One out of every two women over the age of 60 suffers from alopecia, which is the general medical term for hair loss. While there are many types of hair loss with different symptoms and causes, it is often seen as a “scar” on femininity, and can have major psychological impact. But hair loss is not unique to older women — it is now common to have younger women experiencing hair loss.
What is the reality of alopecia, its causes, and, most importantly, are there any proven treatments available? Let’s address some common myths about hair loss:
1) We lose hundreds of hairs per day.
FALSE. A person with a full head of hair (about 100,000 to 150,000 hairs) will lose about 40 to 100 hairs per day on average. Hair loss becomes pathological when it reaches more than 100 per day, for a long period of time.
2) Hair loss is not affected by seasonal conditions.
FALSE. September-October is when we experience the largest amount of hair loss — up to 175 hairs per day – simply because of the hormonal impact related to decreased daylight per day. But this is a relatively short amount of time, so hair loss above average during this period is not considered pathological.
3) There are several possible causes for acute hair loss.
TRUE. Among the most common causes are: giving birth, surgery, major diet modification, psychological stress, or change of contraception. In all these situations, the re-growth is spontaneous in the course of four to six months, and vitamins are generally prescribed to accelerate the course.
4) Washing your hair frequently is harmful and can cause hair loss.
FALSE. Do not hesitate to wash your hair as soon as it feels unclean. Shampooing provides a clean and healthy scalp, enabling hair to gain healthy volume as well as encouraging new hair growth. There is no magical anti-hair loss shampoo on the market; this type of claim is false. However, there are shampoos that can help clear the scalp from different types of bacteria, dandruff, etc.
5) Certain hairstyles can advance hair loss.
TRUE. Barrettes, tight elastic bands, and very tight braids can exert significant traction on the hair, which can impede blood flow to the roots and cause hair loss.
Alopecia may be transient or chronic, related to stress, diet, or hormonal imbalance. So far, the best products on the market that we have seen improving hair loss and increasing by 30 percent or more hair regrowth are Invati System by Aveda and Rogaine.
Invati Shampoo: Cleans, exfoliates, and renews the scalp with wintergreen-derived salicylic acid. Clinically proven to remove build up of sebum and product residue that can clog pores and affect healthy hair.
Invati Conditioner: Clinically proven to thicken hair with a rapeseed-derived conditioner.
Invati Scalp Revitalizer: Revitalizing Densiplex with turmeric and ginseng, helps to energize and rehabilitate the scalp around the follicles.
Rogaine: We would suggest Rogaine since it contains 5 percent minoxidil. Minoxidil is clinically proven to expand blood vessels, which increases blood circulation into the scalp to promote hair growth.
The Invati System and Rogaine can be combined together for maximum results. If you decide to combine them together, apply Invati first followed by Rogaine. Each solution must be applied twice a day, morning and evening.
Vitamins: B vitamins in particular are well known for playing a major role in follicles’ renewal process, and vitamins E and B3 are well known for their local vasodilative effect.
Last but not least, the environmental factors such as smoking, the sun, and an unhealthy lifestyle are suspected to accelerate the aging of your hair.
And of course, the right cut and styling can also help you achieve hair that looks thicker and fuller.