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Hair loss affects over eight million women in the UK alone. From hair thinning to alopecia, shedding more hair than is considered normal can leave you feeling stressed and self-conscious. But there are ways to address hair loss in women. We spoke to some of the UK's best trichologists, hair experts, nutritionists and doctors to find out what's really causing your hair loss and how you can address it.
What Causes Hair Loss in Women?
Hair loss can be a symptom of any number of things (most commonly, stress and a diet lacking in protein). Other culprits can include low iron levels, thyroid problems, hormone imbalances or fluctuations, menopause, over styling and poor hair health.
"We're constantly juggling lots of different things (work, social life, family), and all of this can affect our diet and general haircare, which in turn, has a real impact on our health and the flexibility of our hair," says Stylist Samantha Hillerby.
How Much Hair Loss Is Considered Normal?
We all lose hair every day through brushing, shampooing and styling our hair. It can seem like a lot (we've all had the horror of finding a clump of hair in the shower after wearing our hair up all day), but trichologist Anabel Kingsley tells us around 100 hair strands a day is considered normal.
What's the Best Way to Strengthen Your Hair?
"Good hair starts from within," advises nutritionist Kyla Newcombe. "The most effective step anyone can take is to feed the hair the nutrients that are essential for its health. Iron and niacin (vitamin B3) are key for blood circulation to your scalp, and zinc is crucial for the division of hair follicle cells. If making just one change to your diet for thicker hair, I would recommend considering your protein intake. Keratin is the type of protein making up your hair structure, so make sure you provide these building blocks for strong hair," she says.
"Also, don't be afraid of eating fat. The Inuits are famously known for their super-shiny hair due to a diet full of fat-rich foods—especially fish and seafood. Low-fat diets are one of the worst things for our health. We also need lots of fat to make hormones in the body. They have so many uses," says Newcombe.
Apart From Dietary Changes, Are There Products That Can Help With Hair Loss?
Kingsley suggests that looking after your scalp is essential if you want to boost the rate in which your hair grows. "There are ingredients that can help to optimize the scalp environment to encourage and support healthy hair growth," she says.
So, what products work and how can you make sure your hair is at its optimum health? Keep scrolling for our edit of the best hair-loss treatments for women.
A hair spray that cares for your hair whilst styling it, this volume booster spray contains menthol, creatine and other ingredients that protect it from UVA and UVB rays. Spritz in your hair before styling or whenever your hair needs a boost of hydration and protection.
Stylist Samantha Hillerby recommends Olaplex for keeping your hair in tip-top condition. "In between salon appointments, hair should be taken care of with premium haircare products to maintain hair health—including Olaplex bond building treatments," she says.
Tricho 7 is a hair and scalp treatment containing seven specific antioxidant ingredients that repair and protect the scalp whilst helping to stimulate and improve hair growth.
Minimise the friction put on your hair overnight by swapping your pillowcase for a silk one. Silk is less damaging to hair follicles than cotton and can also help to minimise frizz.
Dermatologist Justine Hextall recommends taking a supplement like Viviscal for healthy hair growth. "Understanding that internal factors like exercise, reducing stress and having a healthy diet are all crucial to our outward health. I would also recommend taking hair supplements such as Viviscal to feed your body with the essential nutrients it needs to support the foundation of healthy hair growth," she says.
Slough away product buildup, dead skin cells and excess sebum with this scalp and body scrub. Apply before shampoo and massage well before rinsing. It's like an exfoliator for your scalp and, like all of Ouai's products, it smells amazing.
Massaging your scalp draws blood to the surface, and in turn, can stimulate hair growth. Give yours a Gua Sha–esque massage with this decadent rose quartz energy comb.
Next, check out how to prevent hair loss with these health hacks.