A woman’s relationship with her hair is a potent one: intrinsic, primitive, base. Whether we like it or not, a woman’s hair is intimately connected with our ideas of femininity. And so when hair loss occurs due to illness, the loss is mourned, sometimes even eclipsing the potential seriousness of the illness itself. But it’s wrong to dismiss anxiety over hair loss as simple vanity – these feelings are less to do with the straightforward issue of how you look and more deeply connected to your sense of identity being diminished. It’s perfectly normal to feel worried, embarrassed or even depressed; although here at Prestige, we make it our mission to get you past the pain of hair loss.
So what is ‘normal’ hair loss?
On average, a woman might lose somewhere between 50 and 100 hairs a day – perhaps up to 250 on a day when the hair is washed. The tell-tale signs of abnormal hair loss is hair coming away in significant clumps – either in your hands without much tension being applied or appearing on your pillow in the morning. At this point, it’s time to make an appointment with a doctor to get some clarification; sudden, significant hair loss is almost always due to illness or an underlying medical condition, and it pays to get it checked out as soon as possible.
And why does hair loss happen?
Perhaps one of the simplist reasons why you may experience extra hair loss is down to nutrients and a poor diet! Just like your skin and nails, your hair requires a particular combination of nutrients and minerals to stay strong and luscious.
Your hair grows in a cycle. Ninety percent of your hair is growing at any given time, and the other 10 percent is resting. After the resting period, the hair usually falls out and is replaced by new strands. In pregnancy, women typically enjoy thicker hair when they are pregnant because this growth cycle pauses at the resting period, resulting in more retained hair. Sometimes, however, women lose hair during pregnancy. Any time the body experiences a dramatic hormonal change, your normal hair growth cycle can halt or become disorganized, resulting in the excessive shedding of hair. This condition usually corrects itself within two to three months without intervention.
Research suggests that hair loss during menopause is the result of a hormonal imbalance. Hair loss tends to be subtler in women than it is in men and most women experience overall hair thinning rather than noticeable bald spots. The thinning can occur on the front, sides, or top of the head. Hair may also fall out in large clumps during brushing and showering. For women going through menopause, the cause of hair loss is almost always related to hormonal changes
Estrogen production also drops dramatically when a hysterectomy also involves removal of the ovaries. Thanks to estrogen our hair grows faster and remains on our head longer. When estrogen levels start to drop, hair follicles become more sensitive to male hormones (androgens) and women see a diffuse thinning of hair on the scalp.
Stress can cause many conditions that lead to hair loss and can be triggered by episodes of severe anxiety, a bereavement and other stressful situations such as work or a change in life circumstances.
Often referred to as male or female pattern baldness, the hereditary condition alopecia areata is associated with a strong genetic predisposition towards hair loss, age, as well as theories about high levels of androgens (male sex hormones) or low levels of oestrogen playing a part (most female pattern baldness occurs after the menopause). Although female pattern baldness is not usually as extreme as its male counterpart, it can cause significant thinning and hair loss and be hugely damaging to an individual’s self-esteem.
Hair loss can also be caused by a thyroid condition. Hypo and hyperthyroidism can result in significant thinning and hair loss, but regrowth is usually stimulated when the condition is brought under control with medication.
Incorrect application of chemicals as well as over processing of the hair with chemicals such as relaxers, permanent colouring, straightening. Bleaching can lead to hair breakage if not done following the manufacturers instructions and applied by a professional. This also can go on to lead to hair loss if left untreated.
And finally, most of us are aware that cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy often experience hair loss. Although this type of hair loss is usually temporary, it presents its own significant challenges: it can add to the emotional trauma of serious illness; increase a patient’s insecurity when they’re already feeling particularly vulnerable; regrowth can be patchy and take time, and hair can look different – often darker or more grey – after treatment.
Once the medical reasons behind hair loss have been fully investigated, it may be time to consult a salon which specialises in dealing with women experiencing hair loss.
Prestige salon owner Veronica says “We pride ourselves on our ability to listen and be sensitive to our clients needs.” Our experienced stylists will offer you expert advice tailored to your circumstances and preferences (discrete consultations and fitting can be arranged if required); At Prestige we offer a custom made wig service, you can arrange a fitting within a week in some cases, and can alter, cut and style your new hair and offer you guidance on how to maintain your stylish new look. We adapt our weave techniques to cater for the needs of each client needs, and love seeing them step out of the salon looking fabulous and feeling empowered and confident – it’s the most satisfying area of our work!
Ready to take the first step? Give us a call on 0208 7419616 or send an email through our enquiry form to book a consultation or sign up to our mailing list for an invitation to our exclusive event to be held on Saturday 10th March 2018 where private consultations with one of our experts will be available.