Ask the Expert: Surprising Causes of Hair Loss According to Lourd Ramos
Here are some really surprising reasons you might be experiencing hair loss.
The average human head has about 100,000 hair strands and the same around the same number of hair follicles. Shedding of these strands is a normal part of life. According to the American Academy of Dermatologists, it’s not unusual to lose about 50 to 100 strands of hair a day. Around 40% of women also experience more shedding because of styling, and life events such as pregnancy or menopause.
However, some can experience abnormal hair loss, which can be a cause for concern. If you notice unusual hair loss patterns, bald spots, and clumps of hair falling out, it might be time to visit your doctor. Everyday hair loss, on the other hand, can be avoided with a healthy lifestyle, good hair care, and the right products.
BeautyHub.PH interviewed Unilever Haircare Expert and sought-after celebrity hairstylist Lourd Ramos on the causes of hair loss, prevention tips, and his recommended remedies.
Surprising Causes of Hair Loss
According to Lourd Ramos, hair loss happens when the scalp becomes so sensitive that hair starts to break and fall off. It can come in varying degrees, from regular hair loss from over-styling, to severe cases such as alopecia areata, an autoimmune disease where cells attack the hair follicles, resulting in unpredictable hair loss. When it’s not caused by diseases or certain medications, hair loss is a result of poor hair care and lifestyle practices.
Lourd Ramos shares six main lifestyle causes of hair loss and how to avoid them.
1. Hair loss can be stress related.
In stressful times, we tend to forget, or even forgo, proper hair care. It becomes the least of our priorities when we’re swamped with work and chores that we merely go through the motions of cleansing without paying attention to what our hair needs.
“People tend to forget to shampoo properly. We lack nourishment for the hair and scalp because sometimes we forget to care for our scalp and hair. Sometimes we rush through the process and use hot water to wash our hair. When hot water touches the scalp, it loses the natural moisture and decreases the production of sebum in the scalp."
"These scalp irregularities cause hair loss. I’d suggest finishing with lukewarm or cooler water to bring back the scalp to its natural pH 5.5 level and seal the cuticle layer of hair,” Lourd Ramos says.
Maintaining a pH-balanced scalp is crucial to hair strength; any imbalance can cause extreme dryness or oiliness, which can cause hair fall that can lead to hair loss.
2. Hair loss can be hereditary.
Hereditary hair loss, also called hereditary-patterned baldness, is the most common cause of hair loss according to Harvard Health. It’s not a disease, but a natural condition that results from one’s genetic make-up, hormones, and age.
This type of hair loss can occur at any age past puberty, but typically begins in the 20s and 30s, and is most noticeable after menopause in women and by the age of 50 in men. According to Harvard Health, symptoms usually start with the thinning of the hair, leading to baldness on some areas of the scalp.
According to Lourd, if hair loss starts suddenly and is out of the ordinary, it’s most likely not hereditary. “That’s the time we go back to the lifestyle factors and examine what habits or recent activities are triggering your hair loss. If you have genetic hair loss, it’s best to go to a dermatologist, who will give you medicine to regulate blood circulation in your scalp and improve your lifestyle,” Lourd says.
3. Hair loss can be the result of one’s lifestyle and environment.
According to the National Institutes of Health, poor eating habits can also contribute to hair loss. Dieting, especially crash dieting, can lead to a deficiency in nutrients such as protein, fatty acids, and zinc. Over consumption of certain nutrients, such as selenium found in certain seafood, and vitamin A from supplements, can also cause health problems, including hair loss.
Too much spicy foods and sugar can trigger dandruff and dry scalp, which can lead to itching and hair fall if left untreated. “Spicy food can make us sweat, resulting in the scalp losing water and becoming sensitive,” says Lourd.
He adds that lack of sleep, not washing hair regularly, and wearing super tight hair accessories can also cause hair loss. Certain lifestyle factors such as humidity can lead to overproduction of sebum on the scalp, which can cause dandruff and itching. Air pollution — dirt, chemicals from cleaning products, smog, and cigarette smoke, for example — generate free radicals that can damage hair and cause graying as well as hair loss.
