The splitting of hair is a type of hair damage that typically begins near the shaft of the hair. It is caused by a variety of physical and internal imbalances. For instance, improper detangling, excessive blow drying and brushing of wet hair can cause split ends. Environmental factors such as dryness caused by heat and humidity can also cause dry hair.
Some hair-splitting is also internal. The strength of your hair and its vulnerability to split ends can be directly related to lack of vitamins and minerals in your diet. Nutritional stress is usually a deficiency of some vitamins and hormones that promote healthy hair.
How to fix split ends: Brush your hair gently with a wide-toothed comb, and don’t over brush it. Avoid towel drying your hair, but if you do dry with a towel, press it on your hair instead of rubbing it. Use a leave-in conditioner once a week. Apply a heat protective spray on your hair before you style it. Your hair should also be trimmed every 8 to 12 weeks to prevent split ends.
4. Frizzy hair
Frizzy hair is one of the most common problems for those who want silky, smooth and bouncy hair. The main reason behind frizzy hair is dehydration. In other words, when the moisture level in your hair drops below a certain percentage, you’ll develop frizzy hair.
According to a recent study carried out by Loreal, 10 to 15% of our hair is made up of water. When the moisture is balanced, and the strands of your hair are sealed with natural oils and sebum, you’ll have smooth and shiny hair. In contrast, when moisture decreases, your hair becomes dry and damaged, resulting in dry, frizzy hair.
How to fix frizzy hair: Use a shampoo and conditioner specifically designed to deal with frizzy hair. According to Ladies Home Journal, products with dimethicone can help prevent frizz and protect the cuticles. You may also want to consider products that contain certain types of proteins such as wheat and soy.
5. Greasy/Oily hair
The terms oily and greasy usually refer to the amount of oil or sebum that’s outwardly visible on the hair. Our scalps are continuously producing sebum, which helps keep the hair and scalp hydrated, moisturized and healthy. Sebum itself is quite sticky- causing hair strands to stick to each other and clamp instead of moving freely.
Some people naturally produce a lot of sebum, which makes their hair appear oily and clumped. There are many other factors at play too. For instance, some substances like styling products or airborne dust and pollution, can build up on your hair and make it look even more oily. Diet is also to blame; foods rich in refined carbohydrates and fats can increase hair’s oil production.
How to fix greasy hair: Usually, it’s recommended that you should wash your hair once every three days. But if you have oily hair, you’ll probably need to wash more frequently. When you shampoo your hair, it gets rid of dirt giving you an opportunity to rinse out excess oils. Washing daily or twice a day will do the trick. Try using a gentle shampoo for oily hair which is specially formulated to control the production of sebum.
6. Hair loss
Hair loss, also called alopecia, is a frequent concern for both men and women, although it is very normal to shed some hair every day. People who experience more than normal hair loss may be experiencing an inherited tendency of baldness. Male baldness is the leading cause of hair loss among men. It is characterized by a retreating hairline and lack of hair at the top of the head. Female baldness, on the other hand, is characterized by hair thinning over the entire scalp.
Sudden and temporary loss of a significant amount of hair on the head may be related to stress or recent delivery of a baby. Alopecia causes hair loss in round patches while tight braids may cause hair loss at the hairline, also called traction alopecia. Certain diseases such as lupus, diabetes and thyroid problems, medicines and poor nutrition may also lead to hair loss.
How to fix hair loss: The first step to reducing hair loss is to massage your scalp with hair oils. Thorough scalp massage increases blood flow to the follicles conditions the scalp and enhances the strength of your hair roots. You can use natural oils such as coconut oil, castor oil, olive oil or almond oil. Other remedies to hair loss include aloe vera, Indian gooseberry, fenugreek seeds and onion juice.
7. Dull hair
Another common hair problem is dull hair. Shiny and glossy hair represents youth, vigor, vitality and health. Lifeless looking hair, on the other hand, makes you look older than you really are. Hair becomes dry when the hair cuticles do not absorb and retain enough moisture, resulting in a dull, lackluster appearance.
Anything that roughness up and raises cuticles such as improper styling, chemical damage, heat styling and environmental stresses are all factors that cause dull hair. Additionally, excessive washing, nutritional deficiencies and exposure to chlorine water also lead to dull, lifeless hair.
How to fix dull hair: Taking good care of your hair, using quality hair care products and eating a healthy diet can prevent your hair from looking dull and lifeless. Plus, there are many simple home remedies that can help fix dull hair and restore its shine and luster. Olive oil is one of the best solutions.
It has antioxidants and vitamins that help treat dull hair by engulfing the cuticle with moisture. Olive oil also helps strengthen, moisturize and add shine to very dull hair.
Note: You can use coconut oil, almond oil, jojoba oil, and any other natural oil, in place of olive oil.
8. Heat damaged hair
Long-term use of heat damages your hair. Styling with high temperatures every other time will start to break down the structure of the hair, making it brittle and weak. Our hair is made up of keratin, which is a protein. When you disrupt the structure of keratin with excess application of heat or chemical relaxers, you denature the protein.
In most cases, denaturing is reversible, although cutting the damaged hair is the only way to get back your healthy hair. As soon as heat damage starts to appear, stop using heat and begin repairing, if you don’t the damage will be irreversible. Signs of heat damage include rough, dry hair, hair that looks dull, excess split ends and sections of hair with straight and rigid appearance.
How to fix heat-damaged hair: The best way to repair heat damaged hair is to trim as much hair, if not all, of the damaged hair. If the heat damaged part is past your ends, and you don’t intend to cut your hair, give the ends a good trim to get rid of as much split ends as possible. Also, start washing your hair properly and regularly to get rid of buildup and cleanse the hair. Once all buildup is gone, conditioning and deep treatment products will work more efficiently.
9. Colour-damaged hair
Your hair gets its natural colour from the pigment melanin. There are 2 types of melanin – eumelanin and phaeomelanin, but the amount of pigment varies from one person to another. In short, the more pigment you have, the darker your hair will be.
When hair dyes are applied to your hair, a chemical reaction occurs resulting in the colouring of your hair. More specifically, dye softens your hair cuticles, penetrates the hair shaft and reacts with the pigment melanin, which breaks down its components leading to hair colouration.
In the process, it breaks down fatty acids making the strands dry and weak. It also permanently raises the cuticle which leads to rapid and continuous loss of sebum and moisture. No wonder, dyed hair is thin, dry, brittle and prone to breakage.
How to fix colour-damaged hair: Because your hair lacks oil and moisture, we need to strengthen it by using products that will help seal the cuticle and retain moisture. As such, you should stack up on oils and conditioners that will help strengthen the hair. You should also do deep conditioning to reconstruct the integrity of the chemically damaged hair.
Dandruff is a widespread hair problem that affects nearly all people at one point or another regardless of age or ethnicity. The exact cause of dandruff is unknown although possible causes include increased oil production and skin yeasts.
Common triggers that are known to worsen dandruff include oily skin, oily scalp, poor hygiene, emotional stress, inclement weather, poor hygiene and infrequent shampooing. Risk factors for dandruff include people with chronic health conditions and those with a hereditary component that makes dandruff run in their family.
How to fix dandruff: Proper home care includes frequent shampooing. People who shampoo less often are usually more susceptible to dandruff. Simply shampooing more frequently helps clear mild dandruff. The best shampoos for dandruff include zinc pyrithione shampoo, tar-based shampoo and selenium sulfide. All affected areas including the scalp, ears and face should be washed. It’s not possible to permanently get rid of dandruff but you can significantly reduce it.
Other hair related problems: