Understanding hair loss
loses some hair every day; losing up to 100 hairs a day is normal.
Loss can happen for a number of reasons.
Hereditary, stress, illness and lifestyle factors can all have an impact
on your hair growth. In addition many
cancer sufferers may face hair loss as a side-effect of their treatment, this
being a particularly distressing form of hair loss. Hair also has different significance across
different ages, sexes and cultures.
common causes of hair loss are:
in most cases hair loss is inherited, which means it’s passed down from
one or both of your parents. This is
called male-pattern or female-pattern hair loss. Male Pattern hair loss affects
6.5 million men in the UK, men who have lost their hair are a common sight that
we accept as normal. Many men shave their heads at a very early stage of hair
loss when in fact there are many treatments available to prevent male pattern
hair loss. Among the many treatments
that we offer at The Hair Loss Clinic the HALO Laser hair loss treatment that
is FDA approved can, subject to consultation, give you gradual restoration of
hair without drugs or surgery.
to your hair from pulling it back too tightly, wearing tight braids or
ponytails, or using curling irons or dyes.
you grow less hair as you get older and hair also gets thinner and tends to
break more easily.
diet, especially a diet where you are not getting enough protein or iron.
diseases, like hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism.
distress that hair loss can cause is understandable. The way we look and how we feel about
ourselves is closely linked and can have a dramatic impact on self-esteem and
self-confidence. This is especially true
in today’s increasingly image based society.
For those suffering hair-loss as a result of treatment for cancer,
extreme stress or illness the hair loss can be a constant unwelcome reminder of
their illness or circumstance.
Preventing hair loss in
radiotherapy there will be some hair loss around the local area. Scalp cooling can sometimes offer some
reduction too this hair loss, however this will need to be discussed with your
specialist nurse who can offer guidance on whether this appropriate with your
particular cancer and drug treatment.
Losing your hair
many one of the first questions they have about their treatment is “will I lose
my hair”. It is normal to worry about
how and when this will happen. It is
important to discuss this with your medical team as the severity and likelihood
of hair loss varies dependent on your treatment. Hair loss may occur during the night and you
may wish to wear a soft cotton cap.
Scalp sensitivity can also be a factor prior to and during hair loss and
indeed throughout your treatment.
Radiotherapy . This treatment uses high energy x-rays to
treat your cancer and is used to treat a specific part of your body. Your radiographer, consultant or nurse will
talk to you about the possibility of losing hair during your treatment because
radiotherapy affects healthy cells and can cause hair loss by damaging the
cells that make your hair grow. Hair
loss due to radiotherapy only applies to the area being treated. If you are receiving treatment to a
particular area of your head this is where the hair loss will occur, although
sometimes there may be additional hair loss where the radiotherapy beams have
passed through your head. It can take in
excess of 6 months for hair to grow back after this type of treatment and
although usually your hair will grow back it is possible that is my not grow
back at all or may be patchy. The dose
and number of radiotherapy treatments can affect your hair regrowth
Chemotherapy. This treatment uses anti-cancer drugs. The drugs travel around the body and the
cancer cells wherever they are. Like
Radiotherapy, Chemotherapy affects healthy cells and so can cause hair loss
although it is important to note that not all Chemotherapy treatments cause
hair loss. It is important to talk to
your medical team about your treatment and the likelihood of hair loss.
addition to hair loss on your head you may experience thinning or loss of other
body hair including eyelashes and eyebrows.
With this type of treatment your hair may grow back once your treatment
has finished or sometimes it may even grow back before your course of treatment
has ended. Although it can take some
time for your hair to grow back fully it is likely to grow at the same rate it
is such a wide range of wig types, styles and compositions out there that choosing
a wig for the first time can be a truly bewildering task. It may be helpful to consider the following:
· Wigs can be bespoke
made and so at The Hair Loss Clinic we are able to colour match your wig to
your natural hair colour if you want us to.
· You may wish to choose
your wig before losing your hair and familiarise yourself with your headwear
options before starting your treatment.
Once you start to lose your hair it may be necessary to adjust your wig. Some wigs are possible to adjust yourself or
The Hair Loss Laser Clinic may need to do this for you.
· If your hair loss is as
a result of cancer treatment, one of the first things you may wish to consider
is the style of wig you would like.
Would you like it to be similar to your current style or you may choose
to wear a longer or shorter wig. Some
people choose to cut their hair short prior to treatment and may choose a short
wig. Others may choose a longer wig and
have this cut shorter in preparation for when their own hair starts to grow
back. This needs to be discussed when
you are choosing your wig.
