Hair loss in women
Hair loss in women can have a devastating effect on the quality of life, not least because hair loss is, often wrongly considered, a less significant psychological and emotional problem for women than it is for men. Too often, a woman’s hair loss is not taken seriously by family or friends or even by a woman’s personal physician.
While hair loss itself can present psychological and emotional problems for a woman, failure of others to recognise the seriousness of these problems, may contribute to psychological and emotional effects that can range from decreased self-esteem to anxiety and depression.
Female hair loss may also be overlooked as a “normal” phenomenon. Gradual hair loss is often associated with ageing. Temporary hair loss is often associated with pregnancy. Very often, women have pattern hair loss that “runs in the family”.
Hair loss in a woman should never be considered “normal”; however, the cause should be pursued until a diagnosis is established. Of the many causes of hair loss in women, only a few such as ageing, hormonal changes associated with pregnancy and hereditary pattern hair loss may be considered “normal”. Treatment is available for hair loss due to these conditions, and treatment should be considered when hair loss influences the woman’s quality of life. .
Different types of female hair loss
The Ludwig Scale (below) identifies the different types of female hair loss.
Female Hair Loss – Ludwig Scale
Common causes of Female Hair Loss
Below is a list of common causes in female hair loss:
Androgenetic Alopecia – hereditary pattern hair loss with a typical pattern of diffuse thinning over the central scalp. It is the most common type of hair loss. It occurs in about 20% of women. Alopecia Areata – a recurrent disease of unknown cause, that results in patchy loss of hair from the scalp and/or eyebrows.
Telogen Effluvium – a condition that causes shedding of hair over the entire scalp, it may be chronic but may also be acute following a stressful event; such as high fever, severe dietary deficiency, and chronic blood loss from heavy menstruation.
Loose Anagen Syndrome – a condition that causes hair to shed before its normal growth cycle is completed. Hair can be pulled out by normal combing or brushing.
Traction Alopecia – tight braiding and corn-rowing can, over time, cause permanent damage to hair and scalp and result in hair loss.
Chemicals – some chemicals used in hair styling can, over time, cause permanent damage to hair and scalp and result in hair loss.
Trichotillomania (compulsive hair plucking) – a person feels compelled to pluck hair in regular or bizarre patterns, resulting over time in traction alopecia and permanent hair loss.
Scarring Alopecia – hair loss due to scarring of the scalp area. Scarring alopecia typically involves the top of the scalp and occurs predominantly in women. The condition frequently occurs in Afro-Caribbean women and is believed to be associated with persistent tight braiding or “corn-rowing” of the hair. A form of scarring alopecia may also occur in postmenopausal women, associated with inflammation of hair follicles and subsequent scarring.
Hypothyroidism – thyroid deficiency can be associated with thinning, patchy hair loss.
Pregnancy – hormonal changes and stress of pregnancy may cause temporary hair loss.
More information on Hair Loss can be found on the Philip Kingsley blog. Click here to view.
Synthetic v Human Hair
The first decision you will have to make is whether you go for a wig made out of human hair or one made out of synthetic hair. Here’s a brief overview of the advantages and disadvantages of both.
Human Hair Wigs
- Look and feel very natural (no one will ever know you are wearing a wig).
- You can style them how you like as they are heat resistant.
- You can change the parting.
- You can add darker & lighter colour tones (only by a professional).
- It has soft texture and feels nice on the skin.
- Usable for up to one + year on average depending on how well the wig is maintained (as an expensive luxury item it reqires care and attention).
- It can be custom-made to your head measurements for a secure fit.
- We recommend lace front if you don’t wear a fringe or wear a fringe to the side.
- Pre-styled, so no need for self-styling (stays in shape after washing).
- Has the appearance of natural hair but not the feel.
- Less expensive than human hair.
- It is colour-fast so will not fade in the sun.
- It dries quickly.
- It is easy to maintain.
- Human Hair Wigs are more expensive than synthetic hair
- high maintenance (usually require restyling after each wash) but this is great if you like the feel of fresh hair
- Sometimes can become knotted in the nape of the neck if you wear nylon clothes or scarfs
- loses colour and darker colours can turn slightly reddish
- Synthetic Wigs gets very damaged when exposed to heat (it cannot be near any flames)
- prone to friction frizz we do not recommended longer lengths only short haircuts and styles from the synthetic range
- you can’t change the style or colour or parting can have a slightly false shine doesn’t last as long as a human hair wigs
All information is discussed in your consultation. We offer a 2 week check up after you purchase any of are wigs just to make sure you are managing the expectation and daily care.
