Hair loss at any age can be distressing, and getting to the root of the cause can be easier said than done as there are a myriad of reasons why your tresses may not be as full as they once were.
50 per cent of women over 25 revealed that hormones – including pregnancy, menopause and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) – had contributed to their hair loss or thinning, while 27 per cent of women felt that diet was a key factor in their loss or thinning.
In response Dr Martin Wade, Consultant Dermatologist at The London Skin and Hair Clinic, has given his expert opinion on the top 5 leading causes of hair loss (in no particular order).
1. Seasonal shedding: As days get shorter it’s thought that the pineal gland – which secretes melatonin and according to this research paper ‘has long been known to modulate hair growth’ – in the brain gets less light stimulation. This has a consequence as the process by which the pineal grand secretes melatonin is dictated by light.
2. Ageing: Androgenetic Alopecia – is one of the most common forms of hair loss for both men and women, and is also referred to as female or male pattern hair loss. Each time the hair follicle goes through the hair cycle it reduces in size, resulting in a smaller hair shaft. Over time the hair shaft becomes so small that it no longer protrudes above the level of the skin in the scalp.
3. MW: Post pregnancy: After a woman gives birth there is a massive dip in female hormones, and a much milder effect can occur when women stop taking the oral contraceptive pill. This sharp change in oestrogen and progesterone levels – both of which play a vital role in promoting hair growth – can lead to hair loss.
4. Menopause: As with the above when a woman goes through the menopause she will go through a gradual – yet progressive – decline in female hormones.
5. Diet: This is complex area but, essentially, if the body is not getting the key nutrients it needs for healthy hair growth – including vitamin A, B and C and minerals such as calcium and magnesium, according to this study – or if the body goes into shutdown mode from a lack of calories due to a restrictive diet or dramatic weight loss over a short period of time, this could upset the body’s internal metabolism. A recent UCLA study showed that hair follicle stem cells have their own unique metabolism.
Have you experienced any of the above?