View Full Version : tips for reducing shedding??!

March 27th, 2014, 09:45 PM
Hey all,
I know that there are already a ton of posts on shedding.. so I apologize for the repetition!

I hoping that you could share your wisdom with me on ways to reduce shedding – recipes, products, tips etc!

I am already on a very complicated regimen for a plethora of health problems, so please if you could refrain from suggesting supplements, etc… BUT I would be happy to hear anything that can go on my scalp or in my hair! :)

I have seen on here references to catnip, rosemary, castor oil.. if you could share your experience and what worked best for you that would be awwwssoooommmee:cool:

Thanks so much!

March 28th, 2014, 03:31 PM
Generally, keep your scalp as healthy as possible and avoid things that can promote shedding.

Healthy as possible=
- have diagnosed and then treat any eczema, dermatitis or dandruff (note: the diagnosis bit is important - you can do more harm than good by assuming, e.g. oils can sooth dermatitis but assist the growth of the fungi that cause dandruff)
- eat healthily
- exercise
- drink sufficient water (but none of this '8 glasses a day' rubbish - that is a myth (you need 8 glasses of water total per day, which includes that which is in your food, not just that which you drink)
- if you suspect any vitamin/mineral deficiencies, get them diagnosed and treated

Avoiding shed-inducing things:
- avoid putting conditioner on your scalp
- avoid conditioner-only (CO) washes, if this causes your to shed (it doesn't in everyone)
- (for some people) avoid putting oil on your scalp
- minimise the amount of manual handling you do to your hair
- (for some people) avoid scalp massages (the increased blood flow can be helpful, but the increased physical manipulation can be detrimental)
- detangle gently (and use a wide-toothed comb, tangle teaser or fingercomb)

Generally, you won't reduce your baseline shedding (unless you already have elevated shedding from something, in which case it is best to find and eliminate that something). However, you can reduce the amount of hairs that get broken and/or pulled out.

March 28th, 2014, 04:39 PM
Be sure you are eating healthy and drinking enough water.

Use a wide tooth comb when detangling and always work from the bottom up to the scalp. Go SLOWLY...in small sections. I cannot emphasize the last sentence enough. Try and keep your hair up or confined in some way to keep tangles at a minimum. Avoid pony tail holders of any kind.

March 28th, 2014, 05:05 PM
Because you've already seen some great advice above and on other threads, and I'm lazy and have been doing a lot of research on the topic lately, I'm going to post some of my responses to the Growth Rate Experiments thread (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=119947) since caffeine rinses (which can be done with teas instead of coffee) can reduce shedding (as well as giving other benefits).

Following information comes from the Hair Boutique (http://www.hairboutique.com/blogs_p/index.php/2012/09/10/coffee-hair-growth-secrets/).

The average growth of the follicles treated with caffeine increased by around 46 per cent compared to the control group. In addition, the life cycle of the hair treated with caffeine was extended by 37 percent. Caffeine boosted the length of the hairs by between 33 and 40 per cent.

Dr Fischer noted that “hair follicles treated with caffeine showed a highly significant growth rate at 24 hours and still showed further significant growth at eight days.”

Researchers in Germany wanted to determine if topically applied caffeine could be delivered to the follicle as a shampoo. The studies showed that after 2 minutes of shampooing, the caffeine in the shampoo was able to penetrate into the scalp via the hair follicles and outermost layer of the skin (stratum corneum).

I already knew that the caffeine in coffee speeds up hair growth temporarily and decreases shedding, but I had no idea it increases a strand's terminal length! The second quote was more about the minimum timing, but I thought the fact that coffee shampoos work might lead to some experimentation ;)

I almost forgot to mention it's definitely not supposed to be a bedtime thing since your body is absorbing the caffeine through your scalp!

According to the Beauty Brains (http://thebeautybrains.com/2007/05/02/can-i-put-caffeine-on-my-skin-instead-of-drinking-coffee/):

"...the diffusion rate for caffeine through human skin is 2.2 x 10-6 grams per centimeter squared of skin, per hour."

