Question: I have long hair which used to be very healthy and thick but now I have hair thinning and it is not as full as it was before. I was so embarrassed I started wearing hair extensions but now people are so used to seeing me with them in and don’t know that I wear them, that I want to start treatment to grow my hair back but I don’t want to take the extensions out otherwise everyone will know. What can I do? Can I use treatment with my extensions in? I want to grow my natural hair but am too embarrassed to take the extensions out.
Answer: Hi, Cami. From what you say here, it is likely there are potentially two issues which need to be addressed in relation to your hair loss. The first being your hair thinning, the second being your use of extensions.
If your hair is thinning, you need to work out whereabouts it is shedding from; if it is the top of your scalp – anywhere between the crown and hairline/temporal regions – it is likely to be genetic, Female Pattern Hair Loss. This only affects this area and causes gradually thinning hair. If you have diffuse thinning from all over the scalp, this is likely to be a temporary hair loss condition, most probably Telogen Effluvium or Chronic Telogen Effluvium. These tend to be brought on by stress or issues which place strain on your body – for instance underlying illnesses, dietary imbalances or health problems – and can appear to come on quite suddenly, but actually take around three months from being triggered to produce hair fall.
We recommend having a professional consultation either in person or online so you can obtain a precise diagnosis of your condition as this is required before you can start any kind of hair loss treatment course.
When it comes to the hair extensions, these can cause hairloss in the shape of a receding hairline as well as at the points where they are fixed, not to mention additional hair breakage. Even though it may not seem like much, the extra weight they add to your natural hair, especially for longer wefts, can strain the hair follicles, damaging them and leading to hair loss from a condition known as Traction Alopecia. In severe cases, this fully-preventable condition can lead to permanent baldness in the affected areas.
We understand how people can become accustomed to the extra volume they provide but if you want to regrow your hair, we would certainly recommend taking the extensions out. If you really cannot face wearing your hair naturally even, perhaps, with a new haircut – a good hairdresser will be able to advise on a flattering cut to make the most of your natural hair which may boost your confidence too – then temporary options, used sparingly, are best. Try clip-in extensions that you can remove every day and only wear them when you really feel like you have to.
Alternatively, a lace-front wig may be less damaging on a temporary basis, and – again – can be worn only when you feel you need that appearance of extra volume, and removed every evening. We would highly recommend not wearing any of these, or weaning yourself off them gradually in order to rest the follicles and get the most from any treatment you may decide to try.
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.