Hair loss is something we usually associate with men, but the truth is that it’s almost as common in women. Andrea Clark is an expert in trichology, the scientific study of the hair and scalp, at the Mandarin Salon. We ask our most dis-tressing questions about female hair loss.
How do you get to the root (no pun intended) of the problem when it comes to hair loss?
There are so many reasons we might experience hair loss of some kind. What needs to be determined is – are we losing excessive hair because of an underlying (and treatable) cause, or is the diameter of the hair shaft gradually reducing because of your genetics?
What are some common reasons women might start to lose their hair?
If it’s not genetic, the most common would usually be iron deficiency. Other causes could be low levels of ferritin (which helps with iron storage), high levels of stress, hormonal changes during post-pregnancy or menopause, and proper absorption of nutrients (namely your gut health).
What’s the biggest myth about hair loss?
There’s the misconception that all hair loss will be permanent. Once an underlying cause is found, often the hair will start to grow back within a few months, but it still takes time and patience due to the fact the hair only grows about a centimetre a month.
How can a trichologist help someone experiencing hair loss?
Trichologists will delve deep into the possible underlying reasons, asking questions and examining the scalp for signs and symptoms. Most importantly, we offer a lot of reassurance and empathy.
What are some signs that we should be concerned about hair loss, and what can we do about it?
We all have to shed some hair daily, as this is normal. If there are extreme amounts of hair in the shower drain, if your pony tail seems thinner, or if you notice tufts of hair that look like breakage, don’t self-diagnose; go see someone who can help solve the puzzle from professional experience with hair loss.
Why is female hair loss still so taboo?
I actually think it’s become less so for both men and women. We talk about a lot of topics more openly than past generations, and I believe we’re aware of our own health and wellness needs increasingly today. That said, although we have evolved as humans to not need our hair, it is and always will be important to our confidence and self-esteem, and can often be seen as a part of who we are.