Until I started experiencing my own issues with thinning hair I didn’t realise what a big and increasingly common problem hair loss has become for women. Hair loss is traditionally thought to only inflict men and though going bald can knock a man’s confidence considerably there just isn’t the same stigma attached to male hair loss as there is to female hair loss. So much of a women’s feminitity is linked to their locks that if it starts thinning out it can have a negative effect on every important aspect her life.
I’ve always had very thick hair to the extent where I thought I had too much of it (oh, the irony) and I think I was so complacent about having lots of hair that it took me a while to notice that it was thinning out. Hair loss in women can take many forms (around the hair line, on the crown, in patches) and for me it was the hair line receding at the sides and the ends breaking off. There’s a multitude of reasons for female hair loss with the major factors tending to be stress, hormones and diet. In my case the problem lay with my diet.
Half way through 2016 I decided to significantly cut back on eating meat due to greater awareness of the environmental impact of animal rearing. Animal cruelty and thinking it would it be healthier were big considerations too. I started noticing a difference to my hair around about March/April and someone recommended that I start taking Vivisval Professional. I then had a light bulb moment and thought maybe there was a connection between lack of red meat in my diet and the problems I was having with my hair. I asked my GP for a ferritn test and the result showed my level was very low at 21. Low ferritin levels equates to low iron stores and this has a significant impact on hair growth and breakage.
With good timing, just after I got these results I was invited to attend an event at the Philip Kingsley Clinic where I had a chance to speak to the trichologist, Lisa Caddy. Though I didn’t have the full assessment that’s available at the clinic I did have an extremely helpful mini consultation. Lisa recommended I take Ferrograd C (£4.39) which is a high dose iron supplement combined with Vitamin C (to help with absorption). She said that for my hair to start growing again I needed to get my ferritin levels to over 100. I also started to re-introduce good quality red meat into my diet once or twice a week. I realise some people would question my ethics over this but I have to do what’s right for me.
Lisa also recommended I used the topical products from the Trichotherapy system which is a 3 step regime for thinning hair. The first product I’ve bee using is Tricho 7 (£50) which is a liquid you apply to the head with a pipette and has a fantastic array of ingredients to improve the health of the scalp. The second product is Tricho Pro (£35) and this is a spray that improves the overall condition of the hair and protects it from further breakage. The 3rd step in the range is Tricho Complex (£45) supplements but I said I’d prefer to stick to the Viviscal Pro which I’d already started.
I’ve also been using the Philip Kingsley Body Building Shampoo (£18.50) and Conditioner which really does give the appearance of thicker looking hair, albeit temporarily. Another thing I’ve been doing that gives instant results is using the peerless Elasiticizer (from £9,50) as a mask on my dry hair before shampooing then conditioning again. Something I’m desperate to stop is my hair getting to a certain length and then breaking off so keeping it soft and nourished is a must. I’ve been using the new Coconut Breeze version but once that’s finished I’m going to go back to the original as I prefer the smell. On top of that, and when I remember, I’ve also been spritzing it with the Daily Damage Defence Spray (£15). This extra step maybe unnecessary on top of everything else but I prefer the belt and braces approach.
It’s now about 9 months since I first noticed that my hair was thinning and for a while it did continue to get worse. However, in the last few weeks I’ve really started to see an improvement. It’s much more dense around my hair line and it’s definitely growing longer without breaking off. I’ve also had my ferritin levels tested again and I’m up to 123 so I can cut back on the supplements to a couple of times a week. I’m so happy and relieved that things are moving in the right direction. It’s impossible to say for sure if it’s a single thing or the combination of things that I’ve being doing that’s helped but if I were to guess I would say the latter. My hope now is that things continue to improve and to help with that I’m going to stick to pretty much everything that I’ve been doing.
There’s a wealth of information about all sorts of hair problems on the Philip Kingsley site under the Hair Guide tab. Here’s
where you can find out how to book in with a Philip Kingsley Trichologist and what you can expect from the appointment.