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50% of Women Will Experience Hair Loss: How to Beat It

When a woman first looks down and notices a ball of hair in the tub or in her hairbrush it can be truly devastating. More openly discussed and perhaps even accepted is male pattern baldness, but for women we often don’t consider losing our hair or have it thin out so much that we might as well have. 

Woman brushing her hair

Recent research has shown that up to 50% of women can expect to experience some level of hair loss during their lifetime. You may also may not know that it’s perfectly normal to drop between 50 to 100 single strands of hair per day during a process that is called “hair shedding”. When the normal cycle of hair growth and fall becomes abnormal and you are losing more hair than is growing, you are experiencing the medical condition called “alopecia”. 

The Life Cycle of Your Hair Strands

Normally, every strand of hair goes through three cycles in its life span:

  • Anagen (growing phase) that ranges from 2 to 8 years
  • Catagen (transition phase) that rangers from 2 to 3 weeks as the hair is pushed out of the head
  • Telogen (resting phase) that ranges from 2 to 4 months as new strand of hair grows below the old one, slowly pushing it out completely for a new strand of hair to grow up from the follicle in its place. 

the phases of hair life

Of the upwards of 100,000 strands of hair on our heads this cycle is able to continue uninterrupted, but in the case of an alopecia or other medical conditions that result in hair loss, the process is interrupted. Essentially the blood supply to the hair follicles becomes restricted, resulting in the hair follicle not getting enough oxygen and nutrients to remain active.

The Hair Follicle State

Sometimes this interruption is temporary as is the case of hormone imbalances, stress, medicines or pregnancy related hair loss. Other times it’s permanent and other solutions are needed. Firstly, you want to identify what the cause is and while we go into some of these below, it’s always important to speak to your doctor for an accurate diagnosis.

The Causes of Hair Loss

The stages of Hair Loss

Trying to determine the root cause of your hair loss is complicated as sometimes it isn’t just one factor, but multiple factors. Some of these are within your control, especially in the instance of stress or diet, while others are not and are just an unfortunate part of the genetic lottery we all are dealt. 

  • Cause #1: Radiation or chemotherapy. Tackling cancer and fighting for your life is horrifying enough as it is, but the ravages to your body from radiation and chemotherapy have an impact as well. Because both radiation and chemotherapy do not discriminate when it comes to killing cancer cells and damaging hair follicles, significant hair loss is a side effect. This can be mitigated with newer methods that involve the use of what’s called a “cold cap” to slow blood flow to the scalp and keep the chemotherapy cocktail out of your hair follicles, but it’s not a completely effective method. Recovery from radiation or chemotherapy can take quite a while as hair will return 
  • Cause #2: Hormonal changes. Hormonal imbalances can happen for a variety of reasons and it’s critical to work with your doctor to identify the source. Since our hormones are essential to maintaining the health and function of our organs, an imbalance can lead to hair loss.
  • Cause #3: Genetics. One thing we can’t control is the genes we are born with. This is the most common source of hair loss, and is called androgenic alopecia. This cause of condition is related to the natural genetic lifecycle of your body, directly connected to how your body reacts to the natural aging process. It’s not instantaneously and can take years and years, often first appearing as thinning of hair at the crown the widening of the part of your hair. 
  • Cause #4: Medication. Similar to radiation or chemotherapy, medications are essentially altering body chemistry to help you combat a variety of health issues both physical and mental. An unfortunate byproduct of this shifting of body chemistry is the unintended consequence that the lifecycle of your hair growth is interrupted, leading to a temporary condition of hair loss. 
  • Cause #5: Hairstyle or scalp health. This cause is completely temporary, often overlooked and completely correctable. Braids, ponytails, use of elastics and anything that put tension on your hair by pulling it up or back can lead to swelling of your hair follicle from the pressure. Additionally, wearing the wrong extensions, extensions too heavy for thin hair, or even overuse of extensions can also lead to temporary hair loss. Chemical services such as perming or bleaching can also be stressful to your scalp and hair follicles and can also potentially lead to hair loss.
  • Cause #6: Stress. High levels of stress can be psychological but also the result of significant stress to the body and its immune system. Psychological stress as a result of mental health conditions, sudden lifestyle changes, death of a loved one, or even PTSD can manifest itself physically in the body. Additionally, bodily trauma and stress from surgery or even health conditions such as COVID-19 take a toll on the body as it throws all of its resources into fighting, healing and recovery, resources that normally go to regulating your body’s natural processes. The good news is that type of hair loss is temporary as well and full hair growth cycle restoration can occur on its own within less than a year provided you’ve addressed the cause of the stress.