· It can be helpful to
bring along someone you trust when choosing your wig as they can give you a
second opinion and additional support.
· If you have already
started to lose your hair, pictures from magazines or photographs can help us
understand what look you are trying to achieve.
· It is normal to be a
bit bewildered by the choice of styles and colours available. At The Hair Loss Clinic we are able to offer
specialist advice and help to customise your wig and we are able to cut your
wig to suit you.
· We are also able to
show you a selection of wigs that you have chosen so that you can identify
which of these suit you and your lifestyle.
· Full or half size wigs
can be made to measure, whatever your desire we can custom make it.
and fit for a wig are important considerations.
In order for a wig to be secure and look natural it is important that it
fits snugly to your head all over. One
of the drawbacks of wearing a wig is that it can be hot particularly in hot
weather, in some cases a cushion band that lifts the wig can be cooling and
make the wig more comfortable. Some wig
bases are more breathable. We will work with you to ensure that the correct
base is chosen for your head type. There
have been huge improvements within this area of wig-making and as a specialist
clinic we are able to pass on to you the most up to date options. A good variable choice of styles and colours
are available with a choice of taking home to try at your leisure.
offer the ultimate custom made wig service and our specially trained wig
technicians and consultants will work with you to understand what you are
looking for and will personalise the selection of a variety of wig bases and
hair to meet your very individual requirements.
Whether it is to cover a severely scarred area, burns or alopecia
patches we can make the ultimate hairpiece in any size or shape that will blend
seamlessly with your own hair colour and will give the best quality solution
that will be long lasting.
can also offer beautiful bandeaus for daytime and evening wear, plus bandeaus
with 100% human hair with fringes, plaits, bunches etc.
Wigs - What are your
are two main wig options synthetic fibre and human hair. Each type has advantages and disadvantages.
Human Hair Wigs
be more expensive
to tint or colour
colour selection – can also be coloured.
be seen as inferior
Euro Hair excellent for longer styles.
can be changed. Custom made to size
have the advantage of being pre-styled and come in a large range of
colours. When washed correctly they
revert back to their original style. If
you are having treatment for cancer you may not feel well enough or have the
energy to style a wig on a regular basis, so the ‘wash and wear’ aspect may be
an important consideration. Although
these wigs cannot be heat styled they are less prone to colour fade than human
hair. Synthetic wigs can develop
friction frizz especially at the nape of the neck. However there are steps you can take to
minimise this, discussed later in this leaflet.
synthetic wig may last for 9-12 months depending on how much care you take with
it and how often it is worn. Longer wigs
tend to have a shorter life span.
Human Hair Wigs
can be heat-styled, blow-dried, straightened or curled and can be treated like
growing hair. However they do require
regular attention and are more prone to colour fade than the synthetic fibre
wigs. However, this can easily be
remedied by in salon colouring to take your wig back to its original colour or
add slightly different colour tones.
Using the very best products can prolong the life of your wig.
Men. Just as a woman will find hair loss traumatic,
so can a man. Men can sometimes find
seeking help more difficult. At The Hair
Loss Clinic we have a large number of male clients who find our discreet and
sympathetic service easy to use. There
is a selection of ready to wear and custom-made full hair wigs and toupees
specifically designed for men. We are
also able to customise these to provide our clients with a more natural look.
Children, Teenagers and
Young Adults. There is a range of
wigs available to this group. Older
children may need an adult wig adapted to make it smaller or one in a petite
style. Many children are happy to wear a
cap or bandana. These are available with
hair/fringe attached and look attractive as well as being practical.
Caring for your wig
you are given your wig you should be given care instructions to help you
maximise the lifetime of your wig and help ensure it retains its quality. A salon blow-dry and slight trim to the wig
will often give it a new lease of life.
Washing. When washing a real or synthetic wig it is
important that the wig is pre-brushed prior to the washing process. You will need to turn the wig inside out, use
warm water and cleanse with a product appropriate for the wig type you
have. If deep cleansing is required this
process may need to be repeated. The
conditioning products will need to be left on for minimum of 3-5 minutes and
will need to be used in line with the manufacturer’s guidelines. Conditioning is vitally important to ensure
the quality and lifespan of your wig.
The wig should be thoroughly rinsed using warm water and dried using a
gentle squeezing and patting technique to remove excess moisture. You will need to be careful not to rub your
wig. We advise you buy a wig block to
place your wig on while drying this helps to keep it in shape and make styling
Synthetic Wigs. Friction frizz is one of the main problems
with a Synthetic Wig. You will need to
ensure you follow your aftercare instructions to reduce the risk of frizz. On longer length wigs you can use a
serum. It is important that you do not
use direct heat such as a hair dryer, ceramic irons or curling tongs as this
will damage your wig. You will also need
to be particularly careful around direct heat sources such as barbeques, open
fires, cigarettes and outdoor heaters.
