Female and losing your hair?
Shiny, lustrous hair is what all women strive for. Most women associate a head of glossy locks with their femininity, attractiveness and sense of style. But recent studies show that for many women, thinning hair is a very real problem. Millions of women around the world are now suffering from hair loss and one in three has thinning hair. “Hair loss is a very taboo subject that a lot of females tend to not talk about or even ignore,” says trichologist Iain Sallis. But before you dash out and buy a wig, read on to find the best solutions to regain your crowning glory…
Hair loss explained Overexposure to harsh chemicals and heated styling tools, as well as hair extensions and weaves that have been put in too tightly, can all cause your hair to break and fall out. “Heat weakens hair proteins, no matter how many protective products you use. Constant heating and drying, as well as colouring with harsh chemicals, can lead to brittleness and fragility that causes hair loss that would not have occurred otherwise,” says organic hairdresser Tabitha James Kraan. Other factors can make the hair’s growth cycle slow down or even stop. “Medication, underlying medical problems such as diabetes or a thyroid problem, micro-nutrient deficiencies, poor diet and even genetics can all cause the hair to thin,” adds Iain Sallis.
Here’s what you should do…
See an expert before you do anything about your hair loss “Get a proper diagnosis from your GP, dermatologist or qualified trichologist,” advises Sallis. “This way, you will be less inclined to spend money on products that may only affect a certain aspect of hair loss, which you may or may not have.” You could be prescribed a lotion or a course of tablets, which help with growth.
Eat a healthy, balanced diet “The hair follicle is one of the last tissues in your body to receive nutritional substances, so specific deficiencies can affect the hair,” says nutritionist Angela Dowden. “Healthy hair comes from a balanced diet that is nutrient-dense. Because hair is mostly protein, this is an important area of your diet to look at, and essential fatty acids, iron, silica, biotin and zinc are also important for growth and preventing brittle, unhealthy looking hair.” Worried your diet isn’t up to scratch? Then ask your tricologist to prescribe vitamin supplements. Proven to reduce hair loss, each supplement combines all the nutrients vital for a healthy head of hair.
Boost iron levels The most common trigger of female hair loss can be iron deficiency, as iron in the body binds ferritin — a protein involved in the production of hair cells, which guard against shedding. Low iron stores are known to reduce the growing phase of hair, so load up on plenty of dark leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale and broccoli, which can be good sources of iron. In addition, vitamin C-rich foods, like citrus fruits, kiwi, strawberries and peppers, can help increase the absorption of iron into the body. Iron-rich supplements boost iron reserves and improves hair thickness.
Invest in the right haircare Thicken up thinning strands with a redensifying shampoo and conditioner. Massage your scalp to help stimulate hair growth. This will help improve blood flow, nourish hair shafts and strengthen hair roots.
Try hair restoration Designed for women with moderate to severe hair loss, a hair replacement prosthesis is a breathable mesh that’s placed between your existing hair and scalp, which contains human hair to totally disguise your hair loss. While not a cure for baldness, it allows you to do sports, swim and to wash, brush and style your hair as you would normally.