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How Can I Keep My Hair?

A woman combs her long hair
(Image credit: <a href=''>Healthy hair photo</a> via Shutterstock)

"The Healthy Geezer" answers questions about health and aging in his weekly column.

Question: Is there anything I can do to keep the hair I've got?

Answer: The good news is that there are a few steps you can take to preserve your hair.

1.  Avoid tight hairstyles that pull on the hair. So, forget braids, ponytails, cornrows and tight hair rollers. The pulling causes some hair loss, especially along the sides of the scalp. This type of hair loss is called traction alopecia. If the pulling scars the scalp, it can cause permanent hair loss.

2. Watch the brushing and combing. Too much of either can cause the hair to break, so keep them to a minimum. Use combs with wide teeth and brushes with smooth tips. Wet hair is more fragile than dry hair, so be extra careful when you comb hair after a shower.

3. Don't shampoo hair excessively. Shampooing too often is bad for the hair. Also, apply a cream rinse or conditioner to the hair after shampooing to make it easier to comb. And don’t rub hair with a towel to dry it.

4. Don’t use hot-oil hair treatments. And avoid the chemicals used in permanents. These may cause an inflammation of the hair follicles, which can also cause hair loss.

If you would like to read more columns, you can order a copy of "How to be a Healthy Geezer" at

All rights reserved © 2012 by Fred Cicetti

Fred Cicetti is a contributing writer for Live Science who specializes in health. He has been writing professionally since 1963. Before he began freelancing, he was a reporter, rewriteman and columnist for three daily newspapers in New Jersey: The Newark News, Newark Star-Ledger and Morristown Record. He has written two published novels:" Saltwater Taffy—A Summer at the Jersey Shore," and "Local Angles—Big News in Small Towns."