Other heat sources can also damage the fibres such as the initial heat
blast when you first open the oven door.
Human Hair Wigs. You will need to comb through your wig after
washing with a wide tooth comb, combing, very gently, from the tips of the hair
to the root. The knots will loosen when
the hair is wet and tighten as it dries so care will need to be exercised at
this stage. Human hair wigs are able to
be set using conventional curlers and hood dryers. Heated rollers, curling tongs and
straightening irons are other styling methods that you can use. A thermal heat protection product will need
to be used when styling the hair.
Fitting and Wearing your
Most ready to wear wigs are available in
average or petite sizes. The average wig
size is normally 54cm and the petite is 52cm.
All wigs have some form of adjuster with fastenings at the nape, to
enable alteration for comfort. The Hair
Loss Clinic will make a template of your head shape for human hair wigs to
ensure the perfect fit.
Styling and aftercare.
Shampoo. If you have a synthetic fibre wig you will
need to purchase a shampoo specially formulated for fibre hair. Human hair wigs will need to be cleaned with
a good quality shampoo formulated for bleached or colour treated hair or one
designed to reduce frizz.
conditioner. For Synthetic Wigs a
daily use leave in conditioner and protection spray is ideal. A good quality anti-frizz conditioner is
recommended for human hair wigs.
Wig lustre/ Silicon
based sprays (serum). This is recommended for
both synthetic fibre and human hair wigs.
It will reduce the tendency to frizz, especially when used on problem
areas such as at the nape area.
Holding spray. A water based, fixing spray is recommended,
that can be removed with cold or tepid water or brushed.
Solutions for Patchy
Hair loss or Thinning Hair
has been much coverage in the press of ‘hair transplants’ and ‘hair implants’
which are surgical options. Our Hair
Integration System offers a low maintenance procedure without surgery, pain
or scarring. Ideal for someone with a
busy lifestyle enabling you to to do sporting activities including swimming
with complete confidence.
are a number of hair integration systems available, some are similar to a wig
but with an open weft base that allows the client’s own hair to be pulled
through with a hook or tail comb. At The
Hair Loss Laser Clinic our integration pieces are colour and texture matched to
blend seamlessly with your own hair. All pieces can be custom made to ensure
individuality. These are available in
100% Euro hair.
The integration system we use is
the latest hair loss solution for very fine thinning hair, coverage of bald
patches, added volume and density.
Constructed from the very finest
mono silk base, made with top quality Eurotex hair, the integration piece will blend invisibly into your own hair and
give you a solution that you can wear continually and keep in good condition
with regular salon visits, (every 4 – 6 weeks). No one will know the
secret of your new hair and you will gain a new found confidence.
hair loss treatments include low level laser hair therapy and laser beam
technology. Miniaturization of hair
(first stage hair loss) can benefit within a few months. These treatments are suitable for men and
Patchy Hair Loss.
A unisex spray hair thickener is a fast and
effective thickening spray which not only thickens hair but also helps to mask
thinning areas. At The Hair Loss Laser Clinic
we recommend a product.with electromagnetic fibres that will cling to the
natural hair and scalp, instantly
making thinning hair look thick and full. The fibres won't come off in wind,
rain or perspiration. This product is totally undetectable, even from as close
as two inches. The product needs to be
sealed in place with a follow up application of holding spray. It is available in a range of colours. Care should be taken if your scalp is
sensitive or your skin is damaged in any way.
solution is a unisex masking solution, this provides an instant, convenient and
safe way to disguise thinning areas.
Facial Hair Options
As previously highlighted in the section on
Chemotherapy one of the side-effects of this form of treatment can be the loss
of facial hair such as eye lashes and eye brows. This can have quite a dramatic effect on your
appearance. There are various options
available to help you with this type of hair loss.
Make- up. A lash line or eyebrows can be drawn in to
enhance your features. At The Hair Loss Clinic
we can give recommendations or arrange a session with a qualified beauty
therapist to discuss what options will best suit you and to show you some new
techniques for application of make-up.
Skin tattooing or semi-permanent tattooing is
becoming a more readily available option, all of which is available through The
Hair Loss Clinic
Hair and Cancer – some additional information
Chemotherapy and radiotherapy are designed to
target rapidly reproducing cells such as the cancer cells, which is why hair
can be affected. The hair that grows
back can often be weak due to a lack of protein.
