Question: I have always had thin hair but recently it has started getting worse. I am thinking of getting hair loss treatment to see if it will stop the thinning but in the meantime, will hair extensions help add more volume to my hair?
Answer: Hi Kim, thanks for your question. Hair extensions are quite controversial as, whilst they do add volume to the hair making them a popular choice for people looking to boost their natural hair, they are also known to cause or exacerbate existing hair loss.
Because of the way they are affixed tightly to the scalp and their weight, which puts the hair follicles under constant pressure, hair extensions can lead to hair loss. Hair extensions can lead to temporary, patchy hair loss and thinning due to breakage around the areas where they are placed. In severe cases this can look like Alopecia Areata due to the bald spots it can create.
Over-use of hair extensions can also trigger Traction Alopecia which is caused by excessive tension placed on the hair follicles causing the hair to break, become increasingly thinner and, if the cause of the condition remains unchecked, localised hair production may stop completely.
Signs of Traction Alopecia are predominantly focused around the hairline where the tension is the most severe. Depending on the severity and length of the condition, treatment for Traction Alopecia may be possible as it can respond well to minoxidil. However it is obviously best to try to avoid this condition occurring in the first place by steering clear of the types of hairstyles which can cause hair loss.
There also seems to be an element of psychological attachment to hair extensions. Once women start using them, they often fall in love with the new look and subsequently find it difficult to revert to their old style. This leads to continuous use of extensions that, inevitably leads to damage, regardless of how kindly they attach the units. I have met women who just cannot bear to see their own hair once the extensions come off.
The best thing to do in order to add volume to your hair in the meantime is to speak to your hairdresser about how best to disguise thinning hair.
Openly explain to them what you want to achieve and they can discuss cuts, styles and products that can help you to get the look you want and which will work with your face shape, lifestyle and your hair as it is right now.
They can also show you how to blow dry and style your hair to make it appear fuller. Whilst this does not treat the underlying issue of thinning hair, it can disguise your hair loss whilst your treatment gets to work.
There are a number of hair loss conditions which can cause thinning hair in women, although this is often a sign of female pattern hair loss. Unlike male pattern baldness which generally causes a receding hairline and bald patches, female hair loss usually displays as thinning hair.
Other conditions include Telogen Effluvium – a temporary hairloss condition which can be brought on by stress or sudden shock – or the more prolonged Diffuse Hair Loss which is Chronic Telogen Effluvium and lasts for at least six months. Erika, pictured left, is just one example of a Belgravia client who has seen promising results following treatment for thinning hair (in her case, caused by Female Pattern Hair Loss and Chronic Telogen Effluvium), and you can find many more in our extensive Hair Loss Success Stories gallery.
The best thing to do if you are considering hair loss treatment would be to visit an expert for a professional consultation. That way a hair loss specialist can diagnose your condition and talk you through the best treatment options for your stage of shedding.
The Belgravia Centre
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.
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