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! –...

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...

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...

The difference between fine hair and Thinning hair?

Whats the difference between fine hair and thinning hair?… fine hair is simply the texture of someone’s hair, it does not imply a disorder, where as thinning hair usually is thinning due to an underlying condition….heres some regular questions I get asked regarding the difference between the two.   What causes hair to be fine? The diameter of the actual hair cuticle determines how thick or fine your hair is, coupled with the amount of hairs you have per square centimetre make up the feeling if you have thick hair, fine (but a lot of it) or simply fine hair, this in effect is simply genetic. How can you tell if you have fine hair? This is a subjective question as one person ‘thick’ is another’s ‘fine’ it’s down to the individual really! Is fine hair something that affects both men and women? Yes, both men and women have fine hair [but to imply that they are ‘affected’ means that there is something wrong with having fine hair…see title above] What are the main disadvantages to having fine hair? Are there any advantages? Fine hair falls limp quickly, volume is always a problem with fine hair, as for advantages….it dries quicker! Can environmental factors affect the thickness of hair or is it all down to genetics? Hair is a dead appendage, so external factors cannot affect the hair growth, genetics does hold the key to fine hair, though there are internal factors which cause the narrowing and miniaturisation of hairs which lead to hair loss and thinning. How would you recommend caring for fine hair, i.e. products,appliances,brushes? Don’t use...

Measure with your own yardstick!

Hair is such a subjective matter, everyone has their own take on what hair should do, act like, be like, what colours look good, what products are nice? Same thing happens when you have a hair or scalp problem, but it is so subjective it really cannot be measured by anyone else’s yard stick! If you are suffering from hair thinning and you confide in your doctor/ friend/ partner [delete as necessary] and you are met with “it looks fine to me, your worrying over nothing!”  You may feel as though you’re fussing over nothing and wasting people’s time with this ‘triviality’! But…then the niggle comes back…”There is something wrong! I can notice a difference…it doesn’t feel like my hair anymore?” My rule of thumb is this, you know your own hair and only you can ‘feel’ a difference. By the time a hair thinning disorder makes a difference to the look of the hair you may have already lost over 30% of the volume of your hair! Here are some of the first tell tale signs you may experience if you’re wondering if your hair is thinning: Your pony tail becomes thinner Your hair may be shedding more than usual (over 80 hairs per day) Your hair is more ‘fly away’ Harder to style/ does not hold its style for very long. Partings may become slightly wider You can start seeing your scalp through your hair   The point of this list is to check against it and see if any of the above ring true, if it does your suspicions about a hair problem may be correct...