Going bald? Here's how you can slow it down

Going bald? Here's how you can slow it down

By CANDIECE KNIGHT

Monday, December 09, 2019

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HAIR loss occurs naturally in both men and women and if you are not prepared for this change it can be so distressing that it causes you to, well, lose some more hair! While it typically starts earlier in men with a more noticeable pattern, women won't have the last laugh as we rarely ever make it to the other side of menopause with our glorious mane.

While male and female pattern hair loss is completely normal, and is usually predetermined by your genetics, there are also some things that you can do to slow down this process or even regrow your hair after it has started thinning.

Odessia Benjamin, aesthetician and founder of Hollywood Glow Beauty Studio at 8 Hillview Avenue, explained to All Woman that the term used to describe male and female pattern hair loss is androgenetic alopecia.

“Androgenetic alopecia is characterised by a loss of hair from the scalp that follows a defined pattern,” she said. “It occurs in women as well as in men. It is caused by a shortening of the anagen (growth) phase and miniaturisation of the hair follicle which results in the formation of progressively thinner, shorter hair.”

She added: “As the name suggests, it involves action of the hormone androgen whose increased activity results in hair loss.”

Benjamin noted that many men and women may notice mild thinning of their hair starting in their 30s or 40s.

“Most hair loss is not associated with systemic or internal disease nor is poor diet a frequent factor,” she reassured. “Hair may simply thin as a result of predetermined genetic factors and the overall ageing process.”

While highlighting that medical diagnosis and treatment have proven to be the most effective way to combat hair loss, Benjamin gave these recommendations to help slow the process down.

Improve your diet

This is something you can do to slow down hair loss even before it begins. Getting the right nutrients will encourage hair growth. “Though the effect is minimal, improving one's diet can be beneficial in slowing down hair loss. Insufficient intake of vitamins, protein and other needed nutrients can inhibit the growth of healthy and strong hair shafts,” Benjamin said.

Reduce stress in your life

“Undergoing stress can alter the normal hair growth cycle causing the telogenic (resting) phase of the hair growth cycle to be prolonged. During this phase hair root shrivels and hair falls out,” the aesthetician pointed out. Mothers might also experience this type of hair loss shortly after giving birth because of the hormonal changes in the body (and dads too, because babies can be pretty stressful). Thankfully, if you lose your hair this way it usually grows back once the hair growth cycle returns to normal.

Wear protective styles

“Hairstyles can place pressure on hair strands and further damage hair follicles, resulting in hair loss,” Benjamin said. “Hairstyles such as tight braids and ponytails are not recommended.” Benjamin recommended that individuals maintain well-hydrated follicles and wear protective hairstyles which place less tension on hair follicles.

Avoid harmful hair products

“Certain products which we use to care for our hair are actually doing more harm than good,” Benjamin warned. “One should avoid using hair care products which contains the following ingredients: propylene glycol, diethanolamine, sodium lauryl sulphate and parabens.” She recommended that you try as best as possible to use only natural hair care products which do not contain these harmful ingredients.

Medical treatment

“Ultimately, medications and platelet rich plasma treatments have been proven to be most effective in treating hair loss,” the aesthetician said. “Medications such as iron tablets, anti-androgens and Rogaine are often prescribed. One may see significant improvement after two months.”

She was quick to point out, however, that hair loss will continue once treatment is discontinued.


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