We’re still talking hair loss because August is the month to raise awareness on the matter. So, what is hair loss? Basically, it’s when a new hair doesn’t replace the old hair that has fallen out. Iain Sallis, M.I.T. Racoon International Trichology Consultant says “The first big mistake people make is thinking Hair loss is one thing. Hair loss is a side effect of something else which is happening in the body; this could be correctible issues such as nutrition, shock issues, or chemical/mechanical damage. Other issues such a metabolic problems, age/genetic thinning or autoimmune conditions are all treatable but cannot be cured.”
Whilst hair loss can’t always be resolved, early prevention is key. Prevention tactics include: a healthy and balanced diet, maintain a healthy hair care regime, understanding when you feel stressed and find things to control these periods. “In most cases hair loss can be prevented from continuing more and even stopped. Because there’s so many different forms and reasons why hair loss happens it’s not necessarily about resolving, more about looking after and maintaining the healthy hair that is there, as well as stimulating the hair follicles to continue to grow,” says Krysia West, hair loss expert. For those who do suffer a diagnosis is important and from there you can work with your client on a carefully put together treatment plan.
Identifying hair loss in clients
“When you have a client that comes into you that potentially will have hair loss you will normally find that the majority of your clients would have already noticed some form of hair loss. If they have already, they will come to you after already seeing a doctor or trichologist. But if a client doesn’t realise and you’re doing a full consultation they might approach the subject that they have seen excessive shedding, itchy scalp, or even an irregular hairline etc. This would be my first trigger to identify that a form of hair loss might be occurring. You may also start to see patches or areas of thinner hair. These would again be a trigger that hair loss has started. So, it’s important as a hairdresser to spot these crucial signs and to point your clients in the right direction of who they need to see,” says Krysia.
Iain also shared advice on how to approach the matter: “It’s a subject to approach with great difficulty and tact! Clients’ may be aware of it and don’t wish to talk about it; unaware of it and you pointing it out to them is upsetting; or you may see something that isn’t really there and create an upset client for no reason! Ask general questions, how is your hair/scalp feeling? Have you noticed any changes? If so, are they concerned? If they are, then possibly suggesting a trip to the GP or qualified Trichologist to assist? DO NOT use words like alopecia or try to diagnose the problem.”
Advice from the pro’s
Iain: From a personal point of view, be as healthy as possible, and eliminate all the potential issues that can impact general health. From a professional point of view, Get a diagnosis from an expert, and don’t wait; it is unlikely to get better because you’ve picked something up from the shelf that promises to grow your hair.
Krysia: The best advice to help prevent hair loss would firstly go and get a diagnoses from a trichologist. Early prevention is key. Next would be to make sure you maintain a healthy scalp with a hair and scalp routine with the correct shampoo and conditioners as well as topicals to help stimulate the hair growth stage and to suppress certain hormones like DHT that are known to cause hair loss – such as Roots Professional. Then to look at your diet and make sure you have the right vitamins and minerals.
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