Trinny & Shabir Live: Hair Loss In Women
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Losing your hair can be difficult for anyone most especially women as this can have an impact on emotional wellness for obvious reasons.
According to the NHS, almost 8 million women in the UK experience hair loss which is a high number when you imagine that the population of women in the UK is roughly 34 million so this means that almost one in four/five women experience some form of hair loss.
Hair growth cycle
Unlike other mammals, human hair growth and shedding is random and not cyclical or seasonal. There are three phases of hair growth cycle which are:
- Anagen is the active phase of hair growth – new hair is formed which pushes out the old hair. Hair grows about 1 cm every 28 days and this phase can last from 2 to 6 years.
- Catagen is a transitional phase where growth stops for about 3 weeks; this is the phase of the formation of club hair which is the hair that we would eventually shed normally.
- Telogen is the resting phase and about 8% of all hairs are in this phase at any given time and it usually lasts for 100 days for scalp hair but much longer for eye lashes, brows and legs. This is the phase where we normally shed between 50 & 100 hairs daily.
At any given time, a random number of hairs will be in one of these phases.
How many hairs should we lose daily?
There are about 100,000 hair follicles on the scalp although this does vary according to your hair colour. Most women lose between 50 and 100 strands of hair daily although this can increase on days when you wash your hair to about 200. This is not usually noticeable as new hair is replacing this on a daily basis. Hair loss occurs when new hair is not replacing the hair that has fallen out.
Causes of hair loss
Hereditary - this is the most common type of hair loss worldwide. In men it is termed male pattern hair loss and in women it is termed female pattern hair loss. The medical term for this type of hair loss is androgenic alopecia.
This basically means that one has inherited the genes that cause your hair follicles to shrink and eventually stop growing hair. Often hereditary hair loss is caused by genetics accompanied with hormonal changes which may be cyclical as in the monthly cycle or it may be with age as women go through the menopause.
As women age, their levels of female sex hormones start to diminish especially oestrogen levels before and during menopause. It is estimated that this Female Pattern Hair Loss affects 40% of women by the time they reach their 50’s. This is nothing to do with ageing, but everything to do with hormonal imbalances. Additionally, women suffering from PCOS, which is a disorder of the female sex hormones and the androgens, may also experience hair loss.
What happens in hair loss whether due to ageing or hereditary?
The most widely accepted theory for hair loss, whether due to genetics or ageing, is the increase in androgens. What happens is that those who are prone to genetics simply have an enzyme that converts androgens into a compound called DHT which inflames the scalp and causes the hair follicles to shrink, starving them of oxygen and vital nutrients for hair growth.
How can we treat these types of hair loss naturally?
For these two types of hair loss, we can treat this naturally by preventing the production of DHT in the scalp. The supplement Superior Hair contains two specific herbal extracts, saw palmetto berry and DIM. Both these herbs have an anti-androgenic properties and are thought to inhibit the conversion of androgens into DHT. Because DHT is inflammatory in nature, it causes underlying inflammation in the scalp which causes hair to shed but is also disturbs the signals for keratin production too so with these types of hair loss, you end up with the shrinking of hair follicles coupled with disturbed signals for hair production.
Superior Hair also contains a small amount of biotin. Biotin belongs to the B vitamin family of vitamins, however it is often referred to as Vitamin H because of its benefits to hair. Its benefits are such because it is required for the production of proteins and this is relevant because hair is made from keratin, which is a type of protein that makes up hair, skin and nails. Additionally it is resilient to tearing and damage unlike many other proteins in the body.
Biotin helps strengthen the hair shaft and restore hair texture to damaged hair aside from enhancing hair growth.
So if your hair loss is too excessive, then you can add an extra high strength Biotin supplement in addition to Superior Hair to combat hair loss and being water-soluble, any excess will be eliminated from the body.
Topically we can use one of my favourite sprays called Fulvic Acid Mist. This leave-in hair and scalp mist works to provide:
- Fulvic acid - a complex molecule that holds 65+ minerals and trace elements in an ionic form to nourish the scalp to encourage hair growth.
- Butchers’ Broom – works to encourage circulation in the scalp so blood can deliver nutrients and oxygen to the scalp follicles
- Honeysuckle flower extract to calm down underlying inflammation that disturbs signals for hair production.
Fulvic Acid Mist can also be dabbed onto the eyebrows and gently onto the eyelashes making sure you do not get this into the eyes.
Anaemia or iron deficiency hair loss
Apart from hereditary and hormonal insufficiency due to age, the next biggest causal factor for hair loss is iron deficiency. One in ten women suffer anaemia due to iron deficiency with side effects of fatigue, cold hands and feet, dizziness and hair loss. So a lack of iron affects the growth cycle (anaphase) and prematurely shifts this into the shedding phase, also known as the telogen phase.
Hair loss due to iron and other nutrient deficiencies affects approximately 4.8 million women in the UK and so a cost-effective supplement to address this type of hair loss is Florisene for Women.
Florisene for Women contains:
- Highly absorbable form of iron
- Lysine which is an amino acid that helps to convert iron into ferritin which is the stored form of iron that the body uses
- Vitamin C to enhance iron absorption from the intestines into the bloodstream
There is another supplement that could be used instead of Florisene for Women called Ionicell for Women. This supplement contains Fulvic Acid which provides iron in an ionic form together with other major minerals and trace elements and studies indicate that women using this form of ionic minerals experience a cessation in hair loss. Aside from these benefits to the scalp and hair, Ionicell for Women has been shown to enhance protein and collagen synthesis. Protein synthesis is important because keratin, from which hair is made, is a protein.
Hypothyroidism, Vigorous styling & Medications
Hypothyroidism – the thyroid gland produces hormones that fuel metabolism, cell regeneration, growth and development. If it is under stress due to low female hormones or simply ageing of the gland itself, then this causes hair loss. Symptoms of hypothyroidism include fatigue, cold hands and feet, inability to concentrate
Get a thyroid function test if you suspect this to be the case and often treating the thyroid disease will reverse the hair loss albeit slowly.
Vigorous styles – hair styles that pull your hair tight can cause damage to the hair and can cause a type of hair loss called traction alopecia. Also overuse of hot styling tools and chemicals in hair dyes may also result in hair loss due to damage to both the hair and the hair follicle.
Medications – certain medications for blood pressure and mood modifying drugs can cause side effects of hair loss.
For all the three causes mentioned above, we can safely use Bamboo Extract capsules. This supplement contains 70% organic silica which helps to strengthen the hair because silica is thought to bind with nutrients and taken them to the peripherals of the body namely hair, skin and nails. Bamboo Extract also contains biotin which helps repair damaged hair.