By Alan Markoff
It used to be that men who suffered from androgenic alopecia — better known as male-pattern baldness — were the people most concerned with hair loss.
Today it is also becoming more common for women to suffer from androgenic alopecia, although they rarely go bald. Some of the ways women experience hair loss are a gradual thinning at the part line and a general thinning of hair on top of the head.
However, androgenic alopecia is not the only reason for hair loss. Increasing numbers of young men and women, sometimes as young as their teens, are also experiencing hair loss. Although genetic predisposition, hormone imbalance, taking certain medications and health issues can cause hair loss, the reason more people of all ages are are losing their locks, according to Darla Dilbert, the owner of Eclipze Hair Design & Day Spa, can be summed up in one word: lifestyle.
“Some of the top lifestyle reasons people lose their hair include a poor diet, stress, smoking and the overuse of alcohol,” she says. Dilbert, who is a certified trichologist — which is a professional who helps people with hair or scalp problems — says there are proven methods to slow down and reduce hair loss, even for guys with male pattern baldness.
“The majority of men have a genetic predisposition for hair loss at some point in their lives,” she says. “However, if they act on it from an early age, they can reduce or delay the hair loss for up to 15 years.”
For women in particular, hair loss can also be caused by over-processing their hair. Over-processing does not mean over-washing though.
“That’s a myth,” says Dilbert. “I often advise my clients who are experiencing hair loss to wash their hair and scalp at least one more time per week than they normally do.”
In general, Dilbert recommends that clients wash their hair at least two to three times a week with products containing salicylic acid, sulphur-rich amino acids and provitamin B5.
“I also recommend having a residue scalp treatment done at least once or twice a year to remove buildup of various styling aids or other products on your scalp,” she says. “This procedure, along with using the recommended shampoos, will help to purify and stimulate the scalp’s hair follicles for growth.”
Something else that will help is a head/scalp massage of five to 15 minutes once to twice a week, Dilbert says.
“Receiving a head/scalp massage releases dead skin and improves the blood circulation to your hair follicles,” she says. “Once the scalp hair is nourished, your hair is much less likely to fall out prematurely.”
Dilbert says it is normal for people to shed between 50 to 100 hairs every day.
“Anything more than this is a sign of something else going on and affecting the hair growth cycle,” she says. “This indicates that it is time to seek out medical help or a tricholoigst. When someone who is experiencing accelerated hair loss comes to us, we usually recommend a consultation first to try to identify possible causes before we make any other recommendations.”
This article originally appeared in the March 2020 print edition of Camana Bay Times with the headline “More young people losing hair.”
About the Author
Alan Markoff has worked with Dart as the editor for Camana Bay Times for three years and has been writing professionally since 1997. Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Alan graduated from the State University of New York at Albany with a degree in English, and first moved to the Cayman Islands in 1982. He has 16 years of experience in the real estate industry and previously worked as a journalist for Cayman Compass before joining Dart to relaunch the Camana Bay Times monthly newspaper. An avid baseball fan, Alan loves travelling but also schedules trips back home around catching a summer game or two with his home team, Cleveland Indians. He is a movie buff who spends many an evening catching a film at Camana Bay Cinema. It was at one of these movies that he met his wife, Lynn!