Understanding Women’s Hair Loss

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For women, beginning to lose your hair can be particularly stressful. Crown Clinic understands this and has provided some expert guidance and potential solutions, to help make the situation less stressful. Speak with a member of our team today if you would like more advice and support, we’ll be more than happy and assist. No matter what age or time in your life hair loss happens, it can severely affect your confidence.  Unfortunately, there is an extra stigma attached to going bald for women. It affects the way you look and can be damaging to your self-perception. For many women, it drastically affects relationships. It can also cause them to become less sociable and change how they approach everyday life. Everything from your work-life to taking exercise can become an ordeal. This is an entirely normal and understandable reaction. However, there are ways of coping.

Throughout this potentially stressful time, there are a few things you can do to help yourself. 

Visit a support group: A great way to find support when suffering from hair loss is a support group. Here you’ll be able to meet and socialise with other people that are suffering from alopecia. 

Talk to friends and family: Be open about your issues with family and loved ones at the earliest stage possible. Talk about the stress and concern that you are undergoing. This will help to lighten the burden somewhat, and the support your friends and family can offer will help you to feel better about yourself. 

Purchase a headscarf: research the potential for disguising or covering your hair loss with a headscarf. Many stores stock a range of scarves, and there are some very stylish designs available. 

Try a wig: If your hair loss is hard to cover up (around 50% hair loss or more), or your hair loss is a result of cancer treatment, you may be eligible for a wig on the NHS.

Treatment for Hair Loss 

A treatment that has been used to some success is minoxidil. Many users have seen gradual improvements resulting in reduced loss and thicker-looking hair. However, there are some drastic side effects to be aware of. These include severe scalp irritation, unwanted growth of facial hair, chest pain, fast heartbeats, swelling in your hands or feet, rapid weight gain, feeling lightheaded and faint, headaches, dizziness, confusion and flushing (warmth, redness, or tingly feeling). If the side effects persist, please contact your doctor immediately.If you’re interested in undertaking this treatment, it’s essential to speak to your local GP or a dermatologist. They can advise you on the right approach. 

Avoid Miracle Cures 

When suffering from hair loss, it’s important to be aware of how best to deal with the issues you are facing. Part of this means being educated on the countless ‘snake oil’ and scam products out there. Please note, there are no miracle cures for female hair loss.

Different Types of Hair Loss 

Alopecia is the medical term for hair loss. Around 7 in 10 women that are 70+ experience it at some point. However, there are many types of hair loss. It may be that the hair is gradually thinning or that there is a complete loss. It may happen quickly or could take place over several years. It can be genetics taking their course or can be a result of extreme stress, a medical condition or treatment.It is widely understood that hair loss is a side effect of chemotherapy. A lesser-known fact is that women can lose hair for up to 3 months after childbirth. 

Hair Transplants for Women

The latest approach to hair transplants will restore your hair, re-imagining your hairline using your natural, growing hair. Once the procedure is complete, and the hair has grown back, it needs a minimal amount of maintenance. Patients can happily go about washing and cutting their hair as they did before. Regaining the confidence and carefree attitude they had before they began losing their hair. Such is the quality. Even your hair hairdresser is unlikely to be able to see any sign of you having any work done. 

A typical procedure includes the following steps:

The incision to remove a donor area (crop of hair-rich skin) from the rear or side panel of the scalp. 
This is then used to create microscopic follicular unit grafts, each containing as few as 2 or 3 hairs. 
The surgeon then takes the microscopic grafts and places them into the bald or thinning area of the scalp. This is an incredibly delicate procedure so as not to displace any existing follicles. 
Immediately after the procedure, patients are advised to rest and allow the hair transplant to form. A few hours later, you will be able to leave, though it is recommended not to drive yourself. 
After around 24 hours, small crusts will begin to show on the grafts. The hair will then start to shed over the next 2-4 weeks.
The grafted hairs will start to grow 16-20 weeks after the procedure and will continue to grow for most, if not all, of your life.

An essential part of hair loss treatment for women is looking ahead. If you’re keen to learn more about hair transplants, it’s advisable to arrange a consultation and speak to an expert about potential timelines. Dr Shahmalak is an experienced surgeon. He will guide you through the procedure and happily answer any of your questions. 

To arrange a consultation contact us today on 0345 2 100 300

Our Surgeon

Dr. Asim Shahmalak

Dr Asim Shahmalak is a world-renowned hair transplant surgeon who performed the UK’s first eyelash transplant in 2009. He runs Crown Clinic – one of Britain’s most successful and best known hair transplant clinics. He has treated a number of high-profile industry leaders and celebrities including the medical broadcaster Dr Christian Jessen, best known for Channel 4’s Embarrassing Bodies.

Expert hair transplant surgery by Dr Shahmalak

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When the sun comes out, we know that we need to apply sunscreen to protect our skin, but many people forget to pay the same care to protecting their hair. Between the sun, sea and swimming pools, many of our favourite summer activities can significantly damage our hair – so the next time you go out to enjoy the sunshine, find out what you can do to protect it.


Why does sun damage the hair?


Sun damage to the hair is caused by the harmful UVA and UVB rays, which damage the outermost layer of the layer – the cuticle – and weaken the protein structure of the hair, making it dry, brittle and more prone to breaking. Some people find that their hair lightens in the sun, as the rays act in a similar fashion to bleach, stripping the melanin from the hair.


