Hair in your 20’s should still be as thick and lustrous as it was in your teens. However, if you start to notice a problem act on it fast as hair should not be thinning now. Look at your diet, lifestyle and partying habits and have some blood tests, especially if you are experiencing heavy periods. This is the decade to watch out for excess alcohol consumption as it can cause a depletion of zinc and iron – zinc helps the body absorb key nutrients, and alcohol can prevent it from being absorbed. Lack of iron triggers hair to prematurely enter the resting stage so if it is not dealt with the hairs can continue in the resting stage and lead to permanent loss. If you normalise your mineral intake your hair will return to its normal growth process within six months.
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Life can be hectic in your 30’s – one big juggle-thon – with a demanding career and a busy lifestyle. Any pre-existing hair problems experienced in your 20’s may be exacerbated. If you had children in your 30’s, pregnancy can cause significant changes in your hair, diminishing iron stores. Rectify this by taking a high strength iron supplement until your Ferritin level gets to 100, then maintain it with a lower dose. Deal with this quickly and your hair should recover without having to do much else, however, if a number of years have elapsed, simply restoring your iron may not restore your hair fully. We recommend using a topical stimulant such as Nanogen’s Hair Growth Factor Serum to help it on its way, and this will hopefully be enough.
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You have arrived at a new chapter and hopefully life is less hectic, with the time to observe how your hair has changed over time, through dieting, babies or lifestyle factors. Your hair may not be as thick as it once was, particularly if you had a family earlier. If a hair loss problem developed then and you didn’t have the time or the finances to deal with it, now is the time to act. Always start with a blood test to check if everything is at an optimum level or if any new issues have developed. If you have had an issue which has caused your hair to gradually thin and it has been allowed to continue for some time, simply rectifying the problem won’t restore it to its prime, but Laser phototherapy may be beneficial at this stage to help bring your hair back. Wearable home laser therapy such as the Theradome™LH80 Pro Laser Helmet www.theradomeforhairloss.co.uk is easy to use as you can put it on your head while you’re watching the TV or working on your laptop. Light at a specific wavelength stimulates circulation and nutrients to the hair follicle, regulating hair growth. It’s pricey but the lasers are designed to last around 5000 hours so it should last a while.
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The drop in female hormones in your 50s will have an impact on your hair as periods stop. If you are genetically predisposed to hair loss, this is when it starts to become apparent. With post-menopausal hair loss, you don’t tend to see hair falling away excessively; your scalp becomes more visible particularly at the front and not as manageable as it once was. The earlier this is treated the better and the treatment is based around keeping what you’ve got and improving it, rather than restoring it to how it was in your 20’s and 30’s. Supplements do not appear to cause a marked improvement in this type of hair loss. Stimulants can help, of which there are two types; lotions or lasers. Lotions such as Regaine should be applied once or twice a day; the pros are they are quite cost effective, the cons are that they are usually applied after drying your hair which then can make it feel tacky and stick together, causing the hair to appear thinner than it really is. Laser therapy is a good long-term solution.
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If you’ve made it through your 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and 50’s without experiencing any hair loss or thinning, congratulations! In this decade and beyond, the same happens with our hair as our skin, it ages. Each strand of hair becomes slightly finer so will give less scalp coverage. Hair treatments become less effective and more limited, as many are contra-indicated to other health conditions and medications common in the over 60’s. We spend thousands on anti-ageing for our face, but give very little thought to our hair, which also goes through the ageing process. It is essential to look after our hair at this stage. Lotions such as Regaine aren’t recommended for women over the age of 65 but laser phototherapy as described earlier has no side effects and can be used at any age.
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Sally-Ann Tarver MIT.FTTS, Consultant Trichologist, The Cotswold Trichology Centre