I caught my reflection in the ruthless cruelty of the car mirror. My hairline was… receding… Meanwhile a long, white, hair sprung triumphant from my chin! What on earth was going on? I thought only men went bald? Was my hair just dropping from my head to my chin, like Newton’s Apple? Like all things in life- it’s complicated- and it’s not gravity… Let’s dive in and see if we can get some ACTIONABLE solutions that work.
So…Why Aren’t Women Getting Hair Transplants…?
It turns out male and female pattern hair loss are two vastly different problems. The solution for most male hair loss is a transplant with excellent results. However for women, transplants are less successful- with only 2%- 5% of women proving to be good candidates Surgical Hair Restoration for Women: Good Candidates for Surgery Unsurprisingly, very little research has been done in the area of female pattern hair loss to discover WHY women are not successful candidates for surgery. Maybe because we have such busy heads?
Let’s look at the main culprits for hair loss, what lifestyle improvements, hair products and supplements can we use to help us feel great about our hair, and ourselves, again.
STRESS…. Enemy #1
According to Professor Andrew Messenger President a clinical trichologist who spoke with Trinny Woodall about all things hair loss below.
One of the main culprits for hair loss is stress, or acute telogen effluvium Telogen Effluvium: A Review of the Literature - PMC - NCBI, as it’s known in fancy medical speak. Whether it’s emotional stress from bereavement, from poor diet, or as many have experienced from Covid, any viral infection places a significant stressor on our bodies. Thankfully, as our bodies clear the virus, our hair health returns to normal as well.
Eat Yer Spinach! Popeye was right… although he was bald
Just like the skin on the rest of our body, inflammation from illness affects the scalp and hair follicles which can shed as a result. To reduce stress, we require rest and good food rich in iron, vitamin D, and Zinc. Iron deficiency is directly connected to hair loss and supplementation is recommended. A simple blood test can give you and your healthcare provider better insight into this.
Rest If you’re having trouble sleeping, or scrimp on your sleep, your hair- along with every part of your body will show signs of stress. FabüWellness range of fabÜ R&R RELAX uses magnesium, Ashwagandha and B vitamins to help ease you to a more restful night’s sleep. Good sleep allows you to go into homeostasis Homeostasis | Definition, Function, Examples, & Facts - Britannica a state in which the brain dials down the non necessary functions such as digestion, so that your body can reset itself. Think of it as a Ctrl/Alt/Del while you sleep!
Diet and Lifestyle- And Midlife’s Funny Little Jokes…
- Protein Matters- Especially in peri and menopause, our bodies require careful fuelling. Long gone are the days where you could get by on a muffin and a coffee until dinner. Protein added to all meals keeps us fuller longer, builds our muscles and helps avoid sugar crashes and insulin fluctuations that make losing weight difficult. Protein is also crucial to healthy hair.
- Collagen In midlife, as our estrogen declines, we produce less collagen: What it is, Types, Function & Benefits - Cleveland Clinic. This means weaker hair resulting in thinning or breakage. At the same time, just when we thought it couldn’t get any funnier, the hairs on our chinny-chin-chin gather speed… And… here’s where the barrel of laughs keeps giving, our brain decides to make estrogen anywhere in the body and so makes cheap estrogen in belly fat.
And… here’s where the barrel of laughs keeps giving, our brain decides to make estrogen anywhere in the body and so makes cheap estrogen in belly fat
I know, gas craic right?
So that's why even though you really haven’t been eating much more, your brain cleverly stores everything around your tummy. The new fabÜ SKIN GLOW contains Reishi mushrooms which help build collagen and skin elasticity Mushrooms in Skincare: Types and Benefits | HealthNews along with vitamins A and C to provide antioxidant support. Remember the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz? He wasn’t taking these!
Old Wives Tales Actually Work (Mostly)
Remember when you were told to brush your hair 100 times before bed? When we use a good quality brush, and this is where bristles matter, when we use a good brush, not only does the brush stimulate the skin on our heads, but the boar bristles also close the hair follicle which means less breakage and less hair colour loss. Mason Pearson - A Brush With History... the 130 year old company knows a thing or two about getting to the roots of your haircare…. All kidding aside, caring for your hair with a proper brush that doesn't pull is important, plus stimulating the head with a massage from natural bristles can help increase blood flow to the scalp and further promote hair growth.
Magic Potions and Lotions- Are They Worth It?
There are tons of topical treatments. Frankly, if there was one that worked for everyone, we’d know about it. Vichy Dercos Hair Care - Dermatologist Recommended Products - Vichy does show some promise and might be worth investigating. I’ve heard from a friend whose family are from India that onion juice rubbed on the scalp is a local salve. Who knows?
Medication - When You Need a Drop of the Strong Stuff
Where Accutane is the answer to stubborn acne, Rogaine is the answer to hair loss. ROGAINE® Minoxidil Hair Regrowth Treatment for Thinning Hair ... This comes in a 1% Foam can be used once daily, spread topically on the scalp and has good results. There is also a pill form, FDA approved, Minoxidil (Oral Route) Side Effects - Mayo Clinic although side effects include possible increased facial hair. I know, I know…WHY?
BTW I use the fabliss Finishing Touch Flawless™ which easily clears the facial fuzzies without strong regrowth. Sigh. Remember when you used to go away on holidays with just a toothbrush…? Nah- me neither!
Another oral route to help with hair regrowth which has the added bonus of controlling adult acne (We at FabüWellness love a mulit-tasker!) is Spironolactone Oral: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions... - WebMD Women with PCOS may be familiar with this product.
Both Rogaine and Spironolactone require medical supervision- so consult your doctor to see what might best suit you.
Hair Loss Is Not Superficial
There’s nothing trivial about losing your hair. It can be distressing and do a number on your self confidence. We want to help you feel good and look good. Whether you choose to supplement, use Rogaine or other hair regrowth products, or heck, use wigs or hair extensions, there’s no shame in asking for help. Hair loss is a complex issue that requires care, just as YOU require care too. Whatever path you take, take the time to look after yourself. Let us help you along the way….