In this video I’m going to show you how to spot the first signs of hair loss and show you what you can do straight away to keep your hair on your head.
The sooner we can identify hair loss - the easier it is to slow it down and regrow hair.
So let’s get straight into it. Please watch the video above or read the transcript below
With a reported 35 million men and 21 million women suffering from hair loss, thinning hair and baldness is much more common than many people think.
Genetic hair loss is more common in men than women, with an estimated 80 percent of men and nearly half of women experience significant hair loss during their lifetime.
When you first start noticing changes in your hair - you might want to ignore, or just accept that hair loss is a part of life, but as we’re going to show you - hair loss is no longer inevitable.
And considering that hair loss is such a common condition prevention rather than cure may be key.
Due to the wide variety of causes for hair loss, anyone can be at risk of experiencing it so it’s really useful to know what to look out for - as the first signs might not be that obvious.
We’re gonna start off by discussing Male or Female pattern baldness otherwise known as Androgenic Alopecia and then go onto to discuss the other various causes of hair loss and the treatments that fight back and stop hair fall.
Recognizing the signs of hair loss is the first step to taking action and doing something about it.
So let’s take a closer look at the symptoms of hair loss so you can discover exactly what to do about them.
The most obvious and noticeable symptom is the gradual thinning of the hair.
Thinning tends to occur on the top of the head in the vast majority of cases, but the rate and pattern in which it thins tends to differ in men and women.
Men tend to experience gradual thinning at the front, with follicles receding from the forehead. Very often thinning occurs in a line resulting in an M or V shaped pattern on the top of the head.
As you can see there are three main stages of thinning.
Women tend to keep their hairline. Instead thinning occurs outwards from the parting of their hair.
This is the Norwood-Hamilton scale, it highlights the 7 stages of hair loss:
- Stage 1. No significant hair loss
- Stage 2. This is described as an adult or mature hairline where there’s a slight recession of the hairline by the temples.
- Stage 3. The first signs of clinically significant balding appear. The hairline has deeply recessed at both temples, resembling an M, U, or . The recessed spots are bare or have a thin coverage of hair.
- Stage 3 Vertex.The hairline stays at stage 2, but there is significant hair loss at the crown or vertex.
- Stage 4. The hairline has receded and there is sparse or no hair on the crown. The two areas of hair loss are separated by a band of hair connecting hair remaining on either side of the scalp.
- Stage 5. The two areas of hair loss are larger than in stage 4. They are still separated, but the band of hair between them has become narrower and sparser.
- Stage 6. The balding areas at the temples have joined with the balding area at the vertex. The band of hair across the top of the head is gone or sparse.
- Stage 7. The most severe stage of hair loss, only a band of hair going around the sides of the head remains and this hair is usually fine.
When you visit your doctor Hair loss will be diagnosed with a physical exam and medical history.
Most hair loss is diagnosed as male pattern baldness, but if you’re young, female, or experiencing unusual hair loss, then your doctor may want to rule out other possible causes.
A dermatologist or hair loss specialist can examine your scalp, sometimes with a microscope, to identify the pattern and degree of your hair loss.
Your doctor may also extract a few hairs and examine your hair follicles.
As well as Male or Female Pattern baldness you could also notice the appearance of:
Depending on the cause of hair loss, some people may develop bald patches or circular spots of baldness. These coin-sized spots and patches aren’t restricted to the head. Many people experiencing this particular symptom may notice a similar effect in their beard or eyebrows.
It’s really important that you see a doctor to diagnose the underlying causes of this, its imperative that you go to the doctor as soon as you notice these patches.
The appearance of these patches or spots may reveal smooth skin underneath, but areas may be irritable, itchy or painful just before the hair follicles fall out.
An itchy scalp alone is not a sign that baldness is on its way however.
The skin on your scalp is likely to be itchy, dry or irritated due to a lack of moisture or excessive amounts of sebum.
Neither of these issues cause long-term hair loss and can be rectified or managed by altering your hair care routine but it is important to prioritise seeing a doctor so they can diagnose any underlying causes and treat it appropriately.
We’ve put a link in the description below to our other videos about the foods and drinks that encourage healthy hair growth and the best foods that block DHT!
