Hairstyles, Hair Care & Fashion

Hair Breakage and Medication

Q: I have a question about my hair. I have noticed recently that my hair has a lot of breakage. I pull it back very frequently, although, I am not rough with my hair at all. I always use a wide tooth comb on my wet hair and when I do pull it up, I do it gently. I have been recently diagnosed with Allergies and I am on two medications: Flonase (intranasal steroid) and Allegra-D. I was wondering if the medication was having an adverse reaction on my hair. The breakage seems to have occurred within the last few months, since I have started my medications. Any help would be appreciated!
A: I have been unable to find any linkage between either of the drugs you mention and problems with hair breakage. Allegra-D does list "dry skin and itching" as possible side effects, but this doesn't necessarily translate into a reasonable assumption that the drug could be causing weakness in the hair.
My best advice to you is to speak with your doctor about your concerns. Only a medical professional is qualified to determine whether you are having problems related to the medications you are taking.
In the meantime, you should be sure to use a shampoo and conditioner that is rich in protein, to help strengthen the hair and prevent breakage. There are many products available on the market these days that are designed to help strengthen and condition the hair while providing styling control as well.
In spite of being as gentle as possible in pulling your hair back, you should know that you may still be applying a lot of stress to the hair from doing so. Be sure that you are using gentle hair elastics and that you do not make it too tight around the gathered hair. Also be aware that you should position your ponytails in such a way as to minimize the amount of weight being supported by the hair. Often, a looser ponytail placed higher on the head, hangs, resting the weight of the tail on the hair at the top of the head. This can lead to breakage as you go about daily activities and the tail swings with your movements.
Finally, avoid styling products containing alcohol, as these can dry the hair and leave it susceptible to breakage. As an alternative to ponytails, you might consider wearing the hair in a loose braid at the nape of the neck. This provides a neat confinement of the hair, without the risk of added stress on the hair. A loosely woven French Braid is also an excellent option, but may be difficult to perform yourself unless and until you are practiced in performing the style.
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How to recognize hair breakage
Is wearing your hair in a ponytail bad for your hair?
Ponytails and hairline recession