Hair loss is one topic that people ask me about a lot but is still kind of considered taboo. I guess it doesn’t help that nearly every image we are exposed to through media is doctored to give the models hair that even Rapunzel would struggle to carry. When a client or friend does talk to me about their hair loss or thinning hair, it is nearly always in whispered tones, which goes to show just how uncomfortable they feel about the whole subject.
There are multiple causes for hair loss, stress, genetics, illness, side effects to medical treatment and alopecia to name a few, and hair loss is anything but rare or uncommon. Fortunately, science is advancing treatments, and research is ongoing, exploring new avenues and paths all the time. Some of these subjects are beyond my pay grade and really should be discussed with a medical professional, but what I hope to do is, by using my experience, guide you in the right direction to a healthy and active scalp, that produces as much hair as possible. Even if your type of hair loss/thinning is due to illness or treatment you may find something useful here to chat about with your doctor or even research yourself to see what you think.
A lot of people carry tension in their scalp, and that alone can lead to significant hair loss or thinning, which only serves to cause more tension and so the vicious circle continues. It is easy to say, ‘you need to de-stress’, a lot easier said, in fact, than done. Especially when you feel like shouting ‘I am trying to de-stress!’ at whoever it was that had that bright idea. I find telling yourself to de-stress has quite the opposite effect, but, making steps towards self-care can get the ball rolling, and the de-stressing is nearly a consequence of starting to take some time out for yourself. If only we had another hour in the day, then we would have time to fit it all in, and then we wouldn’t be stressed, right? Wrong. One, that’s not happening any time soon, and two, we’d just pile on another responsibility or chore to our workload. It’s like they say, “Put your own oxygen mask on first before trying to help anyone else”. It seems simple but don’t forget to prioritise yourself sometimes too. We easily fill our days with work, family obligations, education, keeping a home, and preventing a laundry mountain from collapsing on a loved one. Still, don’t forget to put your own oxygen mask first. There are few benefits to stress in day to day life, and yet it is something most of us put up with regularly. I’m not naïve, sometimes stress and upset cannot be avoided, I’m just saying, don’t take yourself for granted. Even 20minutes of calm can bring you back to centre.
So, let’s get down to it, the information you came for, the treatment. If you are to have any hope of healthy hair growth, you must first have a healthy scalp, with good circulation, hydration and stimulation. As I say over in our Highlights on Instagram, I have had most experience with Nioxin throughout my career when it comes to scalp stimulating products. By and large I have seen wonderful results from this range, thanks to it’s three-pronged approach. It encourages healthy blood flow to the scalp with invigorating peppermint, it stimulates the hair follicle into improved growth through caffeine, and strengthens the weaker, more delicate hairs by way of fortifying amino acids. I always recommend the starter kit first; it basically hits reset on your scalp. The kit contains three products, and they work similarly to the cleanse, tone, moisturise system used for skincare. The shampoo/cleanser removes build up and begins the clarifying and stimulating process. Massage this into the scalp and leave it in for at least 1 minute, and rinse. Next step is the scalp conditioner/moisturiser, which again stimulates the follicle but also hydrates the scalp. This is great for dry, flaky scalps, but also helps rebalance oil production from the sebaceous gland too.
Whether your scalp is oily or dry Nioxin will help to bring harmony and balance. Your hands and head will probably feel a bit odd at this point, kind of icy and maybe even a little tingly, but this is a positive. It is just how the product works to stimulate the scalp. If you feel like your hair, as opposed to your scalp, also needs conditioning you can do it either when your scalp moisturiser is on, or after you rinse. Most people tend to need a hair conditioner too but check this out with your stylist for a more personal recommendation. My advice would be to avoid any conditioners or masks that contain silicone, as this can work against the Nioxin, or any scalp specific care, by causing build up and in turn blocking the hair follicle. The third and last step is your leave in treatment/toner, which again stimulates the scalp but also adds volume to the individual hair strands. No system is guaranteed to work for everyone, but as I say I’ve seen great results with this one over the years.
If you feel like this is not the one for you, or maybe you want to try something new, there are plenty of other options out there. We have several other offerings available from multiple different companies so don’t be disheartened if you haven’t found the one for you. As I always say, these are cosmetic remedies, and although they encourage healthy growth, they don’t unfortunately guarantee it. Hereditary hair loss, for example, can only be slowed down by these kinds of products, not stopped completely. However, slowing the hair loss still allows you to have a more active scalp for a longer period of time.
One of our other most popular hair loss treatments is Alfaparf Semi di Lino Scalp Renew. This nine week system also has three steps, but the third step is a maintenance tonic to be used between courses, For more detail on Scalp Renew check out our product page, where I speak about how it works and how best to use it.
If you are looking for a range that takes sustainability and the environment into consideration during the production process, but still delivers results, look into the Aveda Invati range. Aveda is an eco- conscious luxury haircare company that use 50% ocean plastic in their packaging and are currently moving their factories to wind power. Many of their products are vegan with a view to becoming completely vegan in the future. Their hair loss offering also works best when used as a set but are sold separately. Its claims are to increase hair volume by 30% from the first wash when using the full range. The shampoo is an exfoliator, and the whole range invigorates the scalp to encourage healthier growth. The leave in will disappear into the hair, but be sure not to be heavy handed with the shampoo, it does not create a lather and so it can be tempting to add more product, but this will create build up and be visible in the hair. Rinse well though and you will receive the full benefit of the products.
Along the same ethical thread is Kemon Actyva P Factor hair system designed for women. This range is completely vegan and uses plant stem cells from grapes to kickstart the hair follicle into action. To be applied and massaged into scalp daily, you must continue use to maintain results.
If you would like to take the approach of working from the inside out, you could try Viviscal. It is a scientifically formulated drug free food supplement that encourages healthy hair growth. Suitable for both men and women of all hair types, it is designed to give thicker, fuller hair. Tablets are to be taken twice daily (once in the morning, once in the evening) after food and with water.
Kerastase of course have their own offering in the form of Genesis. This range is designed to prolong the lifespan of the hair strand and prevent hair fall. It is a great option for people trying to increase the length of their hair but find they always get stuck at the same length because of hair fall, Genesis encourages the longevity of each strand.
If you can’t find your perfect match here, we have multiple other offerings on our site too. Just use our search bar to bring you to all our hair loss remedies.
I can’t state enough just how important it is to put some time aside for yourself, even twenty minutes a day, early in the morning with a nice cuppa when the house is quiet, or just before bed with a good book. I’m not saying don’t stress, stress unfortunately is inevitable, but just make time for your body and brain to reboot. Also, talk about it, if not to family and friends, then talk to you stylist or your GP. You will be surprised how many people will empathise with you and help you out with useful advice.
If we can provide you with any further information here at Millies, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and ask as many questions as you need. We are more than happy to give advice where possible.
Fiona – Head Educator, Haircare Department