If your tresses have seen better days and feel lacklustre or even start to fall out, you might be alarmed. Shedding the odd hair is part of everyday life and most people will notice a few strands in the shower or whenever you brush your hair. It's normal to lose between 50 and 100 hairs a day, often without even noticing. But thinning hair can cause embarrassment, and concern.
From over styling to hormonal imbalance, a number of triggers can cause hair loss.
All of the hairs on our head have a normal life cycle, with most scalp hairs lasting for about three years before they fall out and are then replaced with a new hair. Hair grows from tiny pouches in the skin known as hair follicles, and at any one time all the scalp hair follicles are at different stages of their cycle.
This means about one per cent of scalp hairs are always at the end of their natural life cycle and about to fall out – this is why we all see a few hairs in the bath or shower whenever we wash our hair. Most of us lose around 50-100 hairs every day in this way.
There are three stages to the life cycle of a hair:
· Anagen: the active growing phase when the hair strengthens and thickens.
· Catagen: is a short resting period when the hair stops growing.
· Telogen: the hair is gradually pushed upwards before being shed naturally and replaced with a new anagen cycle hair.
Thinning hair is different to baldness (male or female pattern hair loss) and refers to only mild to moderate hair loss in areas rather than on a widespread basis.
1. Hair treatments - Over-treating it with harsh hair products such as colour treatments, relaxers, bleach, and perm solutions can all cause damage to the hair, as can extreme-hold hairsprays and gels. Pulling the hair into a very tight bun or ponytail can also put excessive strain onto the hair, breaking it away from the hair follicles in the scalp.
2. Anaemia and iron deficiency - In women, one of the most common causes of hair thinning and hair loss is iron deficiency, typically caused by menstrual blood loss but which may also occur due to dietary deficiency. Iron is essential for producing healthy hair and so low levels can impact on both the strength and quantity of scalp hair.
3. Vitamin B12 deficiency - Vitamin B12, along with folic acid and other minerals, is important for healthy hair since low levels of it affects the health of the oxygen-carrying red blood cells needed for healthy hair growth. B12 deficiencyis most commonly seen in vegans, as the primary source of dietary B12 is through animal protein although it can also be obtained through fruit and vegetables.
4. Stress - Low-level uncontrolled stress causes high levels of hormones such as cortisol which can damage the growth of new hairs developing in scalp hair follicles, as well as raising male hormone levels that in turn can accelerate hair loss.
5. Pregnancy - The normal hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy may result in hair thinning during the later stages of pregnancy and for a few weeks after birth. This typically grows back normally without any treatment in the months and weeks afterwards.
6. A poor diet - Because the body needs a full supply of nutrients to allow hair to grow normally and healthily, any deficiency in these can cause hair to thin. These include proteins and vitamins.
7. Menopause - Going into, or through the menopause can cause hair to thin because of falling levels of female hormones.
8. Dramatic weight loss - Crash dieting – especially if you have lost 20 pounds or more in a short period of time – can cause hair thinning to occur several weeks later.
Hair loss medical treatments
For simple hair thinning rather than male or female pattern baldness, most doctors would not consider prescription treatment for hair loss unless it was causing major psychological distress. But if they were found to be necessary, available hair loss treatments include:
Botox- Botulinum toxin injections paired with IV infusions of vitamins are generally known to encourage hair growth and appear to improve the tissue environment surrounding the hair follicles by decreasing scalp tension and improving blood flow.
With IV infusions, the body receives the vitamins and minerals by injecting the solution directly into the bloodstream. This process bypasses the digestive system which allows the client to feel the positive effects almost instantly.
The Platelet Rich Plasma(PRP) commonly used in hair restoration is “autologous,” meaning that it is derived from the patient’s own blood. To obtain PRP, a patient’s blood drawn and then is spun in a centrifuge to separate the solid from liquid components.
For more information or to book a consultation, please reach out to Darlene,