In-Depth Guide To Restore Luscious Looking Hair For Women
Date: 3 December 2018
“ I see clumps of hair in the shower, I see loose hair strands in between my fingers while drying my hair and I find the need to vacuum my floor many times in a day. My hair is everywhere! “ says Sharon.
“ My hair seems to have gotten noticeably less and while I never saw scalp before, it is visible now! I can’t style my hair in any other way! I do not notice a big increase in hairs that shed, so where have they gone?” says Donna.
Ladies, are you experiencing hair loss? Understanding the type of hair loss problem you’re facing is the first step to solving it.
Genetic Hair Loss vs. Temporary Hair Loss
How Do I Know Which Type Of Hair Loss I Have?
|Female Pattern Hair Loss (genetics)||Telogen Effluvium (temporary)|
E.g: in the shower, on the bed, when sweeping through with fingers
Like any other organ in your body, there are different diagnoses when it comes to the hair organ and it would be a mistake to attempt treatment without fully understanding your condition.
Female Pattern Hair Loss (also known as Androgenetic Alopecia in women) and Telogen Effluvium are the 2 most common types of hair loss in women. One often gets confused with the other.
Female Pattern hair loss affects many women and around 40% of women by age 50 show signs of hair loss and less than 45% of women actually reach the age of 80 with a full head of hair.
Female Hair Loss Treatment options
Treatment for Female Pattern Hair Loss in Singapore differs according to how extensive one’s condition is. At the earlier stages, results from Regenerative Medicine have been seen to work positively in reversing the fine hairs, allowing more scalp coverage.
Oral medications and supplements are prescribed to maintain the positive effects. However, as this type of genetic hair loss is progressive, as it gets towards the later stages, a surgical intervention may be needed.
While this condition is caused by a genetic predisposition and worsens over time, Telogen Effluvium is temporary.
Telogen Effluvium is usually caused by internal or external stressors (e.g: diet, stress or hormonal imbalances & nutritional deficiencies) and will resolve within 6 months once the cause of it is managed.
In Singapore, the most common external stressors we see in our female patients are work-related, big exams in children, crash diets, domestic problems and moving home.
Internal ones range from hormonal changes to the most common unknown and unnoticed Vitamin D deficiency.
While only 10% of the scalp hair is normally in the resting phase, this amount increases to 30% or more when Telogen Effluvium takes place.
The shedding typically occurs suddenly but approximately 3-6 months after a trigger. Telogen Effluvium that remains untreated for more than 6 months is considered chronic and may cause permanent hair loss. The best reversal is early diagnosis and treatment.
Do note that at times, these 2 conditions may overlap and that is why only a dedicated hair restoration doctor/specialist will be able to confirm your condition for you.
How will the doctor determine my condition?
Our doctor and specialist will start by…
- Assessing your medical history & lifestyle e.g: diet, stress, sleep pattern
- Discussing your symptoms
- Assessing your family history of Androgenetic Alopecia
If your family history and symptoms point towards the direction of Androgenetic Alopecia, the next steps would be to…
- Look at the condition of your scalp and hair and assess if spaces can be seen along the centre parting line.
- Look out for hair strands that are finer and less pigmented compared to the surrounding ones using a follicular scope. There is usually a demarcation of weaker hairs within 1cm to the left and right of the parting line.
- Using the Ludwig scale for Female Pattern Hair Loss our doctor will diagnose your condition according to the following stages.
However, if they point towards Telogen Effluvium, we will…
- Carry out a “pull-test” . During a pull test, a clump of approximately 50-60 hair strands is gently tugged at and pulled firmly in an upward direction in 6 different areas of your scalp. If 10% or more of the hairs end up pulled free, then we have a positive pull test. The bulb of these hair strands are then looked at under a microscope to ensure they are the bulbs of resting hairs, which confirms Telogen Effluvium as a diagnosis.
- We may perform a hair loss specific blood test to ensure you are not nutritionally deficient, where we deem it necessary.
What Do I Need To Do Before Consulting The Doctor?
- Observe if any of your family members including uncles, aunties, cousins have patterned balding.
Tip: Look out for receding hairline, M-shaped hairline and crown balding in men and visible scalp along parting lines in women, according to the above scale.
- Think about whether there are any recent stressors or big changes in your life that corresponds to the hair loss
- Get ready the latest health screening report if you have had one done in the recent 6 months.
- Make an appointment!
5 Ways To Keep Your Hair Health In Check!
- Ensure you eat a well balanced varied diet so that your hairs are not deprived of any nutrients such as iron, zinc and vitamin B12.
- Get 10 mins of afternoon sun daily to ensure you get sufficient Vitamin D. Alternatively, you can take Vitamin D supplements.
- Give your scalp a thorough cleanse with a clarifying hair loss shampoo daily.
- Manage your stress well
- Consult a hair loss expert when you notice an increased amount of shedding or a widened visible space along the centre parting line!