Alopecia refers to all types of hair loss not just bald patches. Hair loss and thinning can be caused by many factors and lifestyle changes such as stress, severe weight change, thyroid issues, and medication including the pill as well as severe weight change. The largest category of hair loss is known as Alopecia Areata (AA) which causes patches of baldness usually on the scalp, this is normally caused by a problem with the immune system but genes can make people more susceptible particularly if there is family history.
We all look after our skin and body but often our hair can be easily forgotten about. Recent research has suggested that the use of cosmetics and face creams has become a contributing factor to a thinning or receding hairline. The research showed that the most common type of hair loss in women in their early 50’s was the onset of frontal hair loss. It is important when applying cosmetics to prevent it from touching the hairline due to the chemicals often used in the products. I recommend using a towelling or jersey headband to prevent the hair from coming into contact with the products.
Have you ever heard the saying that if you don’t wash your hair it cleans itself? I’m afraid to disappoint many of you but this isn’t the case. The scalp naturally produces oil known as sebum which keeps your hair moisturised and protects the hair shaft from breaking and becoming dry and brittle so not over washing your hair is important so as not to completely strip all the oils and protection from your hair. The excess sebum when not cleaned and washed away will attract dust and dirt – washing your hair with just water or combing through will only displace and distribute the oils and dirt so will not actually clean the hair.
The body in times of poor health doesn’t prioritise hair as it is not essential to life. Your body will try to protect the essential organs as a priority which is one of the main reasons hair loss thinning and poor condition occurs before, during and after illness. Give your body a helping hand by ensuring your diet is nutritionally balanced and if you have any concerns consider taking supplements.
Normal cotton pillows, particularly ones with embroidery can cause damage to the hair. During movement, hair rubs together causing friction. To prevent this brush your hair before bed to avoid tangling and use a silk pillow case which is softer on the hair – leaving your hair ready and in good condition for the morning.
Choosing the right appliances for your hair type is critical, if your hairdryer is too hot it will cause deformation of the cuticle layer. Water actually boils, the steam creates energy which destroys the cortical fibres causing cuticle damage, split ends and breakage.
Dreadlocks can be formed through a term called neglect where the hair isn’t combed and left to matt. This process can cause the dreadlocks to vary in size and weight so for a more even look you can separate the hair as it begins to matt for a more tidy look. Also, did you know that 10 year old dreadlocks are really clean and healthy underneath the initial hair layer as they are so well protected. The only concern would be the weight of the dreadlocks causing traction alopecia.
Long hair is associated with women of a child bearing age – this is thought to be due to representing fertility and health. However, I want to break this stereotype and encourage all women to be themselves and remember to “be the me you want to be”.
Hair is more versatile and stronger than you think – Hair can stretch 30% of its length before it breaks.
Stem cell banking has taken off recently with a company storing children’s milk teeth in order to safeguard their future. This same step is also being taken with hair follicles to clone them and expand them to provide healthy hair in the future. This is being done at an earlier age to avoid a decrease in the hairs quality.