Thinning Hair: Your Need To Know
The Debrief: It can be extremely stressful and upsetting, but there is help.
I have a Samson-esque relationship with my hair. If someone were to cut it off, I’d lose all my power. I did once; my waist-length locks were suddenly bobbing at my shoulders and I hated it so it’s been long ever since. Good story.
Thing is, I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this, and it’s not even necessarily the length – it’s just feeling like it looks good or that you’re happy with it. In fact, I know I’m not alone because, on average, we’ll spend £40,000 on our hair in our lifetime. So, you know, just a small amount.
It’s no wonder then, that noticing you’re starting to lose more hair than usual or that it’s thinning can be extremely upsetting and stressful. Here’s everything you need to know about it.
What is thinning hair?
Thinning hair and alopecia are the same thing because alopecia is used to describe hair loss, which in turn leads to thinning hair. Alopecia areata, however, is the development of bald patches.
How do you know if you have thinning hair?
Like a labrador, I shed everywhere. Running a brush through my hair (if I can even get it through in the first place) quite often results in big hunks of hair being left in it, but don’t worry if you’re the same – this doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve got alopecia.
‘A really good rule of thumb is to rely on the mirror instead of the pillow. If you’re not seeing a real visible difference, it’s ongoing hair loss and reactivation,’ says Brandon Truaxe, founder of Deciem (Grow Gorgeous). In other words, nothing to worry about.
What causes thinning hair?
There’s so many things that can cause hair loss but to name a few: stress, shock, nutrition, dieting, low serum ferritin levels, over-processing your hair or using hair tools that are too hot. There’s a lot.
Try pinpointing what might have changed recently in your life, and you should be closer to figuring out the cause of your hair loss.
How do you deal with it?
The good news is that unless you’re diagnosed with scarring alopecia, it’s usually reversible. If you’re concerned about your hair, see a trichologist who is registered with the Institute of Trichologists (you can find a list here) for expert advice on how to deal with it.
Keep check of your emotional well-being as this could be contributing to the situation and remember to maintain a healthy and balanced diet. Taking a general daily vitamin will help make sure you’re not deficient in anything.
Marilyn Sherlock, chair of The Institute of Trichologists and CEO Of the Institute of Trichologists, recommends washing your hair regularly and always conditioning, as well as keeping the heat on all hairdressing equipment on the lowest setting possible.
Products such as Regaine contain minoxidil which helps to reverse thinning hair and Viviscal Women’s Max Strength Supplement, £51.99, gets great reviews in helping hair be fuller and healthier. Topical treatments such as the Grow Gorgeous Hair Growth Serum, £29.99, helps to stimulate follicles to make them thicker and fuller.
Other products can help thicken the hair you do have, including L’Oreal Elvive’s Fibrology range containing filloxane, which penetrates hair and thickens it from the inside. Side note: my friend who has really fine hair started using this recently and couldn’t believe what a difference it made after the first wash. It also claims a ‘cumulative’ effect. Another is Aveda’s Thickening Tonic, £19, is sprayed on wet hair before blow drying and is great for adding thickness.
Like this? Then you might also be interested in:
Follow Chemmie on Twitter @chemsquier
At work? With your gran?
You might want to think about the fact you're about to read something that wouldn't exactly get a PG rating