Protecting your hair from the sun


Wearing a hat is an easy way to protect your hair and scalp from the sun, especially if you’re outside when the sun is at its strongest. Hair SPF is also an option, which can usually be bought as a spray to be misted over the hair. Pay extra attention to the scalp – many people forget that the scalp can burn just as easily as the rest of the skin, ending up with an itchy, flaky, burnt scalp. If you do burn your scalp, rinse your hair in cool water and apply aloe vera to the affected areas, and make sure to keep your head covered when going outdoors.

If your hair is looking dry, try a deep conditioning treatment to restore some of the lost moisture to the hair, and avoid wearing your hair in any tight styles that may pull on the scalp. Summer is also a good time to temporarily stop using hairdryers, straighteners and any other hot tools to avoid adding to the sun damage.


Protecting your hair from the sea


Salt water is notorious for drying out the hair. It leaches moisture out of it, making it incredibly brittle and tangled, which can cause significant breakage. Before you go swimming, saturate your hair with clean water to prevent it from absorbing as much salt water, and don’t let it sit in your hair – rinse it thoroughly as soon as you get out of the sea. Deep conditioners and hair masks will also help replenish the moisture.


Protecting your hair in a swimming pool


Just like salt water, chlorinated water is very harsh and drying on the hair, so you can take similar precautions to swim in the sea. You could also try a swimming cap, as this not only prevents the chlorine from damaging your hair, but it will also protect your scalp from sunburn. If you have highlighted or blonde hair, be especially careful when in a swimming pool, as the copper and chlorine in the water have been known to form a film that sticks to the proteins in hair, turning it a green shade. Thankfully, this isn’t permanent, but make sure to enter the pool with wet hair and rinse it as soon as you get out.

However you are spending your summer, if you have any questions or queries about your hair, take a look at our hair advice or give our team a call.

Over the past few months, there have been a significant number of reports in the news of people experiencing hair loss after being diagnosed with COVID-19. As a result, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has listed hair loss as a possible long-term effect of the illness, along with symptoms such as fatigue, dizziness and joint pain. 

A study published by the medical journal The Lancet reported that 22% of the patients it had observed suffered from some degree of hair loss six months after falling ill, with women being more affected than men. 


Why does COVID-19 cause hair loss? 


Although there are several studies linking coronavirus and hair loss, many of the reports we hear about are anecdotal – at the moment, it’s too soon for scientists to officially establish a link between the two. 

However, the type of hair loss that COVID-19 sufferers are reporting seems to be consistent with telogen effluvium. Telogen effluvium occurs when more hairs than usual suddenly enter the shedding phase of the hair growth cycle at once, causing a more noticeable amount of hair to shed at once. It’s normal to lose up to 150 hairs per day, but if you spot that you’re losing much more than that – such as clumps coming out when you’re brushing or washing your hair – it could be telogen effluvium. 

Due to the length of the hair cycle, telogen effluvium typically occurs two or three months after a period of significant stress, which can include illnesses such as COVID-19. When undergoing stressful situations, the body puts all its resources into maintaining essential functions only – which, unsurprisingly, does not include hair growth. As a result, you end up with hair loss. 

However, several other conditions can cause hair loss – such as thyroid issues or nutritional deficiencies – so if you are concerned, visit your GP, who can rule out other underlying causes with a simple blood test. 


Will my hair grow back after having COVID? 


If the hair loss is the result of telogen effluvium, most people will find that the hair will eventually grow back without the need for treatment. Typically, once the trigger or stressor is removed, the hair will grow back on its own. 

If you notice that the hair loss is persisting, there are a number of medical, cosmetic and hair transplant treatments available to help – Crown Clinic offers a range of options to support those struggling with hair loss, so don’t hesitate to get in touch

When performed by a qualified, experienced hair transplant surgeon, hair transplants are a very safe procedure. Hair restoration is a minimally invasive treatment that allows patients to return home the same day, with the procedure only requiring local anaesthetic. 

However, if you undergo a hair transplant abroad – such as in Turkey – the risk attached is much higher. 


Risks of hair transplants in Turkey 


It’s no secret that undergoing hair transplant surgery in countries such as Turkey is a gamble. Every year, countless patients are reeled in by the low prices and package deals offered by overseas clinics. Many of the clinics boast ‘five-star’ ratings and an active social media presence, duping unsuspecting patients into thinking they are visiting a reputable clinic. Although, when you dig a little deeper, you may discover the reviews are faked and the ‘after’ pictures are heavily edited or taken from other clinics. 

Another trick that patients fall for is believing that a surgeon will be carrying out the procedure, as many of the clinics advertise that a surgeon leads them to convince patients that they are legitimate. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean a surgeon will be carrying out the hair transplant itself. In fact, many clinics hire under-qualified technicians with little training to keep the costs down, only seeking the supervision of a surgeon if the procedure goes wrong. 

Over the years, Crown Clinic has fixed countless botched hair transplants, mainly from overseas clinics. The most common problems that we see are unnatural-looking hairlines and unsightly scarring as the result of the surgery being carried out by unlicensed practitioners. Other risks are infections, as sanitation is often extremely poor at the clinics and damage to the scalp due to the result of the incorrect tools being used to carry out the surgery. 


Are there any side effects to having a hair transplant? 


If you choose to have a hair transplant in the UK with a reputable surgeon, side effects will be minimal. The hygiene standards will be incredibly high, meaning the risk of infection is negligible, and you will be given clear instructions on how to take care of your scalp after the procedure. Crown Clinic has an excellent aftercare service, offering a day-by-day guide to ensure optimum healing and results.  

Unlike at overseas clinics, where it can be impossible to follow up after the procedure to discuss any concerns related to your hair transplant, Crown Clinic is more than happy to answer any questions you may have during this phase.