The 3 Biggest Hair Loss Causes – Explained
Following the COVID-19 pandemic, hair loss has become an increasing issue for many who have dealt with the virus and stress related to the pandemic, so it’s become even more important to underline the root causes of these issues.
According to Wil Fleeson, director of Trichology Scotland and Rainbow Room International’s Buchanan Street and Stirling salons: “It’s so important that, when talking to clients about their hair and scalp health, you discuss not only looking after the exterior of their hair with good quality products, but also looking after their hair from within – living a healthy lifestyle, exercising, getting enough sleep and having the right nutrient and mineral intake.”
He continues: “For example, iron is crucial for avoiding hair shedding and is important for helping carry oxygen through your body as part of your red blood cells to stimulate growth in hair. Vitamin D, Folic Acid/B9 and B12 are also beneficial nutrients in helping support cell division and hair growth, and Vitamin D is also effective in reducing inflammation.”
Below, Wil breaks down the three key biggest hair loss – how to identify them, why they are occurring and how best to treat them:
Excessive hair shedding
“This is when follicles are prematurely triggered into a shedding phase – a normal rate is 10% but this can increase up to 35% with premature shedding. Common triggers for this are iron deficiency, stress and anxiety, change in medication or change in diet and also post pregnancy.”
“If your client mentions any of these triggers whilst in the salon, they may have excessive hair shedding, which can be helped with the intake of iron – a 15/35mg of supplement is a recommended amount per day and it’s important that client’s do not overload on this. The key is constant use of low levels.”
Miniaturisation – hormonal
“This is a process known as ‘miniaturisation’, whereby hormones interact with a follicle and cause it to gradually shrink until it eventually disappears. Unlike excessive hair shedding and scarring alopecia, which can happen very fast, this cause of hair loss can happen over years. This hair loss can happen through the follicles being sensitive to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) made from testosterone, causing hair loss in men and male pattern baldness.”
“As this is a cause that can happen over some time, it’s important that your client tries to see a trichologist as soon as possible. Trichologists will be able to recommend medicine or treatment that can slow down the rate of loss and to help stimulate the scalp and hair follicles.”
Scarring alopecia – autoimmune
“This is when the body’s own immune system mistakenly attacks its own cell tissue causing temporary or permanent hair loss. As this can result in permanent hair loss, it’s incredibly important that the client sees a trichologist about this type of hair loss to identify if it is temporary or permanent. A trichologist will be able to analyse if the skin tissue has been destroyed and if follicles are able to re-grow in this area or not and provide the best advice/treatment to the client.”
As a hairdresser, when is the best time to intervene with your client?
“If something doesn’t seem right with the client’s hair – for instance, there is a lot more hair being seen in their brush or in the shower, or if they have a tingling or burning feeling scalp or more skin in their scalp than normal, as these are all warning signs – this is when a client may look to see a trichologist to examine their hair for a solution or suitable treatment if possible. With all of these hair causes, it’s important your client sees a reputable trichologist to ensure the right treatment is provided – particularly in terms of scarring alopecia and miniaturisation, which can be permanent.”
“Trichologists are also highly trained in how to communicate with clients who are suffering from these types of hair loss. As hairdresser’s, our goal is to make client’s look and feel fantastic when leaving the salon but as a trichologist, there is a more emotional and intense side of the job, where we need to investigate the causes of the hair loss and be prepared to have sensitive/more emotional talks with the client.”
Although a trichologist is necessary in certain cases, protecting the exterior of your hair is also crucial in maintaining good hair health. Products such as the Shampoo, Foam Conditioner, Scalp Treatment and Styling Mousse found in ALTERNA’s new Clinical Densifying Range are designed to target thinning hair with ingredients such as Amla Indian Gooseberry and Red Clover.