I wouldn't do a caffeine rinse more than once or twice a week since caffeine is addictive and you don't want your scalp/body to become accustomed to the amount of caffeine it's getting since you would then need more and more caffeine just to get the same results. However, it's really a personal thing. Also, if you leave coffee in your hair for a long time (30+ minutes is what I think I've read for those intending to darken hair), it will stain, but the color will completely fade away after a couple washes.

The only two things you need to fear as far as using coffee or black tea rinses go is 1.) color build-up for those with light hair and 2.) your follicles becoming accustomed to the amount of caffeine they are absorbing.

In my search I did find one description of the studies that have been done with coffee rinses:

One scientific study shows that caffeine can stimulate hair growth when used in tiny amounts. The same study also found that applying too much caffeine to the hair follicles can actually stunt growth. A different study found that caffeine in shampoo can penetrate the hair follicles when left on for 2 minutes. Both studies were done on the hair follicles of men with androgenetic alopecia. So, no scientific studies have been done to test the effects of caffeine on a woman’s scalp who doesn’t have a hair loss disorder. Generally, the current evidence says that caffeine definitely penetrates hair follicles and may stimulate hair growth, but no one knows for sure. It’s impossible to say how much additional growth you might see, if any. SOURCE (http://kinkycurlycoilyme.com/tea-rinse-for-natural-hair/)

Other information I found relating to coffee in particular:

-The strength is very important. Strength can determine caffeine content, not acidity. Darker roast have less caffeine (not remarkably low, still high, but not as much as a lighter roast) which is why I had more shedding.
-Medium roasts have more caffeine, so I had less shedding. I still had scalp itching.
-Didn’t leave my hair hard, mimicked black tea results for me.
-I noticed it isn’t making my hair as dark as black tea. If anything, I noticed its a tad lighter and more vibrant, but I can’t speak too soon.
-Region of the coffee plays a great role in terms of acidity. I noticed that dark coffee with light acidity (French Roast) had better conditioning results but more scalp itching. Kenya (medium) had light acidity too and conditioned well but I still had itching. Kati Kati (medium) had more acidity and citrus notes. I mixed it with burdock, so I can’t say for sure if only burdock reduced the itching, but even with it did work well.
-Coffee with the lower acidity worked best for conditioning for me, but I had more scalp irritation.
-Coffee with higher acidity had really good conditioning results with less scalp irritation.
*Note that this particular blogger claims to have a very sensitive scalp, so don't worry about her itching, you would already know if this was an area of concern for you. Anyway, this blog was comparing her results with coffee vs black tea, you can read more here (http://smoothcuticles.wordpress.com/2013/08/05/coffee-vs-tea-rinsing/).

Sadly, I could not find any real information on the frequency of caffeine rinses :/ I don't think using one of these rinses twice a week would diminish your results but I wouldn't suggest using it more than maybe 3 times a week although I think that would be cutting it. If you notice less benefits then slow down on the caffeine uptake so you can re-introduce the caffeine later for improved results. Let us know how any experiments turn out for you! :)

So you can shampoo your hair as you make strong tea or strong coffee and then leave the tea/coffee in your hair for 10-20 minutes and then follow up with your normal conditioning routine, or you can choose to make a paste with conditioner in it to use as a deep conditioning treatment while also benefiting from the caffeine.

I found a paste recipe (http://www.longhairloom.com/haircarerecipes.html#C) that is supposed to combat the drying affects often experienced when using coffee topically but I think you could also simply condition/SMT after wetting the hair with double-brewed coffee (keep in mind that it's recommended that you make it strong so you can get plenty of caffeine).

PS: I'm very very sorry for the length of this post, I really just wanted to help you out since lately I've been worrying CO-washing has increased my shed rate (though I'm not at all positive about this).

