Dealing with hair loss, whether it is just gradual thinning or losing large clumps of hair over a short period of time, can very emotionally distressing. A lot of people choose not to tell anyone and try to deal with it on their own, which can do more harm than good.
Last year, the 47-year-old actress Jada Pinkett Smith opened up about the “terrifying” experience she's had with losing her hair, explaining she has been rocking short haircuts and covering her locks with a headwrap in recent months to conceal it. She went on to explain that doctors had run every test in the book, and had been unable to figure out what was causing her hair to fall out.
We spoke to trichologist Sally Ann Tarver from the Cotswold Trichology Centre who shed some light on the first signs of hair loss and how to deal with it.
More hair noticed in the shower
“You will generally notice this after applying conditioner, as this allows loose hair to slither out, becoming trapped in the plug,” explains Sally Ann. “Also you may notice, if you blow-dry your hair with a round brush, more strands become wrapped around than usual or you may need to clean it more often.”
“You may not actually see excessive hair loss but become aware that your scalp is more visible in certain lights than it used to be,” she continues. “In the winter you may feel the cold come through your head more or notice you are becoming prone to an easily sunburned scalp or parting.”
If you wear your hair in a ponytail you might notice that the band needs to be wrapped one more time than it used to be. Another giveaway could be it takes less time to blow dry your hair, even though you style and hair dryer haven’t changed.
How to deal with first signs of hair loss
“For sudden hair loss look at what happened two to three months ago,” advises the trichologist. “Numerous events such as a short-term illness or acute period of stress can cause short term heavy hair shedding. If this is the case you do not need to do anything, hair loss will stop on its own.”
Check if it’s breakage
“If your hair loss coincides with recent chemical processing it may be breakage rather than true ‘hair loss’,” says Sally Ann. If this is the case seek advice on maintain or repairing the structural integrity of your hair”.
See an expert
Don’t self-diagnose by panic searching on Google as you may easily get things wrong. If hair loss has been an issue for some time, it could be due to an underlying nutritional hormonal issue, so check in with your GP for some blood tests and a proper diagnosis. Also speak to a trichologist who is trained to recognise and diagnose all hair loss conditions and advise on which treatment options would be most suitable.
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