How do I care for my human hair wig?
After the purchase most people are really pleased with the wigs they’ve just bought, but then comes the daunting moment, when it’s time for the first wash. To extend the lifespan of your wig it is worth washing it carefully. Rough handling means that your wig will lose hair more easily, leaving you with bald patches in your wig too! Ideally, you should have the following things when you wash your wig:
- a largish bowl (like a washing up bowl) or basin,
- specialized wig shampoo or shampoo for bleached/highlighted hair,
- lots of specialized conditioner or conditioner for dry hair or bleached/highlighted hair,
- a wide toothed comb for detangling the wet hair and a wig stand (we recommended the large head stands (£99)
Before you wash your wig, brush it carefully from tip to root to ensure it’s free of knots.
- Fill the bowl with warm (not hot) water,
- put some shampoo in the water and place the wig into it. Leave the wig to soak for five minutes or so. This allows any residue to come loose of the hair.
- Gently take the wig out of the bowl and rinse it under running water. Take care to rinse the hair in the direction from roots to ends to avoid tangling.
- Put the shampoo into the hair, carefully spreading it all over. It’s not necessary to rub/massage the shampoo into the wig. Rinse it again as before.
- Then put the conditioner on the hair using two or three times the amount that you would use for hair growing on your head. Leave the conditioner in for 5 to 10 min.
- Rinse well making sure no traces of the conditioner are left in the hair. Gently place the wig onto a fresh towel and allow the towel to absorb any excess water.
- Place the wig on your wig stand, attach-it to the stand with pins.
- Carefully comb the hair with the detangling comb, making sure that you only touch the hair not the base of the wig. Take extra care around the root area as the knots expand when wet.
- Once the hair has dried a little you can style it with your usual brushes/combs and a hairdryer.
The great thing about human hair wigs is that you can style it any way you want and use any hair product you want – no need to get gloomy about all the hair care product ads on telly! If you want to use them, you can use them all. Maybe the easiest way of styling the hair on your wig is to let it dry overnight on big rollers. The rollers give the hair more volume and turn the end of the hair in. All you need to do is to take the rollers out of the dry hair in the morning, brush it through and you’re ready to go. If the hair on your wig gets lighter with time and maybe gets a slight reddish tinge to it, the hair can be dyed back to the colour you want. Professional advice is always recommended.
Human Hair wigs need to be washed and conditioned regularly. The average is every 8 – 12 weeks but some people find that they need to wash it more regularly, especially if they play sports. One advantage of wearing a wig is that you only need to style your hair when you wash it, on the following days you can just take it off the wig stand and you’re ready to go!
Even if you don’t have any hair on your head, it is important that you wash your scalp with shampoo whenever you have a shower or bath. The scalp produces sebum whether or not there is hair growing on your head. The base of the wig will absorb the sebum and pass it on to the hair on your wig, making your hair look greasy. Keeping your scalp as grease free as possible is well worth it, as it means you have to wash your wig less often.
Always carry a small brush with you to regularly brush the hair throughout the day in the nape of the neck especially if you are on a windy walk.
Caring for your synthetic wig
How to care and clean your synthetic wig plus 6 important care tips! Synthetic wig washing guide. If you wear your synthetic wig every day, wash it every 3 weeks.
1.Comb or De-Tangle before you wash. Be sure to carefully detangle the hair using a wide tooth comb. Lightly brush through and gently remove any tangles using a wide tooth comb/brush. Do not pull or drag the fibre ….be gentle!
2. Wash. Fill a bowl with COLD water (never hot, as heat damages fibres). Mix a capful of shampoo into the water. Immerse your wig and allow it to soak for few minutes.
3. Rinse. Immerse your wig in a fresh bowl of cold water to remove shampoo. Do NOT squeeze or wring your wig.
4. Condition. Apply conditioner directly to your wig, stroking downwards from roots to ends. Leave in 4–5 minutes. Rinse by immersing wig once more in fresh cold water.
5. Towel dry Place the wig between a folded towel and pat dry. Never squeeze, rub or wring your wig while drying. Remove from towel.
6. Style in shape and naturally dry the hair Gently shake the wig to regain its style. Alternatively, lightly style it with a wig comb or your fingers. Place wig on a head stand( £99). Never use a hair dryer, as heat damages synthetic fibres. Also do not go any where near flames :
If you’re trying to regrow hair that you’ve lost or would simply like to improve the hair that you have, try some of these natural remedies. Their proven benefits can help to stimulate growth and enhance the hair that you have.
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