Remedies For Hair Loss

Hair specialist, Verona White, looks at the various types of hair loss and how to deal with it

Hair loss is a far more common problem than many people think, and it is estimated that 15.4 million people deal with hair loss at some point in their lives.

What is it?
Hair loss can range from mild to severe baldness. Hair can fall out for a variety of reasons, including medical. Hair grows from the root of your hair follicle, and the blood in your follicle goes to your hair root to provide oxygen to help your hair grow.

  • Telogen effluvium is the most common type of hair loss, and normally happens 2-3 months after the body has experienced great stress, such as a prolonged illness, major surgery or an infection. It can also happen before a change in hormone levels, such as after childbirth. When experiencing this type of hair loss you will notice significant amounts of your hair in your comb, on your pillow or when you shampoo your hair. This kind of hair loss does not have bald patches; your hair will just get thinner.
  • Medication side effects – Hair loss can also be a side effect of certain medications, so always check with your doctor what the side effects of any medication will be.
  • Symptoms of an illness — Hair loss can be a symptom of a medical disorder, such as lupus, a thyroid disorder,  anaemia, a nutritional disorder — especially if you have a lack of protein, iron, zinc and sometimes biotin. There have also been reports of hair loss after having COVID-19. Sometimes your hair will be affected if you lose weight suddenly or have a restricted diet that does not replace your vitamins.
  • Tinea capitis (fungal infection on the scalp)  This is a patchy hair loss which is affected by fungi spreading on an area on the scalp. This will automatically affect the hair root and fall off.
  • Alopecia areata — This is an autoimmune disease, and usually occurs when the hair falls out in small to large lumps. This can also happen to young children. Your immune system plays a large part in how your body operates and unfortunately your hair will be affected by this.
  • Traction alopecia — This hair loss has nothing to do with the body; it is mismanagement of the hair follicles. We underestimate how delicate our follicles are, and tight hairstyles will damage the hair follicle and cause hair loss. Tight braiding, cornrows, or pulling the hair in one direction in a ponytail will all damage the follicle and unfortunately, in some cases, cause almost permanent damage.
  • Trichotillomania — This occurs when hair is pulled and twisted constantly by someone who has a psychiatric disorder.

What to look for

The normal amount of hair that should fall out on a daily basis is 50–100 hairs. If you find yourself losing unusual amounts of hair, your hairdresser, trichologist or doctor will diagnose and treat your hair accordingly. Do not ignore the early signs of hair loss. Early treatment will help slow or stop hair fall.

When will my hair grow back?

It depends on why your hair loss occurred in the first place. I cannot stress how important it is that you see a professional as soon as you experience severe hair loss. Although your hair may have fallen out quite quickly, it will take several months to grow back, as the hair is being repaired from the follicle before it appears on top of your scalp.

How can I avoid hair loss?

Hair loss can occur at anytime depending on what your body is going through. There are a few things you can do, including making sure you have the right nutrition or supplements to aid hair growth.

These are:

  • niacin (vitamin B3)
  • vitamin B complex
  • ascorbic acid (vitamin C)
  • tocopherol (vitamin E)
  • biotin
  • iron
  • zinc
  • selenium

Here are some of the things you can do to help slow down hair loss:

  • Keep your scalp clean
  • Do not share head coverings
  • Sleep with a satin scarf/pillow
  • Use the right hair care products
  • Massage your scalp daily
  • Choose the right hairstyles
  • Try to limit heated hairstyles
  • Exercise
  • Try to have enough rest

Health-related hair loss should be discussed with your doctor or trichologist or, in mild cases, your hairdresser.

In my personal experience of treating clients with mild to severe hair loss, natural remedies have a great effect, but it takes time and patience. There are some great natural recipes in my book, 21 DIY Recipes for Curly Afro Hair. Some of the recipes can also be used on straight and wavy hair.

Enjoy your hair. 

Verona White is a hairstylist, wig technician, natural hair specialist and author of 21 DIY Recipes for Curly Afro Hair.  Visit www.afrohairgrowthchallenge.co.uk for more details.

Written by: Verona White

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