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Losing your hair can be embarrassing and stressful, and it is a problem that’s faced by people of all ages and genders. To make matters worse, medical treatments can cause undesirable side effects, like scalp irritation, unwanted hair growth on the face and hands, and even cardiovascular issues.

Fortunately, a handful of drug-free ways can help prevent, halt, or even reverse hair loss. Jeanna Doyle, a veteran makeup artist with over 25 years of experience working in medical and media settings, tells Newsmax Health the key is to avoid factors that can accelerate the problem.

“With hair loss, it’s important not to exacerbate the problem,” she says. Instead of turning to drugs, Doyle suggests the following natural ways to combat hair loss:

Don’t wash your hair too frequently. Washing your hair frequently, more than once a day, for instance, can reduce the natural oils your body produces to protect your scalp and hair. Instead of washing your hair frequently, allow the natural oils to do their job. “To expand the days between washing, use dry shampoo,” Doyle suggests.

Drop the blow dryer. High heat from blow dryers, as well curling and straightening irons, can be detrimental to your hair. By limiting how much heat is applied to your hair, you can avoid some of the damages done by high heat. You can even extend days in between styles by using a silk or satin pillowcase to sleep on at night, Doyle says.

Go natural with your hair care. Doyle notes many shampoos, conditioners, and other hair-care products are loaded with toxic parabens, sulfates, alcohol, and other chemicals. Try going with organic or natural alternatives, such as those produced by John Masters Organics. “There are plenty of ‘hair-friendly’ products available on the market today [to use as alternatives] — there’s even alcohol-free hair spray,” Doyle notes.

Avoid chemical processing. Extreme chemical processing — used to color, perm, or relax hair — can do a lot of damage and is a major reason for hair loss. To avoid this, try a new hairstyle that will give your body a break from chemical services or at least extend trips to the salon between chemical services.

Take care with wet hair. Brushing wet hair aggressively can pull strands out of the head, and be quite painful. Instead of suffering through it, try using a comb or brush before wetting your hair. There are brushes made specifically for wet hair, but Doyle notes that you should “always be gentle.”

Loosen your ponytail. Tight ponytails often break hair strands, particularly when they are pulled into place or unraveled too hastily. To avoid this, Doyle recommends using a soft tie, and gathering the hair at the nape of the neck, instead of a high, tight pony.

Relieve some tension. Hairstyles like tight braids are often associated with tension or traction alopecia, and in some cases, can cause inflammation or even bacteria growth. Instead of rigid, braided locks, opt for slightly looser braids, or try a different, less stressful style.

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The information herein on "7 Drug-Free Ways to Combat Hair Loss" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, or licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
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