12 Most Common Hair Issues and How to Treat Them
Your clients see shiny, voluminous and luscious hair on magazine covers and wish that their hair would just obey… so they come to you with all their hair problems. Even you know that nothing feels as great as a good hair day, so this is the greatest gift you can give your clients. Achieving this level of brilliance day-to-day can be a challenge. Amazing hair requires time, money and maintenance. The most common hair issues can be a product of a variety of factors; genetic, mechanical, chemical or environmental. Our hair is exposed to numerous stresses throughout the day and can be difficult to bring back to balance and health. There are some regimens you can advise your clients to follow to help rejuvenate and restore their damaged hair. Some of these methods may require time and others a monetary investment in the care and maintenance of their hair. Whatever their hair problems, we hope there is a solution here that can help you give the best advice possible to your clients.
1. Fine, Weak and Lifeless Hair
Your client may have just been genetically given fine hair, the difficulty comes when fine hair becomes weak. You will notice their hair has become weak if it breaks easily, if they have split ends and dry hair. It becomes difficult style, resulting in limpness and lack of bounce.
There are many causes to weak hair; it could be genetic or worsened by chemical treatments, environmental factors, heat damage and pressure from wearing the same hairstyle repeatedly. Colours can strip the hair of its natural moisture, leaving hair weak and easy to break. Styling tools can also be damaging to hair with exposure to more heat over time.
Prevention is the best cure. You can advise your client to use a semi-permanent formula without ammonia when you colour their hair. You can also reduce usage of hot styling tools and tell them to avoid washing their hair with very hot water.
Hair is made out of the dead protein keratin, which is difficult to replenish. Weakened hair can even affect the hair growing out of the scalp, which is why it is best for clients to get a trim when they experience breakage and split ends before it travels up the hair shaft and damages their healthy hair. If they have very weak hair, you may want to advise them to see their doctor for medical advice.
2. Oily and Greasy hair
Our skin is full of pores that are connected to sebaceous glands that secrete a natural oil called sebum. We need sebum to keep hair soft, smooth and manageable. While sebum production is meant to keep our hair soft and smooth, sometimes the scalp can start producing sebum in excess which leads to greasy and oily hair.
Oily and greasy hair can be a product of many factors. Natural causes include your client’s hair type, genetics, hormones and skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis may play a role in how oily or greasy their hair is. If they experience severe cases of oily and greasy hair, it is best to advise them to seek a medical professional for treatment.
Other factors that contribute to oily and greasy hair can be preventable. These include brushing hair too frequently, shampooing and conditioning hair too frequently, using too much product, or tying hair up too much. Another common cause people do not realise is using hot water as this stimulates the sebaceous glands and encourages them to produce more sebum. Resolving these issues could be a matter of doing less to the hair and advising clients to switch up their products.
Dandruff is a very common hair issue of the scalp where skin peels off and flakes. People often mistake this as a sign of poor hygiene and can be quite embarrassing, however, there are many factors that contribute to the problem of dandruff.
Seborrheic dermatitis can be the cause of more severe cases of dandruff. This is when skin becomes overactive, causing the scalp to become irritated and produce extra skin cells. When the skin cells die, they fall off and form dandruff. Other skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema also can cause dandruff. Dandruff can also be a result of dry skin, especially during winter.
Certain hair care products can trigger red, itchy scalps. Some shampoos may not agree with your client’s skin and irritate the scalp, resulting in dandruff. Combing and brushing hair more regularly can assist with reducing dandruff because it aids in the normal shedding of skin.
4. Sensitive Scalps
Sensitive scalps feel itchy and irritated. A person with a sensitive scalp can experience tightness, itchiness and it can even be painful at the roots. Scalp sensitivity can originate from a few causes including an imbalance of sebum secretion that causes irritation. Another possibility is pollution that can coat the hair in harmful elements that creates a dull film over the hair and generate free radicals. Stress also plays a major role in the condition of their skin and scalp.
Other common elements that contribute to scalp sensitivity include an imbalanced diet, the use of harsh shampoos and products, frequent styling and blow drying, chlorinated water and sun rays. If they are also experiencing redness, it could also be the sign of other disorders such as eczema or psoriasis.
5. Colour and Bleach Damaged Hair
When you dye your client’s hair, you are exposing it to harsh chemicals that can damage the hair. Even in a professional setting, you are chemically altering the cells in your client’s hair. Hair follicles become very porous and filled with tiny holes because colour and hair proteins are extracted from the hair in order to lighten it. Bleaching raises the hair’s outer cuticle to allow the bleaching agent to fully penetrate. Repeated bleaching raises the cuticle scale which allows rapid and continuous loss of moisture.
