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Hair Loss/thinning short hair/strengthen and grow

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QUESTION: Dear Melanie

I have thinning delicate short hair and I need a second opinion.  
One expert suggested it is best to use brushes that are not too dense or hard so that they hurt or pull on your hair.  It is also recommended that you try a brush with little balls on the ends of the bristles as they will not irritate the scalp and can even help to massage the scalp while brushing.

Searching online I found there are people who avoid brushes with balls on the tips as they hear this snags the hair and will rip it out or cause breakage.
A person commented; most ball tipped brushes I've seen have ball tips that are of a different material from the brush.  Over time, the two materials will gradually deform and separate, so you get cracks and wrinkles at the edge of the ball.  Those cracks and wrinkles will catch hair and cause damage.  Eventually the two materials separate enough that just running the brush through your hair is enough to dislodge the ball.
Next problem, most ball tipped brushes are injection molded from plastic.  This means there are thin ridges at the molded edge.  Just like on a plastic comb, these ridges can be sharp enough to cut or shred your hair, causing damage.  Depending on where the mold edges are, there could be none of those near your hair, or lots.

For thinning, delicate or damaged hair some web sites suggesting using a soft boar bristle brush.
There have been complaints about using this type of brush.  A reviewer mentioned; not useful for very thin or short hair.  The brushes at perimeter do not make contact with the scalp or very thin, short hair.  All bristles are quite stiff so user can inadventently damage scalp.  Brush is likely excellent for long, thick hair.

Which hair brush would you recommend for very thin or short hair?

The boar bristle brush I bought at Walmart feels more like human hair but as I brush my hair lightly with this hair brush several strands of hair have fallen out into the sink.  I do not think this is normal.
Maybe I should replace the hair brush with using only a wide tooth comb for thinning delicate short hair.  I do not want to keep losing several hair strands every time I brush my hair.

Also are there any products I can try to strengthen my thinning delicate hair?

I switched to L'oreal everstrong sulfate free hair and scalp system thickening shampoo which says it fortifies thinning hair, purifies scalp, amino acid complex.  It is too soon to tell if this will make any difference as I just started using it last week and I wash my hair only every other day.

At the organic food store there is a hair formula for men and women.
Supports healthy hair and growth for men and women, helps promote a fuller thicker appearance.  Provides the proper conditions to avoid falling hair and treat male pattern baldness.  With powerful DHt blockers.
This is a dietary supplement.  I am not sure if making these two changes will be enough to noticeably reduce hair loss and make my thinning hair noticeably stronger.

You may recommend Melanie some products from your web site that can help me grow back some new hairs on the top rear part of my head and prevent hair loss by strengthening my thinning hair. My only noticeable hair loss is on the top rear part of my head.  People would not notice my hair loss unless I tilted my head downward.  I hope to fill this area with new hairs.
Thank you for your expert advice and for your time.  This is very much appreciated.

ANSWER: My favorite kind of brush is a mixed bristle brush with natural boar bristles and nylon tufts (no balls on the ends). Only brush hair when it is dry. You may use wide tooth comb on wet hair.
It is normal to lose a few strands of hair when brushing. We all lose approximately 80 strands per day. In the normal hair growth cycle as one hair falls out, the follicle is already producing a newly growing hair. The normal daily shedding mostly occurs unnoticed throughout the day. Any type of manipulation (washing, brushing, styling, etc,) will bring out some of the hairs that are already loosened in the follicles, ready to be shed.
You say you have thinning, delicate short hair. Is this a new condition or is this how your hair has always been? When you say "thinning" are you referring to individual hairs becoming thinner in diameter? Or "thinning" as in decrease in number of hairs? Do you feel that you are experiencing excessive shedding? Is your hair thinning everywhere or just in certain areas? Do you have any bald spots?
You say you are taking a supplement with powerful DHT blockers.  If you have male patterned baldness the supplements may help. I do not recommend powerful DHT blockers if it is a type of hair loss other than MPB.
Sincerely, Melanie Vonzabuesnig


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi Melanie

Where can I purchase your favorite kind of brush for very thin or short hair?

I'm not sure how many strokes you recommend I brush my dry hair.
Correct me if I'm wrong but I think only brushing my very thin or short hair once a day before washing my hair or in the evening before going to bed is the best time.

I have always had short hair.  I have noticed my hair has become thinner or more delicate or weaker within the last two or three years.  I think the biggest reason for this is because of coloring my hair with L'oreal Paris healthy look no ammonia colour to blend away greys.  The colour that was used was #4 Dark brown.
My sister has applied this color treatment to my hair a few times and then my mother has been doing it ever since the last few years.  My sister and mother are not experienced hair dressers and the way my mother applied this color treatment to my hair I felt was strenuous to my hair.

By "thinning" I would say as in decrease in the number of hairs.

I do not feel that I am experiencing excessive shedding.

My hair is thinning just in certain areas such as at the hairline down the center of my head and more noticeably at the top rear part of my head.
I have a patch at the top rear part of my head about the size of my four fingers pressed closely together.  There is only between 30 to 40% hairs left in this bald spot.  I am not completely bald in this area but I would like to fill in this area more with new hairs so no bare patch will be visible.
This is the only noticeable hair loss I have at the top rear part of my head.

I have never taken a supplement with powerful DHT blockers but was thinking of buying it.  The dietary supplement I was referring to above is from the Bell Master Herbalist Series product #77.

You mentioned you do not recommend powerful DHT blockers if it is a type of hair loss other than MPB.
I am not sure what you mean by this.

Would you have Melanie any products you could sell me or recommend online that will help me grow new hairs at the top rear part of my head so this area will be full of hair again like it was 3 or 4 years ago?

I have also heard of ArganRain and using Argan pure oil but have never tried it.  People claim it has helped them grow back new hair.

Thank you for your expert advice.  I am so lucky to have your help.

Answer
Mixed bristle brushes are not hard to find. You can purchase Sonia Kashuk mixed bristle brush at Target. Conair also has nice one. I own both of these brands. Probably any beauty supply store would carry a mixed bristle brush. If your scalp is sensitive you may want to stick with the wide toothed comb for now.
With androgenetic alopecia (male or female patterned hair loss) DHT builds up, causing the follicles to shrink and produce thinner, shorter growing hairs. For this type of hair loss you would want to  DHT inhibitors. You would not use DHT inhibitors for other types of hair loss where DHT is not an issue.
Sincerely, Melanie Vonzabuesnig

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Melanie Vonzabuesnig

Expertise

Female hair loss is my main focus. Women today are very susceptible to several types of hair loss including telogen effluvium, alopecia areata, and androgenetic alopecia. I can answer questions about the causes and types of female hair loss. I can share information about natural holistic remedies to improve female hair loss conditions.

Experience

My interest in female hair loss sprung from my own experience with extensive hair loss. Determined to grow my hair back, I diligently studied every piece of information I could find on the biology of hair growth. After successfully re-growing my hair with safe and effective natural products, I felt compelled to learn more and to share this information with other women. I am experienced in blending custom hair loss formulas. I am also experienced in writing about female hair loss issues.

Publications
My hair loss information has been included in The Truth about Womens Hair Loss by Spencer Kobren, Naturally Healthy Skin by Stephanie Tourles, Alternative Healing by Bill Gottleib and Natural Health Magazine. I am the author of several books on hair loss.

Education/Credentials
I am a certified aromatherapist specializing in formulas for scalp and hair conditions.

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