Experts have claimed that the copper lurking in our water supply can leave hair dull and lifeless. Whilst it’s true that there are low levels of the metal in our tap water, most of the copper deposits come from pipes and water heaters. The residue builds up gradually, and this can accelerate damage to the hair.
The results of this build up can cause split ends and flyaway strands, and these damaging effects seem to be far worse in people with dyed hair. Dr Jennifer Marsh of Proctor and Gamble led the research team, which looked at 450 women from around the world whose tap water had different levels of copper.
“Hair acts like a sponge”
Marsh commented that: “Copper is not present in very large amounts but it is important…hair acts like a sponge picking it up over time. Colouring hair can create free radicals that damage protein in the hair and the copper can catalyse that reaction.”
The scientist also explained how copper damage is similar to the damage from UV exposure: “Hair is less able to stand up to physical processes like brushing, blow drying and washing. It will break down faster, leading to split ends, a lack of shine as well as making it harder to manage.”
The study concluded that copper could harm the hair cuticle, and the impact only gets worse over time. However, researchers have also established that treating hair with chelants – chemicals commonly used in washing powder – can neutralise the copper.
If your hair is looking thin and lifeless, it may be that you’re actually experiencing hair loss. Whilst aggressive styling, dying and other lifestyle factors can certainly damage hair, hair loss in women such as female pattern hair loss can also cause your locks to appear thinner.
Damaged or thinning?
If the hair atop your head appears thinner (it may be that more scalp is showing through, for instance) the type of women’s hair loss that you’re experiencing could be down to a genetic predisposition. Pattern hair loss occurs when hair follicles atop the scalp begin to miniaturise, producing weaker, thinner hair. This type of excess shedding requires treatment to halt its progression and regrow hair.
Minoxidil is a hair loss treatment suitable for women that has been licensed by the MHRA and approved by the FDA, the UK and US medical regulatory bodies respectively. A dose dependent treatment, there are a variety of high strength minoxidil formulations available. These individually recommended formulations have been used to treat many thousands of Belgravia patients experiencing pattern hair loss, as well as other conditions such as traction alopecia.
A comprehensive hair loss treatment plan would contain minoxidil alongside a number of hair growth boosters, which include the FDA cleared LaserComb and nutritional supplement Hair Vitalics. Whilst alone these boosters will not regrow hair, they help to keep it in its optimum condition, helping to fight against the damage from environmental factors.
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.