Top tips: On keeping a healthy head of hair

Advice on how to avoid hair falling out

Dr Melike Külahçi offers eight tips to keep your tresses in top shape.
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Seeing more scalp than flowing locks? Hair loss isn't just for middle-aged men but is affecting more and more women under 40. Dr Melike Külahçi is founder and medical director of Transmed, a clinic based in Turkey specialising in hair transplant technology. In Dubai recently, Külahçi offers some tops tips for home prevention of hair loss

1. Choose your shampoo wisely. Look at the ingredients on your shampoo bottle and try to avoid products containing the chemicals sodium lauryl sulfate, petroleum and silicone. These chemicals are commonly used in many shampoos to "foam up" but they can irritate your scalp.

2. Give your scalp TLC. Massage your scalp at least twice a week with a few drops of wheatgerm oil. A scalp massage releases tension in your forehead and scalp to aid blood and nutrient flow to the follicles. Using your fingertips, massage in small circular motions near your temples, then move your fingers out over the rest of your scalp.

3. Put down your appliances. Overuse of hair dyes, hair gel, hair dryers and curling irons can aggravate the problem of hair loss. If you have to use a hair dryer, switch it to the lowest and coldest setting. Also avoid using hair straighteners or curlers on very wet hair.

4. Eat your hair healthy. Hair is essentially protein, so make sure you eat high-quality meat, oily fish, poultry or eggs. Your diet should also include lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, olive oil, live yogurt, nuts and seeds. Reduce dairy foods, caffeine, sugar and salt.

5. Consider supplements. Taking biotin tablets has been shown to have a positive effect on hair growth. Iron is also key in maintaining healthy locks. If you are a vegetarian, try an iron supplement.

6. Fix a filter. A water filter on your shower can eliminate some of the negative effects of chlorine on your scalp and help prevent hair loss.

7. A topical drug may help. Take advice from the experts first, but the active ingredient minoxidil is recommended by physicians if necessary.

8. Seek advice. Though some hair loss is normal - we can shed up to 100 hairs a day - it can be a sign of stress, poor diet and lifestyle factors. If the problem of hair loss continues for an extended period of time, see your doctor as there might be a more serious underlying cause.