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9 facts about hair loss you should be aware of

A top hair transplant surgeon reveals her advice


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Whether it’s strands of hair clogging up your hairbrush or pattern baldness, we all experience hair loss to some extent. And if someone’s experiencing the latter, it can have knock-on effects on confidence and emotional wellbeing. So much so, 60% of hair loss sufferers would rather have more hair than money or friends.

Suffering from hair loss? Or know someone who is? Perhaps, you’re just not sure what constitutes a ‘normal’ amount of hair loss. Dr Thomy Kouremada-Zioga, Hair Transplant Surgeon, at The Private Clinic of Harley Street, reveals 9 key facts about hair loss…

1. It’s better to catch hair loss early

Dr Thomy Kouremada-Zioga explains: “It is normal to lose around 100 hairs per day. If, however, you feel you are losing more than this, it would be wise to speak to a specialist doctor about what may be causing this hair loss and, if there are any changes that could be made to remedy it. The sooner you seek the advice of an expert the better, as hair loss can be reversed or the rhythm of it may be diminished easier in initial stages.”

“You should be concerned about your hair loss when you start to notice that the hair is thinning significantly and bald patches to appear. When this happens, it is best to seek an experts’ advice as soon as possible in order for the cause of the hair loss to be determined and the proper treatment option to be advised,” she says. “The signs of excessive hair loss include thinning, a receding hairline, or if you start to notice excessive hair loss on your pillow or when in the shower.”

Woman touching hair

2. Some people experience seasonal hair loss

“It is known for some people to experience something called “Seasonal Hair Loss”. The exact etiology is unknown but scientific research claims that seasonal hair loss is due to abnormalities of melatonin and prolactin levels that, as a result, can change the hair cycle by mainly prolonging the telogen phase. The variations of solar rays intensity have an impact on the secretion of the above and this affects the hair follicles.”

3. Your diet affects hair health

“Hair is made up of keratin, which is a natural protein. Making sure your diet is high in protein can therefore help to keep hair strong and looking shiny and healthy. Try to incorporate meat, fish and eggs in your diet and you may gradually notice an improvement.”

“Your diet should be rich in minerals and vital vitamins too. Opt for foods high in vitamins A, B, C and E, as well as iron, zinc, copper, magnesium and selenium. All of these will help to fuel hair growth. It’s also important to avoid nutritional deficiencies(for example a zinc or vitamin E deficiency) as these may well lead to hair thinning and will curtail the hair’s growth. So think carefully about what you are (and are not!) putting into your diet.”

4. Scratching your head may affect growth…

“Not many people realise that when we scratch the head, particularly with long, sharp nails, we are traumatising the hair and the scalp. Scratching and itching will gradually damage the hair follicles and can actually have a significant impact on hair growth.”

5. …As could keeping it clean

“There is a common misconception that washing the hair frequently is bad for it. That is not the case. It’s important to wash your hair regularly to keep it healthy and strong. If you wash the hair regularly, it’s far more likely to grow at a steady rate. Sleeping with dirty hair, meanwhile, can clog the pores and stunt growth. Application and massaging of the scalp can also help. Try doing this with caster oil, which is rich in vitamin E and omega 9 fatty acids. This has also been shown to assist with hair growth.”

6. It’s better to wash hair with lukewarm water

“On a daily basis, try to wash the hair with lukewarm water, rather than hot water.Very hot water can cause the head to sweat and cause trauma to the hair, in a similar way that the sun and hot electrical products can. Try to use a mild, natural shampoo, which will help to ensure that the pH of the scalp remains neutral. Small changes such as these, made to your daily routine, can have a genuine impact over time on the health of your hair.”

7. Brushing your hair is good for the scalp

“Brushing the hair every morning and evening for 1-2 minutes also encourages hair growth as the brushing stimulates circulation on the scalp. It’s also a good idea to massage the scalp gently during the washing of the hair, as this stimulate blood circulation too.”

Rear view of male looking away while using laptop at table

8. Hair loss is often caused by genes or hormone fluctuations

“In men, the most common cause is predominantly down to genes. If a man has a father or grandfather who has thinning hair, then it is highly likely they will also thin/bald. One of the most common causes of hair loss in women is a change in hormone levels. For example, women who are post-menopausal are likely to experience some natural thinning of the hair. Furthermore, women with higher than normal levels of testosterone, such as women who have been diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), are also more likely to experience thinning.”

9. Sadly, not all hairloss is treatable

“Hair loss that is caused by your genes cannot be treated. Unfortunately if you are predisposed to balding, this is something you cannot fight. Having said that, there are measures you can take to look after the hair you do have, and to slow down the rate of balding. These include measures such as the use of a tailored hair retention programme, using and the over-the-counter products such as Regaine and following the lifestyle practices already mentioned above. However, once hair loss has occurred, if you want a natural looking return to a fuller head of hair, then a more expensive treatment, like a hair transplant procedure is the only answer.”

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