Talk. Take comfort and support from those close to you. Talking to your spouse, partner, siblings, or parents about your concerns can help reduce negative, detrimental feelings such as fear, stress or embarrassment. If speaking with a family member or close friend is not an option, find a local hair loss support group or your local hairdresser. Someone you trust can give you honest advice about whether they have noticed your hair thinning or falling out and share your concerns with them. An honest opinion will put your hair loss into perspective.
Expert Advice. Consult your GP or local health practitioner who can help further explain your condition and what you can do. Most types of hair loss can be diagnosed by a GP who will be able to advise you on the medical causes and identify other reasons why you might be experiencing hair loss. You can also ask any specific questions to our resident experts here.
Give your hair a chance. If you want to find out ways to boost hair health and help prevent hair loss, take a look at the Lifestyle section.
Whilst people often associate hair loss with more extreme causes, it is important to remember that the condition of your hair can be a barometer of general health.
For example, scientists in Taiwan* discovered men who smoked 20 or more cigarettes per day had a greater chance of developing baldness. Cigarette smoking has been shown to cause poor circulation, which can affect the amount of blood flow available to the hair follicles of the scalp.
If you do not exercise properly, look after your overall well being and most importantly, maintain a balanced, healthy diet, your hair is just one area which can suffer.
Hair thrives on a plentiful supply of protein, vitamins and minerals. In fact, a lack of protein is often at the root of hair loss and because hair is considered non-essential by the body, if you’re lacking in nutrients it will often be your hair that suffers first. Eating badly affects new growth which slows or can halt altogether, leading to excess shedding, hair breakage and weak connection of the hair strand at the root.
The healthy hair diet
Ensuring you eat a balanced diet including plenty of essential high-protein foods (such as fish, meat, eggs, nuts and milk), and fruit and vegetables will boost your protein, vitamin and mineral intake and keep your hair looking its best. View a guide to healthy hair foods below.
HEALTHY HAIR FOODS
Protein: The building block of hair and essential for hair growth (Fish, whole grains, nuts and seeds, eggs and milk)
Vitamin A: Great for skin and boosting a healthy scalp Broccoli, carrots and milk
Vitamin C: Useful for boosting circulation and ensuring a plentiful supply of oxygen to the scalp and hair (Citrus fruit, strawberries and potatoes)
Zinc: Useful for boosting the body’s absorption of protein and preventing hair loss (Seafood and meat)
Water: An essential component of every hair strand, making up a quarter of its composition (Drink plenty throughout the day to top up your body’s reserves)
In addition, you can take a nutritional supplement rich in protein and encourage your body to work from the inside out by providing it with all the nutrients it needs for healthy hair growth.
Styling with confidence:
What styles are best for thinning hair?
Long hair puts pressure on the root, which is why it’s a good idea to keep your hair short if it’s showing signs of thinning. The good news is that there are plenty of fashionable styles to choose from.
How often should I wash my hair?
Hair loss accumulates between washes giving you an inaccurately high shed when you shampoo. Wash your hair as frequently as you can because you’ll keep an accurate track of your hair loss and you’ll keep your hair looking its best.
What sort of brush should I use?
Go for a soft bristle or massaging brush that will help to stimulate the scalp and boost circulation to the hair follicle. Fine hair tends to tangle, so brush gently and avoid tugging at the hair.
How can I best style my hair?
Use high-volume styling products that maximize your hair. Gentle hair coloring can help add contrast, with subtle highlights providing 20% more visual volume.
How should I address my hair loss with my stylist?
Be honest and make sure you have a proper consultation before any hair cutting or styling.
Whilst there are various treatments on the market which are designed to help hair loss sufferers, most are specifically dependent on the individual condition, and come with a range of considerations such as potential side-effects. It is always advisable to consult a GP when considering the best option for you.
Natural nutritional supplements
Nutritional supplements can provide the necessary nutrients to nourish the hair follicles naturally from within, helping to reduce hair loss and support existing hair growth.
Hair transplant (also known as hair grafting), is a surgical technique that involves moving skin containing hair follicles from one part of the body (the donor site) to bald or balding parts (the recipient site).
Artificial hair replacement is an option for men who do not have enough transplant donor hairs for a hair graft. It is a non surgical hair replacement, where hair pieces are affixed on the bald patches on the head using various methods.
There are a range of topical lotions containing chemical drugs which are applied by directly rubbing onto the scalp, as well as oral medication tablets for specific types of hair loss that need to be taken under a doctor’s direction.
There is a wide-range of human and artificial wigs that are designed to disguise hair loss or bald patches.
Hair weaving and hair extensions can be employed to conceal hair loss or thinning hair in men and women.
Scalp reduction is the removal of non-hair-bearing skin from the scalp so that the remaining hair-bearing skin can be stretched to fill in the bald area of the head.