“If you are exposed to these, and you don’t shampoo and condition your hair properly, it can lead to hair loss,” Lourd explains.
5. Hair loss can be from using the wrong products.
“As a hairdresser for 21 years, I’ve been experimenting a lot on pH level in shampoos — it is good for hair and scalp and will bring nourishment. When it’s at that right pH level, it means that it has the formula to nourish your hair and scalp,” says Lourd. He recommends products with green tea, ginger, and caffeine to stop hair loss.
He also shares that everyone should have at least five different shampoos in their bathroom. “Alternate these products depending on the state of your hair that day. Most of my clients who do this don’t encounter problems anymore,” Lourd says.
He adds that it’s important to rotate shampoos because our hair and scalp, like the skin on our face, have different needs every day. Rotating between ultra-nourishing and clarifying or detoxifying formulas also helps keep the scalp healthy by preventing product build-up that can cause flakes.
Sometimes the water that we use can also disrupt the scalp’s pH level, and he says the following products will return it to the proper balance and make hair more manageable. Nourishing shampoo: TRESemmé Keratin Smooth KERA10 Shampoo is perfect for everyday use. The KERA10 Protein Complex penetrates hair 10 layers deep to smoothen, detangle, remove frizz, and boost shine.
- Anti-dandruff shampoo: Use CLEAR Ice Cool Menthol Anti-Dandruff Shampoo if you think you need to cleanse your scalp. Lourd suggests doing this every 15th and 30th of the month to clean your scalp and prevent hair fall and hair loss.
- Anti-hair fall shampoo: To address hair fall, alternate between Dove Hairfall Rescue Shampoo or any Dove Men shampoos with caffeine and your nourishing shampoo (#1).
- Color care shampoo: If you have colored hair, use TRESemmé Pro-Color Series Blonde Brilliance Shampoo and TRESemmé Pro-Color Series Blonde Brilliance Conditioner to neutralize brassiness and preserve hair color longer.
- Detox shampoo: To detoxify the scalp of impurities, use TRESemmé Detox & Nourish Shampoo, which has green tea and ginger that detoxify, remove buildup, and replenish lost nutrients. According to Lourd, this is an essential step, especially if you’re not releasing toxins through sweat. He recommends using a serum treatment, such as TRESemmé Detox & Nourish Serum Conditioner once a month, to help with hair loss.
6. Hair loss can result from DIY treatments.
Lourd warns that trying to perform salon treatments at home can cause a lot of problems because they look easy. He explains that this is one of the things he frequently addresses on his YouTube channel, LourdRamos TV.
“Hair bleaching, in particular, is so accessible that it’s becoming a problem. Over-bleaching, using the wrong application technique, using the wrong mixture... all these break the hair and damage your scalp,” he explains.
“A lot of people have also done DIY hair color because they want to copy K-drama highlights, but there is a tendency to overcook the hair, use colorants poorly, have bad timing, or do it without help. After two weeks, their hair starts to get dry and frizzy, and after it breaks, it falls. Hair straightening or Brazilian blow-dry is also dangerous because it’s so easy to leave the product on for too long, resulting in breakage and hair loss.”
Hair loss can be reversed and prevented with the proper care and the right products. “A good shampoo at pH 5.5 is nourishing to the scalp. Buy the tester sizes and using them for a week before getting the bigger bottles. Stop using hot water on your hair or finish with cooler water to seal your cuticles.”
“Avoid heat-activated activities like ironing or curling your hair if you’re prone to hair fall. Have a healthy, balanced) diet and exercise four times a week to produce pH 5.5 oil, and your hair follicles will be super happy,” says Lourd. “Oh, and don’t believe the myth that you’re not supposed to shampoo daily — shampooing every day is your best defense against hair loss.”
Hair loss can result from different factors — from the climate and the food that we eat, to the products we use and the way we style our hair. If you’re experiencing unusual hair loss, identifying your hair loss triggers can help you address it, as well as find the right shampoos and conditioners to use to keep your hair and scalp healthy.