Question: I am losing my hair after curling it for nine months. Is this type of hair loss permanent or temporary? And what is the best treatment for this?
The type of hair loss you are experiencing is likely to differ depending on which of these two styling methods you used.
Perming solutions involve harsh chemicals being applied to the hair from close to the roots, all the way to the tips. There are a number of pitfalls to be wary of when getting a perm or doing it yourself at home, with regards hair loss and damaged hair. These include ensuring the solution is properly diluted so that it is the correct strength, and making sure it is left on for the appropriate amount of time. Too strong or too long leaves the door open for chemical trauma, where the hair is effectively burnt off at the roots. This can cause permanent hair loss if the follicles have been badly damaged, however, in the majority of mild to moderate instances, it should be temporary.
Hair breakage, whilst not a hair loss condition as such given it involves weakened hair snapping along the shaft, rather than affecting the follicles, is common following regular heat-styling and/or chemical hair treatments.
The regular application of heat – especially if the hair has not been fully dried beforehand – or the too-frequent use of perming solution (or other chemicals, including bleach) can dry out and damage the hair, leaving it so weak that it snaps in two. This can leave behind frazzled strands that look like thinning hair.
If the damaged hair has not affected the follicles, your hairdresser should be able to help by giving you a haircut that gets rid of any damaged ends and blends in shorter, broken strands. If the damage is mild to moderate then dusting, a technique which removes the tiniest amount of hair possible, or layering, plus some TLC in terms of haircare – a course of intensive conditioning and strengthening treatments such as Olaplex, may be beneficial. Again, your hairdresser should be able to recommend appropriate solutions for damaged hair based on your hair type and its condition.
Where the damage is extensive and/or there is hair loss – whether in patches, diffuse thinning from all over the scalp or a general drop in your hair’s overall volume – a consultation with an expert from a specialist hair loss clinic would most likely prove useful.
They will be able to assess your scalp – either in person, one-to-one, or via an online consultation with uploaded photos – and explain their recommendations for suitable hair loss treatments and any supplementary hair growth supporting products, where appropriate, based on their findings and your medical profile.
In the meantime, the first thing you should do is stop curling your hair, avoid heat and chemical styling, avoid tying your hair back too tightly, and add good quality shampoo and conditioner products tailored to damaged hair into your haircare routine.
The Belgravia Centre is an organisation specialising in hair growth and hair loss prevention with two clinics and in-house pharmacies in Central London, UK. 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 world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which includes the world’s largest gallery of hair growth comparison photos and demonstrates the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time to arrange a free consultation.