Whether you’re a man or a woman, it is at the very least, frustrating when you start to notice that your hair is thinning. It might be that you’re experiencing a gradual loss of hair or patchy hair loss. Perhaps there’s more shedding of hair than usual and when you use a hairbrush, you see excess strands amongst the bristles. Maybe your hair stylist or barber has mentioned that your hair’s not as thick as it used to be. Or you’ve undergone a medical treatment that’s caused hair loss. If the above sounds familiar, you could be wondering if your hair will ever look the same again.
So Many Reasons Behind Hair Loss
There are lots of different reasons behind hair loss. From plain old genetics to illness, to a shocking event in life. There are other reasons too, a lack of vitamins, poor eating habits, using too many chemical processes (such as hair colouring or hair straightening) and over-use of hair tools. At Continental Hair, we understand how you might be feeling and want to help you through your hair loss journey. You may well be able to reverse hair loss, but it doesn’t always work, so it’s comforting to know that there are superb alternatives that can make a world of difference. With today’s modern technologies, our hair pieces and wigs are outstanding works of art that make it almost impossible to tell the difference.
Hair Loss – the Causes
Stress and Hair Loss
If you’ve been through a very stressful situation or life event, or perhaps you feel that you are constantly under stress then your hair loss could be the result. Simply put, stress impacts hair quality.
Hair grows in three different stages (anagen the growth stage, catagen the resting stage and telogen, the resting and shedding phase). When your body is under stress, these stages change. A stressful situation or ongoing anxiety can trigger hair growth to suddenly grind to a halt. You won’t notice this change immediately but after a few months, you’ll see that your hair sheds more than usual and it’s at this point that you’ll notice thinning. Next, the shedding phase of hair growth (scientific term telogen) lasts longer than normal, and hair falls faster. In extreme situations, you might even experience alopecia or telogen effluvium (temporary hair loss caused by shock or trauma) or in severe cases, total hair loss.
If you’re a slave to hair colouring, or you like to perm or perhaps straighten your hair, this could be a reason for your hair thinning or patchy hair loss. When hair is constantly under stress from heat and chemicals, its structure alters. It dries out, becoming brittle and prone to breaking and snapping. Additionally, constant chemicals on your scalp can cause inflammation, this shrinks the hair’s follicles and hinders new hair from growing healthily. If you do want to colour your hair, seek out an organic hair colour. Unfortunately, chemical hair straightening and perming (despite today’s products promising safety) will always cause trauma to the hair.
Alopecia Areata is a condition that affects hair growth, causing hair loss – it doesn’t just affect the hair on your head, it can cause complete body hair loss too. Sometimes, the condition causes complete hair loss, other times it results in temporary, patchy hair loss. It can develop at any time, with no warning. Some people may even experience a full recovery – very quickly but others can go through life with regular flare-ups, with cycles of good regrowth and sudden hair loss.
Heated Hair Styling Tools
Perhaps you don’t feel anxious or stressed and you don’t regularly use chemical products on your hair. However, you do use hair straighteners or tongs – every day, or even every other day. There’s no doubt that they impact the hair’s health. Tongs, hair straighteners and blow dryers all emit heat and when that heat is constantly applied to hair, it reacts by drawing out natural moisture and drying it out which leads to breakage. Even those big brands that promise less damage won’t make a difference, heat damages hair so the less heat you use, the better your hair quality. Not only does hair dry out, break and thin, it also loses its glossiness because it lacks natural moisture. It’s best to avoid them altogether or use them very sparingly, at low heat. If you insist on using heated hair styling tools, use a heat-protecting spray beforehand.
Chemicals in Shampoos
It’s possible that the haircare products you’re using could be doing your hair more harm than good. Certain chemicals found in shampoos can affect hair growth and certainly affect its quality. There are lots of unnecessary chemicals used in shampoos, such as Sulphates and Parabens. Sulphates (Sodium Lauryl Sulphate and Sodium Laureth Sulphate) are completely unnecessary in shampoos. They aren’t cleansers; they’re salts and act as foaming agents creating a lather. It’s not the lather that cleans hair, and the same sulphates are used in abrasive household cleaners. They’re very harsh, causing redness on the scalp, itchiness and the tiny salt particles block up the hair follicles interfering with healthy hair growth.
The other chemicals that you don’t want in your shampoo are Parabens. These are used as a preservative, so your shampoo has a longer shelf life; however, Parabens are a known irritant, causing dermatitis and eczema. When your scalp isn’t happy, your hair isn’t happy. Often, especially with hair loss, that inflammation aggravates the problem and may even cause fungal infection in the scalp too. A Sulphate and Paraben-free shampoo is always best.
Ever heard the phrase “Pulling your hair out”? It’s usually used in relation to stressful situations and it’s a real condition, called Trichotillomania. Some people combat stressful feelings with literally pulling hair out! Obviously, excessively pulling hair out interferes with the hair’s growth and causes patchy hair loss.
Hormones are another reason why your hair is thinning or you’re losing excessive amounts of hair. Lots of women experience hair changes post-pregnancy. During pregnancy, the shedding phase halts, which is why so many pregnant women have thick, glossy hair. Post-pregnancy, the shedding phase restarts itself and there’s often exaggerated shedding of hair that happens very quickly. For most women, their hair resorts back to how it was pre-pregnancy but sometimes, the shedding causes extreme hair loss. Menopause is another reason why hair loss in women occurs. The fluctuation in hormones, especially the drop in oestrogen can result in hair loss and patchy baldness.
Hereditary Hair Loss
Hereditary hair loss is mainly found in men (but some women can experience it too). It is simply down to genetics and there’s not a lot that can prevent it, although sometimes, it can be slowed down. Its clinical name is androgenic alopecia because it’s affected by androgen, a hormone that’s present in men and women. If your father or mother experienced hair loss, it is likely you will too. Your genetics will play a role in the age you experience hair loss, how quickly it happens and the quantity too.
Other Reasons for Hair Loss
There are other reasons why you might experience hair loss, such as medication, auto-immune disorders, an underactive or overactive thyroid gland or poor nutrition. You should ensure that you eat healthily, include lots of green vegetables and fruit in your diet as well as plenty of protein. Supplements can help to improve the quality of your hair but always seek advice from a doctor before taking a supplement, especially if you’re on medication.
Hair loss doesn’t have to impact your confidence, nowadays, wigs and hair pieces can make a tremendous difference. The technology behind today’s weaves is leading-edge and Continental Hair creates the most amazing quality wigs that really do turn heads, in the right way! We are so proud of the difference we make in our customers’ lives. We want you to be our next success story. Have a look at what we can do for you here.