Falling leaves in autumn are lovely – but hair falling out? Not so much. Wellness expert Bhavash Padhiar of Wimblederm shares his advice for treating hair loss and top tips for lusher locks…
Autumn is such a pretty season: leaves on trees turn russet, gold and amber and fall to the ground. While that’s very nice in October for the trees, the same can’t be said for thinning hair, which won’t sprout back again in the spring. And yes, though many like to be hair free from the eyebrows down, most of us still want the hair on our heads to be silky, lush and thick.
Whilst we cannot dodge genetics, we can make a few small changes to how we look after our hair to slow down, stop or even reverse thinning hair.
Most people have on average around 100,000 individual hairs on their head, and it is totally normal to shed about 50 hairs a day. Those 50 hairs are gradually replenished and replaced with new hair growth, so overall you’ll still have your 100,000 hairs.
However, if you start to notice more and more hair on your pillow in the mornings, or your hair starts to feel less ‘dense’ than it used to be, there is action you can take. Here are my top six recommendations for anyone experiencing hair loss or thinning…
1. Talk about it
Speak to a medical professional or trichologist who understands hair loss as soon as you notice your hair has started thinning. Hair loss is often out of the scope of most GPs, who may only recommend a Minoxidil solution such as Regaine from the pharmacy. It is important to understand the root cause (please excuse the pun) of the hair thinning and then work out a suitable plan of action.
2. Keep cool, keep calm and go chemical-free
Strong heat from a hair dryer, very frequent use of saunas and even very hot showers will weaken hair follicles to the point where they slow down, producing shorter and finer hair. Eventually, these weakened hair follicles with wither away and disappear altogether.
After washing, towel-dry wet hair as much as you can before drying using a cool setting on the hair dryer. Do not point the hair dryer directly at your scalp, either – after all you are drying your hair, not your scalp.
Remember to wear a hat in strong sunshine directly on the scalp – it’s easy to burn the delicate skin there, and if you’ve ever burnt the skin in your parting, you’ll know how painful it is.
Any chemicals from strong hair dyes or relaxers that find their way to the scalp will damage the hair follicles. Try using natural peroxide and ammonia-free colours or a system that avoids getting too close to the scalp. Shampooing your hair doesn’t need to be done more than two to three times a week, unless absolutely necessary – and using a mild, natural shampoo will help, too. Let’s keep as many chemicals away from your scalp as possible.
3. Ease the tension
Any prolonged pulling of the hair – such as tying the hair back tightly, extensions, braiding or corn rows – seriously weaken the hair roots and results in what’s called traction alopecia. The hair follicles become highly stressed and thereby begin to shrink, miniaturise and eventually die away. Try to wear your hair as naturally as possible and down or loosely tied to avoid traction alopecia.
4. Eat well
The vitamin essential for strong, glossy hair and for good skin is biotin. Biotin (also known as vitamin H) is a B-complex vitamin. It is usually stored in the liver, so one of the easiest ways to get biotin in your diet is by eating animal livers and meat. Egg yolk also has a high concentration of biotin, although this is reduced the more the egg is cooked. And salmon has a rich source of omega-3 oils and protein, which are also required for healthy hair.
Vegans and vegetarians need not despair, as nuts such as pecans, almonds and walnuts, avocado, sweet potato and cauliflower are all worthy donors of vitamin H – but supplements such as Holland & Barrett’s Biotin 1,000μg are also a very easy way to get all the biotin you need.
Renowned trichologist Philip Kingsley’s Biotin Boost Hair Energy Booster nutritional supplement is one of the best on the market. As well as zinc and and vitamin B12, each tablet provides 2,500μg of biotin – the same amount of vitamin H you’d get from eating more than 500 cupfuls of sweet potato!
Vitabiotics offers a Perfectil Plus Hair formula with a good blend of vitamins that is endorsed by the super-glossy-haired Nicole Scherzinger. Other notable hair-supplement brands that I recommend include Viviscal and Pil-Food.
5. Scalp treatments
There are many lotions, potions and snake oils on the market that do little more than appear on your bank statement. But one that’s worth the outlay is Philip Kingsley’s Tricho 7 Hair & Scalp Treatment, daily scalp drops that work in tandem with Biotin Boost supplements to slow down and prevent further hair loss. In some cases it has shown some regrowth.
Most shampoos, conditioners and hair masks do very little for actual hair growth, but they will give your hair a healthier appearance.
6. Fire up your follicles
To reverse hair loss and naturally thicken hair, Platelet Rich Plasma treatments are a very effective way to bring back dormant and miniaturised hair follicles. This medical process uses the regenerative properties of your own immune system to encourage weak and dormant hair follicles back to life. Hair becomes thicker, glossier and grows faster, too.
Remember, it is never too early to start looking after your hair and there is a suitable solution for thickening your hair…
STOCKISTS & SUPPLIERS
The Philip Kingsley Trichotherapy range of products is available in Wimbledon Village at LuLu Blonde; other hair supplements are available at the Wimbledon Pharmacy or Holland & Barrett. Wimblederm Platelet Rich Plasma Treatments and consultations are available with me in Wimbledon Village.
Written By: Bhavash Padhiar
A pharmacist with over two decades of clinical experience – ranging from working in hospitals and serious injury units to owning an NHS pharmacy – Wimblederm founder Bhavash Padhiar has expertise in medicine, clinical pharmacy and advanced medispa treatments.