Hair loss & Hair thinning
Hair is a barometer of our health
Our hair is one of the main features and important characteristics on our bodies. Having ‘a bad hair day’ almost definitely reflects our mood, so you can imagine the devastation of losing one’s hair. Some people are so self-conscious or embarrassed that they can become a social recluse and not even confide in their partners about their problem.
As stated above, our hair is of huge psychological importance to us and is often a barometer of our health; any form of hair loss or scalp disorder may leave us feeling extremely self-conscious and embarrassed. Trichologists help to diagnose, offer advice or treat hair and scalp problems, including some forms of alopecia or scaly, dry or greasy scalps. When necessary it may be appropriate to liaise with a client’s GP for medication, refer them to a dermatologist or request a blood test where an underlying medical problem is suspected.
There can be up to 50 different reasons, or sometimes multi aetiological reasons for a hair loss or thinning problem. At the NHSC an in-depth consultation is undertaken so all possible reasons for your problem can be identified, therefore successfully diagnosing will give you an accurate prognosis.
Patients often visiting the clinic with a hair loss problem could commonly be experiencing male- or female-pattern baldness, thinning hair, alopecia bald patches, breakage, losing lots of hair when they wash it and sometimes an itchy, sensitive scalp combined with hair loss too.
It can be very distressing to see excess hair lost when washing, brushing or finding around the house and can heighten our anxieties of losing the majority of our hair. It is then of course a natural worry to dread the fear of it not coming back or how to conceal it on a daily basis when it carries to constantly fall out. The NHSC realises how soul destroying this is, therefore we have a 100% success rate from our extensive training to get to the bottom of the reason for your loss and how you can improve your situation. Quite often patients come to the clinic saying their blood tests from the GP were all "normal" and that "everything was tested", therefore being dismissed by the GP and leaving you with little faith of finding out the problem. We ask patients to bring in a copy of their results from their surgery as some tests are deemed satisfactory for health level but as trichologists we know they are not adequate for optimum hair growth. Also through clinical evidence gathered from medically qualified members and dermatologists of the IOT, they have guided us on specific tests to conduct for hair that the GP would not necessarily test for.
Treatments can therefore vary between patients dependant on the causative factors. Sometimes it can be 2 or 3 factors combined and is possible to have multiple types of different hair losses at the same time, exacerbating and complicating matters. This is the importance of seeking the correct diagnosis from a qualified trichologist else your condition will not improve if there are still underlying issues to address.
All treatments are ethical, will be fully explained along with the type of loss you are experiencing. Hand outs are given on your condition and personalised hair nutritional advice is given. The hair is the second quickest dividing cell on the body, therefore one of the first things to suffer hence mentioning again hair is a "barometer of your health".
Affordable treatments for home use are £15-£45 per month dependent on the diagnosis.
Scarring can be caused by a number of factors. Auto immune disorders such as folliculitis decalvans, lupus, pseudopalade and scleroderma are all but a few that can destroy the hair follicles, preventing it from growing back. Spotting a condition early enough may help prevent the condition spreading further across the scalp to other hair follicles with appropriate referrals and treatment.
Any abrasions “picked at” on the scalp, whether it is anything from a simple dry spot or a burn from chemically relaxing or bleaching the hair may become secondary infected. In some incidents the bacteria under our fingernails may cause an infection to the lesion and cause cicatricial (scarring) alopecia.
Traction alopecia due to tight ponytails, heavy hair extensions, tight plaiting or repeated harsh use of straightening irons are also prime factors of scarring alopecia when employed over a period of time. Follicles decrease in size and can be eventually destroyed, resulting in patches of sparse or missing hair.
Non-scarring alopecia will grow back in time due to the hair follicles still being present (alopecia totalis and universalis is debatable).
A disruption of the hair growth cycle is evident in anagen effluvium and telogen effluvium. Anagen effluvium is the result of a direct toxic shock to the hair follicle, usually due to drugs such as those used in chemotherapy. The hairs are shed en masse and break at the hair’s bulb (but with the bulb remaining intact). Removal of the insult will resume normal growth as the bulb had temporarily stopped its usual growth process.
Telogen effluvium is a common complaint within the trichology clinic, affecting a proportion of the whole scalp. The normal hair cycle consists of an 85% actively growing phase (anagen), a small transitional (catagen) stage and a 12% falling out (telogen) period. Factors such as medication, radical diets, iron deficiency, pregnancy, thyroid imbalances, stress, illnesses, surgery and accidents are just a few things that can alter these ratios, resulting in a more noticeable hair loss that can be seen in the shower plughole, or come out when we comb or brush it.
Alopecia areata is a non scarring condition noticed by one or more small patches of hair loss on the scalp, but in more severe cases it can take the form of larger patches or areas around the periphery of the hairline. Its prognosis is unpredictable and may be caused by an auto immune gene combining with an external trigger to cause the onset of the disorder. Alopecia areata may also affect other areas of hair, for instance the fingernails or men’s beards due to our immune system attacking the hair follicle, believing it is a foreign entity.
Some other forms of hair loss a trichologist can diagnose are general diffuse thinning, fungal infections (ringworm), trichotillomania (the need to pull out one’s hair), male and female pattern baldness (androgenetic).
We can treat
the following problems:
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