General tips and FAQ’s

Here are some general questions that are commonly asked by patients, press and everyone else to I meet about how to get the best out of your hair and what and what isn’t true… If there is anything I have missed, please comment in the feed this is linked to! Thanks Iain 1. Why does our hair thin as we get older? Our body is made up of millions of cells which are constantly renewing ourselves, these cells are constantly renewing themselves, but they do slow as we age! Therefore, our skin gets saggy, our joints ache more and why the cells that make our hair slow down causing the hair to become finer and grow for less time. 2. What can we do to prevent this if anything? Some people are just lucky, they have genetically great skin and genetically great hair, but for the rest of us we must maximise our health to get the full potential out of our hair, this means: • Not smoking (as well as a toxin, smoking acts as a vaso-constrictor, suppressing the blood supply to the follicles)
• Not being overweight (point 1- for women free oestrogen binds to fat cells so the more fat you have the less oestrogen you will have to suppress Testosterone, the hormone that enacts genetic hair loss) • Having a healthy diet – as you get older you are more likely to suffer from long term health issues such as diabetes, thyroid issues, heart disease, in all cases the illness or the medication for the illness can severely affect hair loss!). • Eat more protein! –...

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...

Oscars hair

The biggest film event has been and gone once again leaving us to pour over the dresses and outfits the stars were wearing. Hair also provides huge speculation on whats been done and by whom?…a patient did point out to me last week that (quite rightly) if there is so many people loosing their hair (either genetically or due to other conditions) why are their so little ‘A’ listers who seem not to have hair problems? The answer is of course that they suffer as much as anyone else to genetic thinning as well as many other things…they simply are better at prevention, maintaining and hiding the thinning hair! The people who you see on the red carpet are under a huge amount of scrutiny, and are also in a career where ‘looks are everything’ and a receeding hair line would not do much for your next prospective role. This unfortunately has a de-morilising effect on the ‘normal’ people who look on in envy wondering why ‘Mr/Mrs X’ is so luck that they are a film star AND doesn’t suffer from hair loss. Through ‘secret’ operations, preventative medication and early detection of any illnesses which may bode ill for their hair, the Hollywood starlets do keep this illusion of being almost immune to hair loss….of course they have the money to do so and for the majority of us taking the same actions does require a long term look on finances before leaping into surgery/long term medication. But they do have one thing right…which is prevention is better than cure and once they see some sort of hair thinning,...

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...

Propecia scare

Hi! Just heard Newsbeat on radio 1 talking about the ‘cons’ of taking ‘Propecia’…stating new research that shows long term impotency in users. I will firstly point out that ‘Finasteride’ to give it it’s licenced name, is a very safe drug, one of few which does not have very many interactions with other medical compounds. There has always been a warning that approx 2% of men using this may suffer from erectile dysfunction or loss of libido. As this is a ‘temporary’ DHT blocker, there is no reason why after stoping the medication it would still have an effect?There is a very, very small risk that the side-effects of this medication may induce an underlying condition, but to say this medication causes permanant impotence is extreme and ‘scare-mongering’ You must always keep in mind that there is no such thing as a 100% safe medication; paracetamol, asprin..all the household medicines will have ‘some’ side effects on a minority of people. This medication is still a very safe and effective way of preventing and helping hair loss…so please don’t worry! If you have any specific questions about this or any other hair related topic please contact me at info@hairmedic.co.uk Merry Christmas and a happy new year...