Hair loss, whether sudden or progressive, is a condition that can strike fear into the heart of men and women alike! It is that secret dread that even in this day of communication overload, it is still a very a private issue. And when spoken about humor often overtakes the conversation to mask uneasiness. So let’s do something different; let’s talk about it openly and seriously!
While people notice thinning hair most often in their middle years, it can happen at any age. Your hair is like a garden with a life cycle. When it receives too little nutrients or we abuse it, the cycle shortens or fails. Thinning hair can result from chemical processing, sun damage, pulling hair too tight (like braids), and aggressive towel drying or brushing. Stress, anesthesia, childbirth, genetics, maintenance medications, and underlying illness are also common causes. In short, hair loss can be genetically or hormonally progressive, while sudden hair loss is usually a result of immediate disturbance of sorts to the body.
Thinning hair is as common in women as it is men. Normal hair loss averages 75 strands per day from brushing or combing, and about 250 strands on days we shampoo, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Okay, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t wash your hair, because failing to take care of it will cause even more loss! But the day you wake up and realize more than 250 strands populated your hair brush, fear takes hold and you begin to wonder what to do next. Who do I talk to? Is there a product I can use to deter the process?
At Manolo Salons, we are often asked if hair analysis will identify an underlying, treatable issue. Some accept that this process can detect poisons, like lead or arsenic; however, the findings may also be affected by chemicals on your hair found in basic shampoo, skewing the results of such testing. While a number of vendors claim they can diagnose health problems accurately, investigate to be sure they are not passing off a gimmick as a means of determining treatment.
So, how do you decide what the problem is and what to do about it? We suggest you consult with your healthcare practitioner; discuss any related family genetic and medical history, as well as your dietary and sleep habits. Talk about the stress levels in your life, including recent serious events, such as divorce or the death of a loved one. Relate any recent surgeries or other medical issues like pregnancy and all medications you take on a regular basis – whether prescription, traditional over-the-counter, or homeopathic. Let the doctor rule out illness as a cause and when they do, feel free to consult a qualified, professional salon stylist.
Not all treatment requires a prescription from a doctor. There are breakthrough plant-based products available in salons that have had success with both types of hair loss and work to stimulate healthy hair growth. A good hair salon with knowledgeable salon stylists will offer these treatments, their supporting products; and will help educate and guide you through the treatment process.
Sudden hair loss due to a one-time event is usually treated only until new growth is reestablished. For those who experience hair loss due to heredity for example, often must continue prolonged treatment to achieve results and to maintain the growth. There are some great advances in hair loss treatment, but there are no guarantees. Whether sudden trauma or genetic predisposition to hair loss, understand the solution is not going to be visible overnight! In the majority of cases, be prepared to adhere to the guidelines of the prescribed medication or treatment for at least three month before you can expect to see results.
So you see, we can have open discussion about the problem, get answers to some basic questions and learn it can happen to anybody! Next time you find more than 250 strands of hair in your brush, don’t suffer in fearful silence reassure your remaining hair by making an appointment to do something about it!