3 December 2013

Are you losing your hair?

As a woman you pride ourselves on looking your best and your hair is no exception to this; so when
you start noticing clumps of hair coming out each time you brush or comb your hair, no doubt you start worrying.

Your hair is a complex structure consisting of several layers of flat laying fibres. There are three distinctive parts: 1) the medulla - the inner layer 2) the cortex – located between the hair cuticle and the medulla and is the thickest part of the hair layer 3) the cuticle – the outer layer and is formed of dead cells that form a scale like shell providing protection for the hair. Your hair is made from a protein called keratin. You have roughly 100,000 head hairs and it is there essentially to keep you warm as well as protect your head.

Dependant on your family history and race, your hair can be anything from long, thick and glossy, to dry, wiry and dull. The health of your hair is dependant on upon good blood circulation and nutrition. Nutrition is key if you want a head of great hair.

What if you are experiencing hair loss? First thing is; you are not alone. Women of all ages are noticing a degree of hair loss…and they have no idea why. Hair loss in women is big business for hair loss centres. No woman wants to lose her hair (of course acknowledging those who choose to shave their heads). Your hair is your crowning glory and you feel like less of a woman without it but if you are losing it and there seems to be no apparent reason, what else could be the reason?

Firstly and as mentioned already, nutrition is always the first port of call particularly if your hair loss has started recently. Deficiencies of certain B vitamins and minerals may play a part as can medication, stress, hormonal changes and pregnancy.

You may opt for a supplement that contains nutrients to strengthen hair and stop further loss. This is fine as long as your hair loss is due to nutrient deficiencies. If not, it may require further investigation.

Female Genetic hair loss is a common condition and if treated by a professionally trained tricologist, the chances of re-growth stands at around 60%.

Another reason for hair loss could be due to Telogen Effluvium. Telogen Effluvium is caused by the onset of sudden or emotional stress. This stress could be anything from having a baby, to taking the pill or surgery. It’s normally temporary and you will normally see hair re-growth after the stress has been removed or dealt with. The time it takes will vary from person to person.

Alopecia Areata is the sudden loss of hair creating bald patches and is considered an autoimmune disorder. No one actually knows the cause of Alopecia Areata but it is suggested that it was influenced by externals factors such as:

-         Long term stress
-         Physical trauma
-         Viral infection
-         Allergies
-         Pregnancy
-         Chemicals

Alopceia is a condition that may respond to treatment if the patches are small. When the hair loss is to vast, treatment is less successful and you may have to resort to wearing scarves and wigs.

It’s disheartening particularly when you know your hair will never grow back. If you have alopecia, you may have spent a lot of time crying and feeling depressed but like anything, it’s something you get used to.

Losing a full head of hair is extremely upsetting and although there are some great wigs out there, nothing will ever replace your own hair. You might even lose self confidence because you don’t feel as attractive any more and may think who wants me? A bald woman?

If you are losing your hair, seek advice from your doctor and ask them to refer you to a tricologist. Failing that you can see someone privately. Expect to be given medication if you opt for this route (none of it is guaranteed and there maybe side effects). If you choose to seek help privately ensure you do your homework. Check out the clinics credentials including the doctor you are seeing before handing over your money.

There is nothing worse than false promises of a full head of hair when they, as professionals know nothing will work. All you’ll lose is your hair and your wallet! A true professional will tell you whether something can be done or not.

On the upside, being hair less means you can change your hair as often as you want and you no longer have to pay a hairdresser! You can either shave your head and enjoy the freedom or wrap your head in colourful scarves and hats.

At the end of the day, the most important thing is, you are alive so celebrate and be thankful for that no matter what shit flies your way.

(You’ll still want your hair though!)