You might want to start monitoring the gradual thinning of your hair by taking regular photographs of your hairline and the top of your head over a period of time.
You could discover that you’re not actually losing your hair at all.
The appearance, and more specifically the thickness of your hair, can differ in natural and artificial light. Hair can also appear thinner after you swim or shower, with wet hair clumping together to reveal more of your scalp.
Whilst we’re on the subject of wet hair, let’s talk about
Shedding after showering
If you are losing four or five strands of hair every time you wash, brush, comb or style your hair, then the good news is - excessive hair loss shouldn’t be a concern.
If you are losing four or five strands of hair every time you wash, brush, comb or style your hair, then excessive hair loss shouldn’t be a concern.
There are on average, 100,000 hairs on your head and losing between 50 and 125 strands is it’s a part of the natural hair cycle. That’s less than 0.01%. As told by Dermatologist Dr Francesca Fusco
“The average person who is brushing or combing their hair every day—and this part is important—should lose between 50 and 125 strands. The brushing or combing part should be noted, because not everyone does that, or needs to do that.
When you look closely at the hairs that are coming out, they should be more or less the length of your hair, and you should see a little white bulb on the end. That indicates the hair was supposed to shed, and it was just time for it to come out so that a new hair could replace it.”
So what you should be looking out for is sudden and excessive hair loss resulting in handfuls of hair coming out, a symptom that contributes to overall thinning.
The first thing you ought to do is visit your doctor.
Sudden, excessive hair loss can be temporary in some circumstances.
- weight loss,
- fever, and even
- jet lag
can cause excessive shedding to occur for a day or two.
There is nothing to be concerned about. But if you are experiencing excessive hair loss on a daily basis for a longer period of time, medical treatment should be sought.
At whatever stage of hair loss you’re at, there are lots of treatments out there - discuss the pros and cons of each.
It’s all going be coming up in our video next week- so do subscribe so you won’t miss out.
In the meantime there are lots of things you can do straight away to protect your hair against any further hair loss.
Being gentle when washing and styling your hair is a simple way to prevent further damage and breakages.
Instead of brushing your hair, use a wide-toothed comb or your fingers. You should also let your hair dry naturally without rubbing them with a towel.
Alter your diet to include more protein.
Protein provides an excellent boost for your hair, which is in fact made of a type of protein called keratin.
Fish, eggs, chicken, dairy, and plant protein can all be used to up protein levels in your diet. You should also incorporate more green vegetables and soluble fibre into your diet.
Increase your iron intake by eating liver, nuts, seeds and red meat and poultry.
As well as getting the right nutrition, be sure to cut out junk foods, alcohol and foods that are high in sugar, grease and are processed.
We’ve gone into lots of detail about exactly how fats can increase sebaceous DHT and how sugars can shift hair from the growth to the shedding phase - so do check out some of our previous videos.
A healthy, balanced diet is a must for healthy hair growth.
It’s also a good idea to stay well hydrated by getting your eight glasses of water per day.
Limit your intake of Creatine and Protein Shakes
A number of small scale studies
Found that both creatine and Protein powders increase Dihydrotestosterone, the hormone that attaches itself to hair follicles, and shrinks them - leading to the onset of male and female pattern baldness.
So it could be a good idea to avoid these workout supplements, but it’s still a good idea to increase the amount you exercise.
Increasing the amount you exercise and quitting smoking also help to keep circulation healthy - healthy circulation means that blood is delivering the nutrients needed for healthy, hair growth to the scalp.
Before we go - it would be a good idea to mention what would cause full hair loss
Full hair loss
Full body hair loss is commonly linked with hormone issues and the use of certain medications or treatments such as chemotherapy.
It’s really a priority to see your doctor as urgently as possible.
Full body hair loss may occur as a result of a medical condition. Those with the autoimmune disease lupus, for instance, tend to lose the hair on their head, face and body. People with alopecia universalis - a more advanced form of the better known condition, alopecia areata - suffer from complete body hair loss.
Depending on its underlying cause, this type of hair loss is very sudden but is in most circumstances temporary.
If you are experiencing full body hair loss, seeking advice from a medical professional is recommended.
Your doctor will be able to work with you to establish an underlying cause and arrange a suitable treatment to help ease symptoms and improve your overall well-being.