There are many reasons why your hair may be thinning. In this blog I hope to offer you a brief cover of how hair grows what it needs to stay healthy and ways to help your hair stop falling out and become more, shiny stable and lustrous.
Firstly we must understand how our hair grows - Throughout its life hair grows in a cycle which is broken down in the chart below. The growing stage with the medical term anagen is where the hair actively grows. Between 3-6 years. Then onto catagen - a transition period as the hair prepares to fall out and finally telegen phase which is the dormant stage before it actually releases from the follicle and sheds. Then back to anagen where the cycle begins again.
The average person loses between 70 and 100 hairs per day. As we age however our hair unfortunately becomes finer and thinner. Most of us associate balding and thinning hair with men and yet many women experience thinning hair also, in fact it is reported by many tricholagist who are seeing more increasingly women experiencing hair loss problems. I am one of these reported women. Now in my early mid thirties I first began to see signs of rapid hair loss around 3 years ago. My previously thick full head of curly locks which I admitedy did everything to tame was now shedding on me at an alarming rate. I recall being afraid to wash or brush my hair for the amount of hair loss I was experiencing was so vast I was convinced I would be bald in no time.
My first action was to visit my GP who referred me onto a dermatolagist, who told me my hair wasn’t shedding and sent me on my merry way. I was left feeling very alone in what I knew to be true. As I still had quite thick hair at this very early stage in my hair loss journey it was difficult for them to see what I was experiencing. I had some bloods taken which showed no obvious signs as to why my hair would be falling out. My iron levels where slightly low so I was prescribed some iron supplements to my diet. Some time passed and my hair loss was continuing. I recall not being able to get a brush through my hair following washing as it was just so matted by shedding. My scalp would be very tender to touch and I began to notice sparse patches in my hair line and crown area. Following several visits to my GP who had by now crossed me off as I quote “slightly paranoid” I decided it was time to take matters into my own hands and took to researching ways to help save my now thin scatty hair.
What I discovered about hair loss in women
There are a number of causes for hair loss such as hormonal changes at menopause or after childbirth whereby the hair cycle is interupted and remains in its growth stage throughout pregnancy due to the amazing hormone surge and increased blood circulation the body experiences. Many pregnant woman note lusturouse bouncy locks during pregnancy which is due to this factor. Once our bodies are back to normal usually following a period after breastfeeding has ceased the hair that would have previously shed in the telegen phase all does so at once causing a tempory period of mass hair shedding.
Stress is also a big factor in modern western society with our hectic lifestyles and busy work schedules, stress is commonplace without us even knowing we are experiencing it. When we are stressed the scalp becomes tight therefore restricting circulation leading to malnourished follicles resulting in further hair loss.
An under active thyroid and certain perscription drugs are also factors contributing to hair loss so it is vital that before you begin on any self medicating course for hair loss that you visit your GP to rule out any underlining medical issue.
There are countless products on the market offering the promice of a full bountiful head of hair with a dose of their magic elixer but in order to remedy you must first understand the cause of your hair thinning. Other factors causing hair loss would be female pattern baldness which I shall go into further later in the blog, telegen effuvum which is a common condition which can be triggered by a number of factors causing the hair to temporarliy fall out in its sheddding telegen phase. If this is what your experiencing then rest assured in the knowledge that your hair at least is going to stop falling out sometime soon around 3-6 months is a reasonable amount of time frame and grow back to its previouse state. Alopecia is a common known cause which again I shall go into in more depth later in the blog for there are many types to discuss. Poor diet and lack of exercise all contribute.
There are infact some 50 known causes for hair loss. To ensure you get a correct diognoses you may wish to visit a certified trichologist who specialise in hair loss. Visit www.trichologist.org.uk for further advice that you can be certain is based on medical fact and also to be directed to a trichologist in your local area.
What can you do for yourself
Try to reduce suger in your diet. This is a mean feet for some of us but little by little and soon enough you wont notice its not there.
