Celebrity Stylist Barry Fletcher on Hair Loss (part I)
Celebrity Stylist Barry Fletcher creates products to encourage healthy hair and prevent hair loss for people of color. Courtesy photo
Published on: Saturday, March 29, 2014
Barry Fletcher, Special to The Sentinel
Many people associate hair loss with aging, to some, this seemingly uncontrollable malady brings with it a measure of fear. This is understandable when, in this age, youth, health and vitality are associated with a number of physical attributes and a vibrant head of hair is one of them.
As a trichologist, it is important for me to recognize by diagnosing the various reasons for hair loss. Many people who suffer hair loss are not usually aware of the problem in the initial stages. It is not until the loss becomes apparent to family and friends or the evidence becomes manifested in the shower or sink after a shampoo, that they recognize that something is wrong. Sadly, many even wait until after all the evidence, after all the hair is almost gone, to see a professional about it.
The experience of many hair care specialists is that these clients have, in many cases, tried various home remedies which have proven ineffective. Only then do they recognize that something is amiss and the time has come to seek help.
Trichology bridges the gap between the client and other health care professionals (traditional and holistic). It is important for the trichologist to identify hair and scalp disorders that may cause hair loss and the reasons are many. Medical reasons may include systemic illnesses such as lupus erythematosus, diabetes or thyroid imbalances and many more including the previously overlooked condition hypoglycemia or low blood sugar.
There are also drug-related hair loss situations that occur with ace inhibitors and cytotoxic drugs being the leading culprits. There are over 70 different reasons for hair loss, some as simple as too much aspirin or as complicated as the use of beta-blockers. In the category of medicine, there are over 200 causes. So, it is very important for us to keep abreast of the current information regarding this.
Androgenic alopecia (MPB & FPB), the leading cause of hair loss is hereditary. However, the chief cause of diffuse hair loss in women is iron deficiency anemia. Hereditary hair loss is usually accelerated by androgens which are male hormones. This explains why young males with a predisposition to MPB will notice gradual hair loss beginning in the early twenties.
This comes about as a result of increased androgenic activity at this time. On the other hand, women who are entering menopause will notice a gradual thinning of the hair in the pattern area.
…to be continued with Hair Loss, Part II in next week’s newspaper.
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