National hair loss awareness week!

Hair loss awareness week is between the 31st of Jan and the 6th of Feb is being highlighted by the Institute of Trichologists as the time to raise awareness of all types of hair loss problems. Excessive hair loss problems blight the lives of both men and women causing incredible psychological suffering and in many cases may be the first outward signs of a serious underlying condition. Hair loss is distressing and upsetting especially for women, up to 1:3 women will suffer from some form of hair loss in their life, after all it is a woman’s ‘crowning glory and has a devastating effect on the sufferer. The main types of hair loss fall into two categories diffuse hair loss or patchy (for want of a better word) which the word ‘Alopecia’ is all to commonly used. Diffuse hair loss is very common; usually women initially notice their hair becoming fine and fly away, this can be the start of thinning hair and can be many the reasons; Diet, Medication: Certain underlying illness and severe stress: can all lead to thinning hair. Genetic thinning comes under this banner too, just as men suffer from ‘male pattern baldness’ there is a female version too and it affects just as many women as it does men, the difference being the type of ‘pattern’ it takes and it is more likely to happen after menopause. Alopecia is simply a term meaning ‘hair loss’, when people say alopecia they usually think of Alopecia Areata, which is an auto-immune disorder (the body is fighting against itself) and usually rectifies itself without medical intervention. Most hair...

Why do we have hair anyway?

Why do we have hair? Sounds a simple question, but this dead material which sprouts out of the top of our heads holds more fascination to us than how our hearts work or even how our brains work! There is no definitive answer but there are very solid theories as to why we have it and why we lost it; When we were primates we did not have language and so needed a way in communicating with each other, hair along with facial expressions and gestures made up a primitive sign language which we can still see (and feel) when cats and dogs become aggressive they show their hackles (a ridge of hair which runs down their spine)  today, goose bumps are the remnants of that indicator, everyone must have said at some point that the hairs have gone up at the back of their neck! Protection must have been the initial reason though…protection from the cold and from U.V light. So why did we lose it?…we are called the hairless ape, if it was so important to keep warm why loose most of our fur coat? Scientists believe now that it was down to the way we hunted (rather than the story of humans inventing clothes and so loosing hair after that). We are not the fastest of hunters, but we can travel great distances because of 2 things, our up-right stance and our cooling system. We have specially adapted sweat glands called ‘eccrine’ glands which allow us to sweat whilst running, walking (doing any strenuous thing really), apart from horses (who can sweat allot whilst they run)...