How much time do you spend fussing/thinking/obsessing over your hair? For most people their hair is their crowning glory and is evidenced by the fact Bad Hair Days are right up there on the list of The Most Frustrating Things on Earth. But what happens if your hair seems to be disappearing faster than a plate of cupcakes at a bake sale?
Why am I losing hair?
According to Dr Michael Rich from the enRich clinic in Melbourne there are multiple causes of hair loss. “Most commonly hair loss is from genetic and hormonal influences such as androgenetic hair loss, or autoimmune reactions such as alopecia areata, and/or increased hair shedding such as in telogen effluvium,” Dr Rich says. “Other causes are medications such as anti-cancer drugs; psychological causes such as trichotillomania; trauma such as traction alopecia; heat damage from appliances; or chemical damage from perming chemicals and bleaches. Infections and nutritional deficiencies can also cause hair loss.”
What’s my course of action?
Dr Rich says it’s important to remember that “for both men and women, some degree of hair shedding is normal. Generally a person can lose up to a hundred hairs a day because hair cycles between several stages such anagen (growth), telogen (resting) and catagen (in-between).” If you’re worried speak to your GP who can assess you and give you a proper diagnosis. From there you can speak about treatment options, one of which may involve seeing a specialist dermatologist that deals exclusively in hair and nail problems.
What treatments can I get?
There are plenty, though it depends on the condition. Dr Rich says, “For common conditions such as androgenetic alopecia, treatments can involve both topical and oral medications and these can consist of hormonal treatments or hair growth formulations. For inflammatory conditions, sometimes immuno modulating agents will be required and will often require specialist care.” What about hair transplants you ask? Dr Rich advises that “Hair transplantation is useful only after the condition has been treated and can only be used for certain types of hair loss. Recent advances have shown that new treatments such as platelet rich plasma (PRP) can have a role in treating certain conditions causing hair loss.”
Are there natural ways to tackle hair loss?
Yes, according to herbalist Peita Handel from Fusion Health. “Most people use nutritional supplements. This ensures the appropriate nutrients are present for hair health but they don’t stimulate hair growth.” You can also use a natural ingestive option such as Fusion Health Hair Tonic which combats hair loss by supporting hair growth. Handel says the tonic is made up of a formulation of Chinese herbs one of which is Phytofol. Phytofol appears to promote a healthy hair growth cycle and also promotes healthy liver blood and kidneys, both of which help activate circulation, improve blood flow to the scalp, revitalise hair follicles and promote healthy hair growth.