It’s a question that plagues one in five women. CLEO finds out more about this common hair phenomenon.
Don’t think this problem only hits women who are your mum’s age. It can come at any time of your life – and even those with the thickest of hair are not spared.
Why you and your hair are having a fall out
According to regenerative health consultant Arthur Chan, women experience hair loss for three reasons. If you are in your 20s, you can probably rule out ageing. The other two factors have to do with what’s going on inside your body and your external environment. “External or environmental factors can include using harsh shampoos, excess exposure to chlorine, the sun and wind, and even chemical treatments like bleaching and permanent straightening,” says Arthur.
The third culprit is what Arthur calls “shortterm internal factors”. These bad boys include stress, a diet lacking in nutrients – particularly iron and protein – and hormonal imbalances, including those that stem from polycystic ovarian syndrome. Throw into the mix certain medications, including contraception, painkillers and antidepressants, and it makes complete sense why you are suddenly thrown into this new surge of misery.
If you’re unsure about what’s causing your hair to fall, the amount of strands you’re losing can be a good indicator. “Hormonal hair loss is more gradual, with around 800 hairs per week,” explains Arthur. “Stress-induced hair loss has a quick and sudden effect, with over 2,000 hairs lost per week and thinning over the entire head.” But fret not, as the problem generally settles down within six months. Over at DRx Medispa, the Intensive Hair Regeneration Therapy is a fantastic antidote for those distressed from hair loss. It involves the use of micro-needle therapy to stimulate and promote cellular activity within the hair follicles. It’s followed up with Low Level Laser Therapy to help slow down and prevent hair loss and bring back the volume.
Just eat it
We’re all-too-familiar with the mantra “you are what you eat”, and we’re all pretty aware of the fact that a lot of what happens outside our bodies are a direct result of what’s going on inside, too. Iridologist and natural medicine expert Will Shannon agrees, and says there are certain things we can put on our shopping list to keep our hair strands planted firmly in our scalps.
First stop: sweet potato. “While many herbalists use the leaf, eating the root can ease hair loss,” says Will. Broccoli is another veggie he suggests getting some serious servings of as it’s crammed full of vitamin E, as well as almonds, sunflower seeds, spinach and pumpkin.
Low blood flow can be a huge factor behind hair loss. To improve blood circulation, Will suggests dosing up on spices such as cayenne pepper and chilli. And if you think your hair loss is due to stress, chamomile tea and magnesium supplements can be really helpful, too.
It’s also a good idea to invest in a scalp treatment, which will set the scene for hair regeneration. Bio-T Scalp Hair Essential Tonic For Growth, $49, is great for helping to invigorate your scalp and encourage it to get its act together.
This paraben- and mineral oil-free shampoo contains panox notoginseng extracts to promote hair growth. Bio-T Anti Hair Loss Shampoo, $39
To deal with fine, brittle hair, this combo will restore volume and strenghten hair. Plantur 39 Phyto-Caffeine Shampoo, $18.90, Conditioner, $12.90
If you’re looking for something a little more intense, Kerastase Densifi que Hair Density Programme, $149.80 for a box of 10, can leave you with up to 1,700 new hairs in three months.
To prevent breakage, get a shampoo like this one that contains arginine, an essential amino acid which improves microcirculation. L’Oréal Paris Fall Repair Anti-Hair Fall Shampoo, $9.90.