Exercise more. Oxygen delivers the nutrients through your blood to the hair follicle. The more nutrient rich oxtgen you can get pumping around the body the healthier your hair will be.
Reduce the amount of caffein you consume daily. Try herbal teas lemon in hot water is great alternative to a cuppa in the morning. Your body and immune system will thank you for it.
Reduce sodium based foods. Too much salt is bad for us in so many ways and is hidden in everything if you check the labels.
Eat more fish eggs and nuts and lean white meat. Not only will your hair grow like Rapunzel but you’ll lose weight too.
Eat seeds, nuts, lentils and pulses. Try adding lentils and pulses to home made soups.
Eat green leafy veg such as spinnage, water cresss, broccoli as theyre full of iron. Try them in a tuna or salmon pasta bake or stir fry.
Good nuts to eat are walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flaxeeds. Try sprinkling on your mornin muesli with some dried fruit like dates or cranberries for a healthy kick start to your day.
Our bodies need fat for energy and repair. Healthy fats can be found in avacados and coconut oil. Try cooking in a good organic coconut oil. Its delicious alrernative to sunflower or olive oil and bursting with flavour.
Try a digestive enzyme before eating to aid digestion and absorbtion of essentisl nutiriets. A slice of pinapple or simply pinapple juice works here as aids the bowelin digestion.
Vitamins & Minerals known to aid hair growth and cell formation
There are many multi vitamins available on the market. Invest in a good quality product made from natural ingredients where possible as theyre absorbed more readily by the body. Brands such as viviscal - www.viviscal.co.uk show good reviews from the high end priced, Perfectil by vitabiotix - www.vitabiotix.com is a brand sold widly. This a good mid range priced option multi vit . Liquid Iron such as floridax is more easily absorbed, taken along with vitC aids absorbtion.
Massage your scalp daily, twice daily if time permits to get the blood circulation going. Use oils such as jajoba oil, almond oil, vit e oil, macademia nut oil where possible and leave in over night for replenished scalp and deep conditioned hair. To wash out simply add shampoo neat to dry hair work in at the roots rinse then wash as normal. Neem oil has a ery distinct odour but is said to be highly nutritious for the hair and scalp. Tea tree oil will help treat an irritated scalp as acts as a natural healing astringent.
Invest in a good quality shampoo and conditioner specific to your hair concern. Ensuring it is Sulphate free. Kersteis Densifique which can be found which can be found on line or at all good leading salons do an amzing range or products for hair thickenning hair loss and aging hair,
Nioxin by Wella is also a very popular hair loss system which guarentess thicker fuller hair in 30 days or your money back. is available to purchase online or available as a service at leading salons. It can be known to have a drying effect on the hair when used daily however it has an exfoliate and prepare the scalp for healthy hair growth. The system can be used in conjunction with other hair growth boosting products within the Nioxin range for maximum benefit.
Nourkin do a wide range of off the shelf products from supplements to concealers and thickening powders also shampoos and conditioner. The concealing powder is effective in concealing areas of sparce hair. The colour is matched to the depth and tone of hair then shaken into the roots where the area of scalp is disguised.
Regain containing minoxidil is the only current over the counter product with FDA approval, proven to stop and prevent and insome cases stop hereditary pattern baldness. Available for both men and women.
There are many hair loss remedies for both prevention and cure. I hope you have found this blog useful. It is of course not exhausted as there are many more products out there on sale. Before you begin to invest in what could be a lifelong investment on hair restoration products ensure you visit your GP first and foremost to rule out underlying medical conditions, failing an answer from that it is worth visiting a professional trichologist for a diagnosis. Specialising in hair unlike your general practicioner they will have much more extensive knowledge and shall be able to offer advice and guidance. The NHS currently consider hair loss an aesthetic issue and therefore no funding is available unless it is due to cancer treatment recovery.
There are many other options to explore showing amazing results which you can acheve with hair extensions concealers, hair replacement systems and voumisers, and surgery is also a very tempting option. The good news on hair loss is science is advancing at rapid rate and with research into stemcell regrowth well under way. There shall one day be an available cure.