With Chemotherapy there may be some differences
between your new hair and your hair before treatment. Some hair grows back with a different texture
or may even be curly when your hair before was straight. In most cases over time your hair will revert
to its pre-treatment colour and texture.
With Radiotherapy your hair may grow back
slower than with Chemotherapy and it may well grow back finer. It is possible that your hair may never grow
back or may be patchy. If you cover your
scalp, for example with a wig, 24 hours a day you may find your hair grows back
even slower. New hair tends to grow
quicker when exposed to daylight.
Some people do not experience hair loss
throughout their cancer treatment but there are some recommendations for caring
for your hair whilst undergoing treatment.
not recommended that your hair is coloured during treatment. If, however, you do wish to colour your hair
whilst undergoing treatments there are some safety tips to follow. Always let you stylist know of any treatment
you are undergoing so they can offer appropriate advice. As with any hair colouring it is advisable to
have a strand test carried out prior to colour being applied. It is also recommended that you have a skin
sensitivity test, as your skin can become more sensitive as a result of your
treatment. If your skin reacts in any
way you should wash the product off immediately and not continue with the
colouring. Ask your stylist to use
foiling techniques to prevent the product from coming into contact with your
scalp. Choose a semi-permanent colour to
avoid oxidative pigments and avoid colours with harsh chemicals such as ammonia
When your hair grows back it is likely to be
weaker than before due to lack of essential proteins it is important that you do not strenuously
brush your hair and use your hair drier on a lower heat setting. The condition of your hair may be improved with
regular cutting to remove the damaged hair.
We recommend that thinning hair is treated
gently. It is advisable to avoid
vigorous brushing and combing. Paddle
brushes are particularly good for use with thinning hair, because of the bristles
which massage the scalp encouraging sebum production and stimulating blood
flow. Avoid shampoos containing harsh chemicals
(ie alcohol or sodium laurel sulphates); those with plant oils (jojoba or sweet
almond oil) are far better. A range
specialist shampoos and topical treatments, formulated for thinning hair and
scalp problems that have undergone extensive research by manufacturers to
ensure maximum benefit, are available from The Hair Loss Laser Clinic.
Hair Re-growth and a healthy scalp
A healthy scalp ensures healthy hair. Your scalp can be very dry and scaly
following Chemotherapy. There are a
number of specific scalp treatments available which deliver nutrients to the
scalp and protect it. The Hair Loss Clinic
can offer you advice on the best treatment for you.
Until your hair is long enough to shampoo, an
aqueous cream may be suitable for cleansing and moisturising the hair and
scalp. If the skin on your scalp is
particularly sore or irritated anti-inflammatory and anti-septic soothing
agents are recommended. These include
ingredients such as Aloe Vera, Geranium, Rosemary, Bergamot and Chamomile.
Colouring the hair post cancer treatment
Current medical advice is that you should wait
six months after treatment before colouring your hair. The steps recommended
before colouring your hair during treatment, given earlier in the leaflet
should be followed again.
In the initial period following chemotherapy,
hair may not respond to colour in the normal way and a trained hair
professional will draw your attention to this.
At The Hair Loss Clinic we have professional Colourists who will be able
to advice you on this. The Hair Loss Clinic
has a range of water-based organic hair colours which may be suitable for post
Lifestyle changes for Healthy Hair
A wholesome diet, rich in silica, calcium and
iron, will help reduce or prevent hair loss. Green, leafy vegetables,
especially sea vegetables, are good mineral sources. Raw oats provide silica. Dried fruits and cherry juice are rich
sources of iron. For women, thinning
hair or hair loss can be a sign of vitamin or mineral deficiency such as
Anaemia which is one of the most frequent causes of hair loss. Eat plenty of iron rich foods like liver
(avoid if you are pregnant) and other organ meat, whole-grain cereals, dark
green leafy vegetables, eggs, dates and raisins. To encourage hair growth, adhere to a diet
rich in protein. Vitamin C improves the
absorption of iron. Include a good
serving of fruit and vegetables in your diet.
Vitamin E is important for healthy hair growth. Eat Avocados, Nuts, Seeds and Olive Oil on a
Vitamin D is also essential for our hair; many
hair loss problems can be attributed to the lack of this vitamin. The most accurate way to measure how much
Vitamin D is in your body is a blood test to measure 25-Hydroxy Vitamin D in
your blood stream. Specific blood tests
are needed to be able to identify hair loss, our Trichologist will be able to
communicate with your GP to arrange these a variety of targeted tests.