The legendary Philip Kingsley (he coined the phrase “bad hair day”) founded his world renowned hair clinic and treated everyone from Audrey Hepburn to the regular man in the street. And he was loved by them all. Now his daughter Anabel is following in his footsteps and has become a trichologist herself. Here she gives us some valuable insight into the many reasons that can cause hair thinning and how some of the clinics amazing products can help.
Hair loss can be incredibly distressing for women
How our hair looks and behaves influences the way we feel about ourselves – our sense of femininity, individuality and attractiveness. Hair loss can also make us feel isolated. For a woman, hair loss seems strange and uncommon. However, female hair loss is incredibly common. In fact, 1 in 3 women will experience some form of hair loss. While this doesn’t take away from the fact that hair loss, and I have experienced it myself, is vastly upsetting, it is good to know that you are not alone. And what’s more, a lot can be done to help.
Reduced Hair Volume
The most common type of hair loss is ‘reduced hair volume’ (aka female pattern hair loss/ androgenic alopecia). This type of hair loss occurs when hair follicles on your scalp are genetically predisposed to be sensitive to normal levels of circulating androgens (male hormones). When you have this sensitivity, follicles gradually shrink and produce slightly finer and shorter strands with each passing hair growth cycle. It’s not that you have fewer hair than you used to, or that you are losing too much hair – it’s that replacement hairs are finer and take up less space. Unfortunately, treating reduced volume is not quick. As it happens so slowly, it can take many years to become aware of it – and as a consequence, treatment takes time. However, there are many effective treatments available:
Anti-androgenic scalp drops
When your follicles are sensitive to androgens, you should use topical drops that protect them. We make drops called Tricho 7 that are available in our retail range. We also have prescription drops at our London Clinic. They can be most effective when used together – Tricho 7 in the morning, and the prescription drops before bed. The goal is to shield your follicles from those pesky hormones 24/7.
Hormone Replacement Therapy
Leading up to, during, and after menopause, oestrogen levels drop and the percentage of androgens rises in relation to them. This can spell trouble for our hair, and even more so if we have a genetic predisposition. Certain Hormone Replacement Therapies can be very good for your hair, others can be detrimental. If HRT is something you are considering, talk to your doctor about options. If you are already receiving HRT and you are finding your hair is suffering, talk to your doctor about an alternative therapy.
Another common cause of hair loss is telogen effluvium (excessive daily hair shedding). This is not dependent on genes, but instead is a reactive type of hair loss. It usually occurs as a result of an internal upset. The most common of these are nutritional deficiencies, a thyroid imbalance, stress, pregnancy or illness. To treat telogen effluvium you need to find the cause and rectify it. This almost always involves blood tests and a close look at your lifestyle and diet. For instance, if you are iron or B12 deficient, you will need to adjust your eating habits and take relevant nutritional supplements. If you have an underlying medical condition, such as hyper or hypo thyroid, taking medications will help. And if you are stressed, you should find a stress-reducing activity that you are comfortable with – such as yoga, mindfulness, meditation Pilates or swimming. Often, more than one thing can be going on – and you will have to make changes accordingly. Re-formatting your lifestyle and diet is not always fun, and stress management certainly isn’t easy – but they will definitely benefit your hair.
You may think you are losing your hair, or it is thinning, when in fact it is simply breaking off. Or the two can be occurring together. The latter is not uncommon as fine hairs are naturally more fragile and harder to manage, which may mean you spend more time styling and applying heat to it. In all instances, treatment for breakage is the same. Firstly, take steps to prevent it. Something as simple as correct detangling can really help. Start at your ends and gently work your way up – starting at the top increases friction and the likelihood of snapping strands. Also, choose a brush that is gentle on your hair and scalp. The best have rounded, plastic prongs and a cushioned, vented base. I love our Vented Paddle Brush.
To help strengthen your hair, use a weekly pre-shampoo conditioning treatment, like our multi-award winning Elasticizer. Apply this to damp hair at least 20 minutes before you plan to shampoo. You can even sleep with it in or apply it before going to the gym. Moisturizing treatments are especially important if you colour or bleach your hair, or if your hair is past shoulder length.
A Holistic Approach
With any hair loss, whether you have a gradual reduction in volume, or you are losing too much hair, a holistic approach to treatment is essential. This involves targeting the hair follicle itself, bolstering the strength or strands with products, and giving your hair extra nutritional support. We formulated a 3-step holistic regime, called Trichotherapy, specifically for women with hair loss and/or reduced hair volume. It contains anti-androgenic drops, a thickening protein spray, as well as a multi vitamin and mineral supplement. You can also do a lot yourself to encourage healthy hair growth. As mentioned, diet, stress reduction and taking care of yourself are key.
Check out the Philip Kingsley website.