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Scalp Problems (cont.)

Prevention

To maintain normal hair production, eat 2 to 3 servings of protein a day. Protein is found in meat, chicken, fish, eggs, some cheeses, dried beans, tofu, grains, and nuts. For more information, see the topic Healthy Eating.

Treat your hair gently. If your hair breaks easily:

  • Shampoo, comb, and brush your hair less frequently.
  • Use a cream rinse or conditioner after shampooing your hair. This will make your hair easier to comb and more manageable.
  • Use wide-tooth combs and brushes with smooth tips.
  • Avoid rough combing, brushing, or rubbing with a towel when your hair is wet. Wet hair is more fragile and thus more likely to break.
  • Avoid hairstyles that pull on your hair, such as ponytails, cornrows, and braids. The constant pulling causes some hair loss, especially along the sides of the scalp. If you do use these hairstyles, avoid tight ponytails and braids. Alternate with looser hairstyles.
  • Limit your use of curling irons, flat irons or straighteners, hot rollers, and hair dryers. If you use these products, use the low heat setting.
  • Avoid chemical treatments until hair you have previously treated with chemicals has grown out.

To prevent head lice, do not share hats, combs, or other items. For more information, see the topic Lice.

To prevent skin cancer, protect your scalp (and the rest of your skin) from the sun.

  • Limit your exposure to the sun, especially from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat.
  • Do not use tanning booths or sunlamps.

For more information, see the topics Skin Cancer, Melanoma and Skin Cancer, Nonmelanoma.

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