We recruited the best hair experts to answer the top hair care questions you Google the most…
Your hair care questions answered…
Why is my hair falling out?
Hair care expert Carole Michaelides, trichologist
One of the biggest hair care dilemmas is hair loss and thinning hair, but there are many reasons for it. Temporary hair loss can be caused by crash dieting, iron deficiency, even a bout of flu. After childbirth is also a time when women may lose hair. But with most of the above, hair will recover.
Prescription medicine is another trigger that can cause hair loss and interfere with your hair care efforts. The most common one is chemotherapy, but we see some hair shedding with people who are on statins, immunosuppressants and blood thinners. And stress, too, plays a part in hair loss.
Finally, there’s menopause. Almost all women experience some degree of hair thinning at this time in their lives.
The good news is that we can very successfully treat hair loss, often with anti-androgenic hormones like spironolactone, or topically with a minoxidil solution.
Also try Plantur 39 Phyto-Caffeine Tonic, R170 for 200ml, which is especially effective for menopausal-related hair loss.
How can I make my hair grow faster?
Hair expert Stephanie Moore, clinical nutritionist
What you eat affects hair growth. There are numerous essential nutrients you need. The first is protein. Your hair is mainly made up of a protein called keratin. You need to have some form of protein at every meal to ensure enough keratin is made. Meat, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, and pulses like lentils and chickpeas are all good choices.
Fat-soluble vitamins A and E are key, too. Vitamin A helps the scalp to produce sebum oil required to keep the scalp and roots healthy and boost hair growth. Good sources include eggs, butter, liver, green vegetables, carrots and sweet potato.
Vitamin E improves blood circulation and helps the follicles work more efficiently to promote hair growth. Eat avocados, almonds, sunflower seeds, sweet potato and spinach.
Also try Organic Health Solutions Hair Growth Oil, R275 for 100g . This richly-nourishing oil is packed with hair strengthening vitamins and minerals like selenium, omegas, biotin and vitamin C.
How do you get thicker-looking hair?
Hair expert Kiki Koh, senior stylist at John Frieda
After washing your hair, always use a conditioner. But only on the ends. There’s a myth that conditioner makes hair flatter, but without it you’ll get breakage when you comb hair through.
To boost volume, use a volumising product on the roots, then rough-dry hair till it’s two-thirds dry. If you blow-dry from wet, you’ll lose all the body. Use a vent brush at the roots and pull hair upwards. Then blow-dry as normal. Rollers can give good body, but don’t use them on hair around the face as it can look old-fashioned. For a thicker-looking mane, style using a vent brush and pull hair upwards.
Try Clicks Essential Vent Brush, R69 which is made with nylon ball-tip bristles to avoid breakage.
How often should you wash hair?
Hair expert, Rolanda Wilkerson, principal scientist at Head & Shoulders.
It’s actually a myth that over-washing hair can dry it out by removing essential natural oils. We have been researching scalp care for more than 50 years and found that even when you wash hair every day, those oils remain inside the hair and scalp, keeping them moisturised.
In fact, leaving hair unwashed, or using water alone, allows oils, sweat and dirt to build up. An excessively oily scalp serves as a breeding ground for scalp issues, so you do need to shampoo regularly and follow the hair care tips that work for your hair.
What makes hair go grey?
Hair expert Steve Shiel, director of scientific affairs at L’Oréal.
Hair greying is a gradual process, and is probably the most visible sign that your hair is ageing. Grey hairs are those that have lost the pigment-melanin. Many researchers have made a link between the greying process and external factors, such as stress.
There is also a genetic component, with similar greying patterns observed in family members. Marie Antoinette syndrome, a rare condition, is when an individual suddenly becomes grey overnight (the name comes from the fact that the French queen supposedly went grey overnight due to shock).
However, as hair can’t change colour once it has been produced, this disorder is caused by the sudden loss of the pigmented hairs, leaving only the white hairs behind.
To keep your grey hair in top condition, try the L’ Oreal Serie Expert Silver range. We adore the L’ Oreal Serie Expert Magnesium Silver Shampoo, R238 for 300ml
What is balayage?
Hair expert Josh Wood, celebrity colourist
When it comes to the latest hair colour trends, Balayage is right up there. It creates a natural effect with no need to worry about regrowth. It is the technique for highlighting hair in which the dye is painted on in such a way as to create a graduated, natural-looking effect.
You get a more natural effect with balayage than you do with traditional foil highlights. It can be done in a way that’s commitment-free, so there’s no need to worry about regrowth. Balayage is a great way to blend, camouflage and colour grey roots at the same time. I think it works best on mid-length to longer hair.
Carlton Hair international offers Balayage treatment packages, including a cut, post-colour treatment (including micro-mist) and blow-dry from R1 500.
A freelance writer and editor, with 15 years’ experience in the media industry. With a passion for health and fitness, Tammy loves nothing more than researching the latest wellness trends. And if she’s not running around after her sweet four-year old daughter, you’ll find Tammy on her bike, in the gym or exploring the great outdoors – followed by a good coffee, of course!