Hair loss by far is one of the most common complaints we hear. Everyone we talk to is dealing with it in some way, and there’s always someone telling you they know how to fix the issue, and you try them and nothing seems to work, and the cycle goes on. We think back about our grandmothers and wonder what they did to have effortlessly healthy hair. Of course they’d simply say ‘oil your hair’ whenever we asked. And after all these years of growing up and growing independent, we find ourselves saying much the same thing.
Now we don’t want to sound like just about everyone else who know just the thing that is going to work for you, so we’re not giving you a fix, definitely not an easy one. But instead allow us to bust one myth today. We hear this often, that people see more hair fall when they oil their hair! Let’s get to the bottom of this one with some hair science.
There are three phases of hair growth. So all of our hair shafts are in one of the three stages of growth, the anagen, the catagen and the telogen. The anagen phase is where most of our hair shafts are in, nearly 80% to 90% of them. This phase is the growth phase of hair that lasts 2 to 5 years on average. The catagen phase is the next phase, it lasts a few weeks and it signals that a hair has lived its life. Hair growth stops and the hair follicle starts shrinking. And then comes the last phase telogen, when a new follicle forms and the old one detaches from the root and sheds.
What all this essentially means is that shedding hair is normal, roughly 100 strands of hair in a day. While none of us would possibly have the time to count hair strands, all we need to understand here is that 100 hair for medium or long hair could look like quite a clump. So let us not panic too soon.
Oiling, or for that matter, even dry massaging your scalp tends to shed more of the telogen hair at one go, so it appears to be shedding right then, but that is not true. How would you know if your hair loss qualifies as normal? Here are a few pointers, you could use them as a guideline and of course, your judgement as well. Look out for whether you are losing hair in a patch or evenly across. The former would be a reason to investigate further but the latter is normal.
Another way to watch out for hair health is signs of growth. Remove your focus from the amount of hair you’re losing, and check if your hair is growing in length. If it is and you are not losing visible volume with time, you perhaps don’t need to worry much. One more thing to keep in mind is that hair loss, similar to other skin behaviour, often indicates a reaction of the body to internal or external changes. So if the weather suddenly turns colder and drier, or if you’ve moved places, or if your days are particularly stressful, or when you’re going through big hormonal changes, expect to see greater hair fall, even though you may be doing everything right or just the same. You just need to wait out these periods while continuing your healthy hair ritual.
We try and stick and as often as we can to one too. Ours is quite a simple one, where we massage our scalp with the Deeply Conditioning Hair Spa Oil from Oleum Cottage twice a week. This formulation is like a whole team of do-gooders working to make your scalp more conducive to hair growth. The essential oil of Rosemary is an age old treatment for alopecia or baldness. Supported by the anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties of Castor oil that control scalp infections and in turn stimulate hair growth, we have a winning blend for healthy roots.
We understand hair fall can be disturbing at so many levels, but like everything else in life, some problems seem more overwhelming than they actually are, so it often helps to relax, breathe and then get to the root of it.