4 in 5 People Don’t Talk to Professionals About Their Hair Loss Problems
A new survey from talkheath in partnership with the Get Ahead of Hair Loss campaign has found that nearly 4 in 5 people (79%) have not met with a professional expert to discuss their hair loss problems, with 30% of those surveyed stating that they were too embarrassed to seek help.
Deborah Wyatt, director of talkhealth commented on the survey: “Hair loss can be a difficult topic for people to approach. Whilst it can feel embarrassing to talk about these issues with your GP, dermatologist or trichologist, hair loss can have a substantial impact on individuals and having these discussions with your health care professional can help.”
Sometimes it can be hard to know what to say if your client is experiencing hair loss problems, so we spoke to a panel of experts on how to speak to your clients suffering from hair loss problems and how to answer tough questions…
Common question: Why is there more hair in my brush than usual and should I be concerned?
Will Fleeson and Margaret Simpson, members of the Association of Registered Trichologists at Trichology Scotland: Remind clients that everyone naturally sheds between 50 to 100 hairs every day, which is quite an amount. However, if your client feels they are shedding a greater amount than normal, advise them to make an appointment with a trichologist. Remind clients to check their chosen trichologist is a member of a recognised association, such as the Association of Registered Trichologists.
Common question: What’s causing my hair loss?
Anabel Kingsley, trichologist at Philip Kingsley: Being a non-essential tissue, hair is often the first part of the body to be affected by an internal imbalance or change. The causes for increased hair shedding and reduced volume are numerous, but the most common we come across in our clinics are due to:
• Follicle sensitivity to male hormones, also known as androgenic alopecia
• A diet lacking in protein
• Crash dieting
• Stored iron deficiency
• Post-pregnancy hair fall. Approximately 50% of women experience this type of hair loss six to 12 weeks after giving birth or after breastfeeding
• Thyroid disorders
Common question: What can I do to prevent my hair from falling out?
Jordan Potter, hair thinning expert at HOB Salons: Ensure your clients are on a balanced diet as strict control of protein, calories or carbs can upset or limit the hair growth cycle. Hair and nails are last on the body’s list when it comes to receiving nutrients, so any deficiencies in the diet means the health of the hair and nails will be affected first.
Encourage clients to eat plenty of protein as well as foods containing vitamins A, B3, B5, B6, B7, B12 and zinc. If a client’s diet is considerably lacking in any of these, supplements could be a good solution. A low iron count can also be the culprit so clients shouldn’t skimp on eggs, meat, fish, dark green veg, pulses and nuts. A healthy scalp is absolutely vital to healthy hair so clients should look after their scalp in the same way they look after their skin with SPF products, exfoliators and in-salon scalp balancing treatments. Finally, lifestyle, environment, stress levels and genetics will all affect hair growth and loss so clients should avoid sunbeds and excessive pollution.
Common question: What can I do to make my hair look thicker?
Anabel: To add immediate body to fine hair or hair that lacks volume, suggest a body building shampoo with proteins to temporarily plump the hair shaft. Clients should shampoo frequently – daily if possible to keep the scalp clean and healthy as the condition of the scalp impacts hair growth. Clients can use a thickening protein spray to add instant bulk to strands, but it will also protect them from environmental damage. This is especially important for fine hair because it is naturally more fragile and vulnerable.
In terms of products that actively target hair loss, suggest a weekly stimulating scalp mask, and applying daily stimulating anti-androgenic scalp drops. Alongside a healthy diet, nutritional supplements can also be a great help because it can be difficult to meet nutritional requirements of hair cells through diet alone.
Common question: What hair extensions or styles are best for thinning hair?
Jordan: Semi-permanent hair extensions such as those often known as wefts that are fastened with a tape closure are the safest option. Wefts provide the least amount of stress to the natural hair. Advise clients to avoid the bonded type or any extensions that are heavy as this is usually what puts the natural hair under strain. Suggest placing lightweight wefts just in the areas your client requires thickness, as opposed to a whole head of long and heavy pieces.
Common question: How can I keep my hair healthy?
Will & Margaret: Remind clients that healthy hair starts from the inside. Clients can aid hair growth by really taking care of their diet with food containing the B complex vitamin group, vitamin B12 for iron, vitamin E for skin, vitamin D and vitamin C for absorption and essential minerals such as zinc. Finally hydration is essential – we always recommend 1ml of water for every calorie of food.
Common question: How can I aid my hair growth between salon visits?
Jordan: There are some really effective products on the market that encourage hair growth, some with elements that specifically target the growth cycle of the follicle, and some that focus on creating a healthy scalp environment which in turn encourages healthy growth. Ensure your clients are using a suitable shampoo and conditioner, for example one that is scalp-balancing, and tell them to reduce the number of styling products as this can cause product build-up on the scalp. Finally, advise your clients to take care when brushing, washing, styling and tying their hair to avoid over-stressing the follicle.
Kick-start the conversation
What to do if you notice a client with thinning hair or a bald patch in the salon
1. Be sensitive
2. Address the issue as soon as possible
3. Ensure you are in a quiet area of the salon before discussing it
4. Broach the subject gently. Ask ‘is anything concerning you about your hair at the moment?’ or ‘there’s an area that looks slightly different here – have you noticed this at home?’
5. Recommend volumising products as part of a blow-dry to introduce the volume, body and hair density topic
6. Introduce products with long-term hair and scalp benefits
7. Refer the client to a specialist if applicable
8. Go on an introduction level trichology course provided by companies such as TrichoCare.