March 30th, 2014, 07:36 AM
A week ago I asked for help to reduce the enormous shedding I got from shampooing, and this really helped:

Get a large (6 cups) plastic food container, put a small amount of shampoo in it, fill it with water while stirring, and then apply in the shower. The dilution ratio should be 1 part shampoo to 10-50 parts water. This makes enough for three apply/rinse cycles.

Using this method, I have never had to massage my hair to get it clean. There is enough water involved to do that.

When I showered yesterday I only had 24 shed hairs total in the shower (awesome compared to the 100 I head previously). So if you feel you are shedding a lot in the shower, you could give this a try.

Except from that I have nothing to add to Panth's great advise.

March 30th, 2014, 08:50 AM
It's really important to discover the root of the shedding problem. For me it was a combo of things that caused me severe loss, to the point I thought something was seriously wrong with me. But anyway, the issues that caused mine were:

-Vitamin D deficiency: I found this out when my doctor ordered a blood test for me. I know you said no supplememnts, but if I don't take my D3 1000 twice a day, I get excess shedding.

-CO: I know some people never have an issue with CO (conditioner only washing method). But I did. The conditioner (no cones, mind you) gunked up my follicles and over time, it built up and my hair would slip right out at the root. So now, I don't use conditioner at all. Instead, I use oil on the length after a wash, never near the scalp.

-Henna: Henna wasn't the cause of my shedding, but it exacerbated the problem. Way more shedding each time I hennaed. So I gave it up. :( I'm finding I really like my natural hair color though so it's alright.

Other helpful hints:

-Dilute your shampoo if you use it and don't overwork your scalp. I just saw this on a thread recently and it's changed my life! :p I got a clear conditment bottle with a thin spout (a squeezy applicator type bottle). And I've diluted my shampoo just a little. Not even 1:1. Maybe 2:1 (shampoo:water). The thin nozzle helps you get the solution right to the scalp, and now you're more easily distributing the shampoo around because now it's runnier and not a gel. So you can gently work it all over the scalp. So much easier on the follicles.

I don't have many suggestions for diet, because that wasn't my problem, but it looks like you're getting good advice here. Get enough protein.

I hope this helps! :flower: I know how awful and hopeless it feels when you're shedding a ton and nothing seems to help. These were the things that helped me.

March 30th, 2014, 12:11 PM
Avoid pony tail holders of any kind.

What, like hairbands/elastics? What's wrong with them?

April 2nd, 2014, 05:45 PM
alishaxmarie re the coffee, do you have a recipe you yourself use? how do you apply it etc?

April 2nd, 2014, 06:33 PM
I started taking Biosil drops and I see a reduction in shedding within a few days. Wonder whether it's all in my mind like a placebo effect because I desperately wanted to see only 10 to 20 shed hairs a day, like when I was younger. I know it is wishful thinking. I've been doing a lot of other things too to reduce shedding. One of those might have helped, or it might have been a fluke that I didn't shed a lot yesterday and today. I don't know how old you are. Though mine was age related thinning.

Growth rate experiment is a good thread. I got a lot of information from there as well.

Please research thoroughly and take a wise decision. What works for one might not work for another. But first make sure health wise all is clear by getting blood work done and also consult with your physician before taking any supplements.

April 2nd, 2014, 07:02 PM
alishaxmarie re the coffee, do you have a recipe you yourself use? how do you apply it etc?

I just make regular coffee in a coffee maker, sometimes I brew it twice in an attempt to make it stronger since I've read that some others do that. I currently CO wash only so I've been dumping the coffee over my head (ONCE IT HAS COOLED DOWN), I usually dip my ends in first though so I know all of my hair is getting thoroughly saturated. Some people will pour over their head and catch in another bowl so they can repeat the process over and over but I've never bothered to try that since it would be messier and too much effort haha. Then I'll throw conditioner on on top of the coffee and leave in for 30-ish minutes since I usually watch some Netflix to pass the time. You really don't need to leave it in for that long but I wouldn't be able to spend 15 mins on something just to get up and shower in the middle of whatever I was doing. So basically I use it like a deep treatment since I know the conditioner will prevent any dryness that the coffee could cause (every blog I found reported that tea/coffee rinses are conditioning but that they can be drying at the same time and I don't really understand this but I'll eventually do some more research lol).

