Question: I play a lot of sport so I like to wash and straighten my hair every day, but lately I’ve noticed a lot is coming out when I brush it, and it is starting to look noticeably thinner than before. Am I washing it too often?
Answer: Hi, Naomi. Washing will not in itself damage your hair, as modern hair care products are designed for frequent use and tend to be quite mild. You should be careful not to scrub or twist it too much though, as friction can cause brittleness and tangling. When brushing, start at the tips and gradually work up to the roots, to reduce the amount of stress on the hair.
Many people believe brushing or washing their hair causes hair loss, however the hairs that come out are simply those that every one of us – hair loss condition or not – shed every day. This minimal shedding is completely normal and part of the regular hair growth cycle although it can look like a lot when your attention is drawn to it – such as when you see it in your brush – as normally it will fall while we go about our daily routine so the hair fall is less noticeable.
Over-styling, particularly when using very hot tools such as straightening irons or curling tongs, can exacerbate traction alopecia, a form of hair loss caused when constant tension and pulling damages the hair follicle. Hair production in the affected area may slow down and eventually stop altogether. Regularly wearing tight braids and/or hair extensions are the most common causes of traction alopecia.
You may also be showing the signs of androgenic alopecia (genetic or female pattern hair loss) or diffuse thinning, which manifests as an increased rate of hair loss and consequent thinning all over the scalp. Causes of this range from nutritional deficiencies to thyroid and haemoglobin problems, so it is important to see a specialist who can diagnose and address the underlying cause as well as planning a treatment programme to tackle the hair loss.
Stress can be a contributing factor in women’s hair loss conditions, and hormonal changes such as pregnancy and menopause can also lead to thinning hair. Fifty per cent of women will experience some degree of hair thinning by the age of 50, whether from androgenic alopecia or other causes.
Treatment to prevent further hair loss and promote regrowth can be very successful for women, especially when it is started before the problem gets too severe. At the Belgravia Centre we base our comprehensive courses of hair loss treatment for women around Minoxidil, the only medication that is clinically-proven to be effective in treating female pattern hair loss. You can see some of our clients’ images from before and after they started treatment in our Success Stories gallery, which demonstrate the impressive results we have achieved for so many female patients.
If you would like to discuss your particular hair loss condition with a specialist who can diagnose the cause and prescribe a suitable treatment plan, just get in touch and we can arrange this for you.
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.