The result of colour and bleach damaged hair is very dry, brittle and inelastic hair. This can result in breakage and split ends. Hair is more porous and swollen and therefore, more susceptible to damage from other services like perms, straightening services or general hot styling tool application. Colour and bleached damaged hair will require plenty of maintenance with treatments, or in more severe cases the best solution is to advise your client to grow their hair out.
6. Dry Hair
Dry hair occurs when hair is not able to retain moisture, which makes it less shiny and appear dull and lifeless. Dry hair is a sign of unhealthy hair which can be caused by a variety of factors including environmental conditions, haircare and your client’s physical health.
Some environmental conditions that affect hair is dry climates, spending a lot of time in the sun or wind, or frequently swimming in salty or chlorinated water. Other factors that may lead to dry hair is practices such as washing hair too frequently, using harsh products, dyeing or chemically treating hair or using hot-styling tools regularly like blow dryers, curling irons and straighteners.
7. Frizzy hair
Frizzy hair can be difficult to manage as it is unruly. Frizzy hair is the result of a raised cuticle that when open, allows moisture to enter and swell the strand. Your client may notice that frizz gets worse in humidity or on rainy days. This is due to added moisture in the air that is absorbed by their hair.
The major cause of frizzy hair is dehydration of hair. When hair is dry, it absorbs more moisture from the atmosphere and throughout the day continues to open up the cuticle. It may just be that their hair needs extra hydration and they aren’t doing it any favours by continuing to use heating tools and abusing it with chemicals. Switching shampoos may also be a solution as some shampoos can be quite harsh and drying on the hair.
8. Heat Damaged Hair
Curly, wavy or straight hair may require styling with hot tools to achieve your client’s desired look on a daily basis. While hot styling tools are fantastic and make us look amazing, the problem arises when they are overused or used incorrectly that can cause damage to your hair. Heat damage can occur in one simple swipe or curl, or through prolonged exposure. Precautionary measures are required for ongoing maintenance of heat damaged hair. Advise your client to use heat protectants when styling their hair.
9. Straightened and Chemically Damaged Hair
What happens when you chemically straighten hair? The hair texture is altered with the chemicals that break cysteine bonds, which hold the hair fibres together, to create straight hair. The natural bonds in their hair are permanently altered to achieve this result, and hence it will be difficult to repair to the same natural condition their hair was in before. The best way to manage this is by applying masks and treatments.
Before doing a chemical straightening service on their hair, it is important to analyse their hair’s texture, porosity, density, elasticity, curl pattern and the overall health of their hair to determine the best solution. A smoothing service may be better suited compared to a chemical straightening service.
10. Hair Loss
Many people are conscious about hair loss as it directly affects their self-esteem. Hair loss can be a result of genetic and hormonal factors. This can occur when the androgen hormones in our body that make hair follicles shrink and stop growing. This is all dependent on a person’s genes.
Hair loss doesn’t just come down to genetics. It could also be the result of alopecia areata, an autoimmune condition where the person’s immune system attacks their body’s hair follicles. It could also be a result or hormonal imbalances, such as during pregnancy. Hair loss can also be a side effect of some medications and medical treatments and illnesses. When the body goes through sudden shock or stress, it can lead to hair loss.
If they notice their hair falling out after excessive hairstyling using hot tools or treatments like bleaching, you may want to advise them to avoid these processes. Hair loss is difficult to reverse, especially if it is genetic. There has been no proven treatment to slow or reduce hair loss, however some treatments may be able to help stimulate partial regrowth.
11. Split Ends
Split ends occur when the hair shaft frays or splits due to various reasons. Damage typically appears at the end of the hair but can occur anywhere along the length of the hair, even in the middle. The most common causes for split ends are stresses from external factors such as mechanical, physical and environmental. If your client does not take proper care of their hair by being too aggressive with brushing or through excessive blow drying, this can cause split ends. The strength of your client’s hair internally may be another contributing factor, depending on their diet and hormones. You may need to trim their split ends to avoid it damaging the remaining of their healthy hair, or there are treatments they may apply to help nourish and strengthen hair.
12. Grey Hair
Grey hair is a natural sign of ageing and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. It is when normally pigmented hair becomes mixed with white hair. Hair turns white when the pigmentation cells responsible for colour (called melanin) are no longer being produced. The rate at which a person grows grey hair comes down to genetics. Nutritional and hormonal factors can affect hair colour, as well as stress. The best way to approach this is to advise clients to keep hair as healthy as possible by ensuring it receives the right nourishment and vitamins to stay strong.