Sunday Times Article
My Hair Started Falling Out. This Is How I Got It Back
16th May 2021
I first noticed bald patches on my head when I looked at a video of a friend’s birthday party on Instagram two summers ago. We were all wearing Barbra Streisand masks over our faces — it was a Star Is Born-themed bash — but only one of us had bald patches. As the camera panned the restaurant amid the bad singing and the toasts, I was horror-struck to realise the bald patches belonged to me.
Check your diet
“Vitamin B7 (biotin), vitamin B12, Vitamin D, iron, zinc, protein — all these things could influence hair growth if you are lacking in them,” says Dr Bessam Farjo, hair-restoration surgeon at the Farjo Hair Institute. “For women, iron deficiency can be common due to heavy periods.” As for protein: “Hair is made of keratin which is a protein, so it’s particularly important,” he says.
Try a treatment
“Ideally you need to figure out why you’re losing hair in order to find the correct treatment. But if the issue is hormone-related, topical applications can help,” Farjo says. “The most common one is minoxidil, the active ingredient in Regaine.” How does it work? “Minoxidil works by keeping a larger number of hairs in the growth phase of their life cycle. This in turn will give the appearance of fuller hair.”
Cleanse with care
“Shampoo in itself, however expensive, can be harmful if you overuse it or it’s too harsh,” Farjo says. That’s why he advises to “use them moderately, and choose as friendly a product as possible”. What should we be looking out for? “The scalp is slightly acidic with a pH of 5.5, so the most important thing is to look out for a pH-balanced shampoo.”