National Trichology Conference

It is with great pleasure I can say I have helped shape the first National Trichology Conference to be held on the 16th and 17th of October at the London Excel Arena as part of Salon International. This conference is to strengthen the link between the hairdressing world and Trichology with such renowned speakers such as Glenn Lyons from Philip Kingsley and Dr Bessam Farjo from the Farjo Hair Institute giving lectures to Trichologists and Hairdressers alike, this is a high calibre conference that is one of its kind and should not be missed. Details of the talks and tickets can be found here http://salonexhibitions.co.uk/e/international/site/InternationalTrichologyCongress I urge everyone with an interest in hairdressing or Trichology to come and visit! I look forward to seeing you...

A new type of hair loss!

There is a lot of press at the moment regarding scientists finding ‘another’ reason for hair loss; There seems to be a mechanism that turns age damaged stem cells in hair follicles into skin. The hair follicles shrink and eventually disappear — leaving you with miniaturized/microscopic hairs. Although theorised for many years, this the first time such a mechanism has been identified with direct ageing. Unlike stem cells elsewhere in the body, hair follicle cells regenerate on a cyclical basis, as the hair follicle shrinks it ‘collects’ stem cells from the hair bulge (found half way up the follicle), this then kick starts the growth phase again. There is noted to be reduction in something called ‘Collagen17A1’ which seems to trigger the miniaturization of the hair. To complicate matters, this new hair loss problem seems to be a separate issue to good old fashioned Genetic ‘pattern’ hair loss (what is usually termed genetic thinning) …but if getting older and hair thinning through this different process is built into our DNA, this could also be called ‘genetic hair loss’!..(this could get confusing!)     The other part of the equation is always the issue of “what can be done to prevent this from happening?” Can we just eat/drink more collagen to replenish our stores? Dermatologist Dr Sam Bunting was asked the same thing “collagen is a complicated protein. It is the scaffolding of all major organs. And yes, as we age we lose it. Exposure to sunshine and smoking hasten its demise. But we can’t lazily hope to replenish it with drinks, pills and creams”. So adding more collagen to...

Hair loss supplement advice

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 can be categorized into diffuse or patchy (for want of a better words). Alopecia is the ‘patchy’ hair loss we think of and is simply a term meaning ‘hair loss’ in ancient Greek when people say alopecia they usually think of Alopecia Areata, which is an autoimmune disorder (the body is fighting against itself) and usually rectifies itself without medical intervention over several months. Diffuse hair loss is more 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.   Hair loss Supplements have their part to play in hair health, When I am consulting with a patient, one piece of advice I cannot stress enough is “A health balanced diet is essential for good hair growth”…Why is it so important? Because, what ever the underlying issue is, it will always be exacerbated by a poor diet! A good, healthy diet is the...

How can I grow my hair longer?

I was recently asked how do you get your hair grow longer?  Hmm…this is not a straightforward question as it largely depends on two factors   The length of your hair cycle: Your hair grows in a continuous growing/shedding phase which can be anywhere between 5 and 8 years…basically the longer your hair cycle the longer your hair! This is largely determined by genetics…if you haven’t got the ‘long hair gene’ you wont grow hair down to your waist! The other variable is…the speed that your hair grows, which can vary between 0.7mm and 12mm per month. One times by the other gives you the optimum length that your hair could potentially grow too of the growing phase of your hair cycle that determines the length of your hair.   E.g.: Person ‘a’ hair grows at 1cm per month and has a growth phase of 5 years = 60cm Person ‘b’ hair grows at 1.2 cm per month and has a growth phase of 7 years = 100.8 cm Certain genetic types have longer hair growth phases (Asian people have generally longer growth phases) But…health problems and the aging process could affect both of these factors in general. Lack of certain vitamins, minerals or amino acids may cause the hair cycle to shrink, and so not grow for as long.   The hair is the 2nd fastest growing cell in the body and so needs a lot of nutrition for it to function correctly, unfortunately the body classes hair as ‘non-essential’ and so will always be at the back of the queue when it comes to getting the essential...

The only animal with long hair??

Why do we have elongated scalp hair?  The theory goes that we (as humans) developed around rivers and the coast; we required water to survive and flourish. Whilst this proved a valuable source of food (shellfish, fish…etc) the toxins and the heavy metals in that particular diet prove too much for our body to handle. So our bodies developed an amazing way of getting rid of those heavy metal toxins…by using the hair!  Hair is pigmented by melanocytes (dendritic cells which make colour and ‘inject’ it into the keratinised cells of the hair); the melanocytes also have the fantastic quality of being able to taking the heavy toxins washing around our blood processing them into the pigment. This means the Melanocytes safely deposits the toxin into the dead material of the hair where it is slowly grown (excreted) out of the body!  Our hair developed a long growing phase to help with this excreting process!  So once again the simple hair proves that it is (or at least used to be) necessary for our development and not just simple ornamentation!  A good trichologist needs to understand why we have hair and how it works, Trichology simply means the science of hair; the more we understand about it the better we can treat it when it goes wrong! Thanks...