Hair loss: The ‘essential’ hair care product also used by the ancient Greeks – advice

This Morning: Liz Earle discusses supplements for hair loss

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Losing your hair is not usually anything to be worried about, but it can be distressing for some people. Treatment may help with some types of hair loss. If you are experiencing hair loss, your doctor can assess the cause. For older women, hormonal changes that are linked with menopause also contribute to hair loss. Nonetheless, there are some products and treatments which may be able to tackle your hair loss.

Dr Sarah Brewer, Healthspan Medical Director, explains that after the age of 25, the diameter of individual hairs naturally starts to decrease, especially in women.

She says “essential fatty acids help to improve hair condition and reduce dryness” and suggests that sea buckthorn oil is particularly helpful for hair loss associated with dryness.

“In ancient Greece, sea buckthorn was fed to horses to increase the glossiness of their coats, which explains its scientific name, Hippophae, meaning ‘shining horse’,” Dr Brewer says.

This is because sea buckthorn oil provides essential omega-3, omega-9 and “an unusually high amount” of omega-7, which can improve dry hair.

There are lots of different types of hair loss. It can take the form of “thinning” or involve a total loss of hair.

It can be gradual or sudden and can affect both the old and the young.

The NHS says that some types of hair loss are permanent, like male and female pattern baldness. It’s estimated, for instance, that around 40 percent of women aged 70 years or over experience female-pattern baldness.

Androgen alopecia is a common form of hair loss in men and women of different ages.

Finasteride and minoxidil are the main treatments for male pattern baldness.

Minoxidil can also be used to treat female pattern baldness. Women should not use finasteride.

Some wigs are available on the NHS, but you may have to pay unless you qualify for financial help.

If your hair loss is causing you distress, your GP may be able to help you get some counselling.

Generally, hair loss is not usually anything to be worried about, and can happen to both men and women.

It can be caused by illness, stress, weight loss, some cancer treatment, and iron deficiency.

Occasionally it can be a sign of a medical condition, so if you experience sudden hair loss or you begin to develop bald patches, the NHS recommends that you consult your doctor .

Dr Sarah Brewer says that for older women, hormonal changes that are linked with menopause also contribute to hair loss as oestrogen levels fall.

She suggests eating more plant oestrogens such as isoflavones, found in edamame beans and other soy products.

She adds that researchers have found that high intakes of lignans, found in pumpkin seed oil, flaxseed oil, and sweet potato, are associated with a reduced rate of hair loss and better hair regeneration.

The Mayo Clinic states: “You might want to try various hair care methods to find one that makes you feel better about how your hair looks.

“For example, use styling products that add volume, colour your hair, choose a hairstyle that makes a widening part less noticeable, or use wigs or extensions. Always handle your hair gently.”

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