April 2nd, 2014, 07:31 PM
When I used to oil my scalp and CO wash, I'd shed a lot, my follicles didn't enjoy being smothered, I guess. Some people don't have this problem.

Also, when you detangle, start from the bottom and hold your hair above where you're detangling. It takes the pressure off your roots, and helps premature shedding.

April 3rd, 2014, 03:04 AM
Hmm-- I was doing weekly Castor Oil scalp massages-- is that known to increase shedding?! I noticed a lot of shedding but I wasn't sure if it was more than normal.

April 3rd, 2014, 05:22 AM
Are we talking normal (end of growing cycle of each individual hair, with following regrowth) shedding or hair loss here?

If one's hair has short anagen (growing) phase and unable to grow long, but there's no thinning to scalp, then it's likely just genetic. No special way of brushing or washing would make a difference to it. If one's diet is unbalanced or lacking, then looking into better nutrition may help. But otherwise... ETA: To clarify - hair that is shed naturally due to the end of its growing cycle cannot be made to stay in the head no matter what you do. Unless you glue it back. At the time of shed, it's been in the resting stage for months and cannot be reverted into growing stage. It must leave to be replaced by the new hair that's coming through.

However if we're talking hair loss (hair sheds, but regrowth doesn't come or renewed hair is coming thinner and weaker), then it could be a number of reasons. Some of those are again genetics, others was health related. Very small percentage of causes has to do with actual hair care regime, unless it's an allergy or sensitivity to particular ingredient.

April 3rd, 2014, 07:01 AM
Hmm-- I was doing weekly Castor Oil scalp massages-- is that known to increase shedding?! I noticed a lot of shedding but I wasn't sure if it was more than normal.

Scalp massages are known to increase shedding for some people because the follicles on the scalp is being roughed about which would cause the root to slip right off. I have that problem which is why I stop oiling and massaging my scalp.

April 3rd, 2014, 03:07 PM
Hmm-- I was doing weekly Castor Oil scalp massages-- is that known to increase shedding?! I noticed a lot of shedding but I wasn't sure if it was more than normal.

The one and only time I put castor oil on my scalp I lost a handful of hair.

I'm another for whom CO washing causes insane shedding. Also, I discovered that too much manipulation of the scalp while wet makes me lose more hair. I now scritch with a comb before washing and do only one lather with minimal scrubbing. Gets my scalp just as clean, but lets more hair stay on my head.

April 3rd, 2014, 03:21 PM
A lot of my shedding has to do with hormones, I noticed increased shedding about once a month -ahem- with it slacking off toward the middle. I do notice increase in shedding when I heavily oil my scalp (once a week when I'm going to wash, depending on the shampoo I decide to use).

Back before I started becoming more hair conscience, I would base how I liked a shampoo on how much shed I had, so it may also be the formulation of shampoo you use.

The more natural the hair products I use, and less manipulation of my scalp, the more I keep my hair up or even just braided, I find my shedding is greatly reduced. And enough can't be said about staying hydrated, and eating healthier. Your whole body will thank you, not just your scalp.

April 4th, 2014, 08:54 PM
I use Do Gro Oil from Sally's. I just massage it into my scalp and let it soak in for about 30 to 60 minutes and then shampoo as usual. It immediately stopped my shedding, but it could have been a coincidence.

April 5th, 2014, 09:02 AM
I'm currently experiencing a thinning issue. I read a couple of papers which suggested Nizoral 5% disrupted the process by which DHT binds to the receptors in the scalp, and decided to try it. I'm still waiting for further investigation into the thinning - but my shedding has reduced since starting Nizoral - approx. 5 hairs lost in each shower. I was never a massive shedder - but it's still a reduction of about three quarters.