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Everything You Need To Know About Hair Loss
29th March 2021
Age-related hair changes are inevitable. More than half of all women will experience hair loss at some stage, especially post-menopause.
“The best way to determine what’s causing extreme hair loss is to see a specialist or doctor,” says Dr Bessam Farjo at the Farjo Hair Institute. “Through in-depth consultations and analysis, we can help determine your diagnosis, as well as rule things out. At our clinic, we have tools such as the TrichoTest that can determine whether hair loss is genetic or simply down to ageing. There is so much we can do now which is the good news. As with anything, the sooner you come in to see us the better, as more treatment options will be on the table. This is especially the case with mature women, who may find nutritional deficiencies post-menopause are worsening hair loss. Often it’s very treatable and not a sign of anything untoward.”
“To be completely transparent, there isn’t a shampoo or conditioner that’s good for hair loss,” says Dr Bessam. “If your hair is going to fall out with age, or courtesy of genetics, then a shampoo won’t be able to prevent it. That said, there are two elements in shampoo that have some claims which can aid growth. However, it is important to caveat that the science behind it is a little weak.
Firstly, caffeine has been scientifically proven to positively affect hair growth in lab studies. This is a different situation to someone actually using it on their scalp as temporarily as a shampoo. Theoretically, it can help, but there are no significant studies from consumer trials showing that it can boost hair growth in practice. Secondly, the type of shampoos that may help with hair growth are anti-inflammatory shampoos that contain an ingredient called Ketoconazole (Nizoral is one brand name). It certainly works very well to treat dandruff, and there is vague evidence that it has an anti-androgen effect, too.
There are medicines that do manage hair loss better than topical remedies. Finasteride is available in tablet form and while licensed for use in men, it can also be used for women – it’s incredibly effective at strengthening hair and halting further loss. As mentioned above, Minoxidil is brilliant too.”
What about men?
Dr Bessam agrees: “As men have higher testosterone levels, they’re more likely to produce higher DHT levels (dihydrotestosterone). This is something that binds and shrinks the hair follicles, resulting in loss. It’s why men often experience receding hairlines. Women tend to experience more thinning of the hair on the sides and top of the scalp.”