What Can I Do About It?

healthy food equals healthy hair

Once you’ve determined the root of your loss you have a few options that can help. Chances are your doctor will give you a specific medical diagnosis which could include any of the following:

  • Nutrient Deficiencies:You are what you eat. If you’re not feeding your body enough proteins, iron, essential vitamins, nutrients and minerals that contribute to scalp and hair health…you will experience hair loss. Addressing it is as simply as changing your diet to foods rich in Zinc, Vitamin D and B12, as well foods such as whole grains, beans, fish and eggs, and hair healthy veggies like carrots, spinach or broccoli.
  • Telogen Effluvium: This is a condition recently in the headlines as being the end result of COVID-19. It is the condition mentioned above when your body is so stressed by sickness, disease or severe psychological stress that large chunks of hair can suddenly come out. Essentially your body accelerates through from the catagen to the telogen phase of the hair cycle faster than it is supposed to. Once the stress is reduced, your hair will return to normal.
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): Hormonal imbalances mentioned above as a cause can trigger PCOS, the medical term for loss of hair due to the imbalance of hormones. This mostly occurs at the crown (top) of the head. In some cases lifestyle changes can correct the balance, otherwise your doctor will prescribe some medicine to correct your imbalance and the hair loss can be dramatically minimized. 

There are some things you can do to minimize and mask your condition as it progress and you need more effective long term solutions to maintain your dignity and confidence.

  • Use Hair Fiber products daily that electrostatically cling to your hair and add bulk and volume discreetly.
  • Temporary Fixes for Hair Loss

    When you notice thinning or the beginnings of partial hair loss, it can be frightening and paralyzing for men or women. So much of our identity is wrapped up in our hair, how we wear it, style it and when we start to lose it, it taps into fear of aging, loss of youth or simply loss of that identity. Hair loss can either be permanent as part of the genetic lottery that is androgenetic alopecia AKA pattern baldness or temporary. In the case of either there is hair loss treatment that can be pursued to hide or mask the condition, but in this blog we want to share some of the temporary and VERY reversible causes of extra hair shedding and what you can do about it. Let’s talk about treating hair loss and male and female pattern baldness!

    hair loss in men and women

    Telogen Effluvium Explained

    When you hear a word like Telogen Effluvium your eyes probably gloss over, but if you notice a higher than average amount of hair in your tub drain or in your comb or brush, this condition is a common culprit. Stress is one of the leading causes of hair loss and the good thing about stress be it physical stress or mental stress is that it can be managed. 

    You shed approximately 50 to 100 strands of hair every day during the natural cycle of our hair in which the hair follicles your hair grows from push the strands out of a neutral phase to a resting phase. During this cycle, 85% of our hair is actively growing during what’s called an anagen phase while 15% are in a resting phase. 

    Telogen Effluvium is temporary hair loss that is initiated by psychological shock or physical changes to the body due to shock or stress. 

    Causes can be:

    • Illness (such as COVID-19) that cause fevers

    • Rapid weight loss (20 pounds or more over a short period of time)

    • Surgery or physical severe trauma

    • Hyperthyroidism or other metabolic conditions

    • Certain medications (I.E. retinoids, hormonal medications, anticoagulants or beta-blockers)

    • Nutrient deficiency from low protein intake or iron deficiency 

    • Giving birth can also trigger it due to the shock to the body

    Telogen Effluvium Temporary Hair Loss Solutions 

    Firstly, don’t panic because your hair will return as your body heals provided that the root cause is addressed, particularly if it’s stress related. With all of these solutions it’s important to speak to your healthcare provider to identify the specific reason for the condition. Also remember that your normal hair pattern and density takes time to return. Below we share some of the solutions we make to help you hide or mask the condition, just remember not to get frustrated!

    1. Reduce the stress! Mindful meditation, naps or any activity that gives you pleasure such as working out, hiking or tapping into your artistic side can all go a long way to help you. Changes to your lifestyle aren’t easy, but you’ll be all the happier for it in the long run.

    2. Correct issues with your diet. Lack or protein or iron in your diet can trigger the condition, so start by eating protein rich foods and foods high in iron.

    3. For hormonal and metabolic conditions, take medication! After speaking to your healthcare provider and identifying the cause, take recommended medication to correct hormonal imbalances or correct your metabolism.

    4. If you’re lacking nutrients, start taking nutrient supplements or vitamins that help with hair growth. 

    5. If the cause of hair loss is a medication, speak with your healthcare provider to see if there are alternatives that won’t contribute to hair loss. 

     

    Hair Loss Concealers

    Volumizers or thickening products can go a long way in plumping up the hair you have to mask the hair loss condition, but completely concealing that visible scalp is better! Concealers like our Perfect Locks Hair Building Fibers, hide patchy hair with electrostatically charged keratin fibers that click to your fine hair and build upon one another. Made of the same material your hair is, they are talc and clump-free, so they won’t clog your hair follicles or build up on your scalp leading to other issues. 

     

    How do these hair loss treatments work?

    Designed to be as effortless daily, it takes less than 30 seconds to apply the product and go! Following your typical morning shower routine, dry and style your hair as desired. Pop the cap and simply shake the Perfect Locks™ Hair Fibers on areas of thinning hair and noticeable loss of fullness, the perfect solution to simulate hair growth. Pat gently and use a brush to work the hair fibers through. In fact, the more you brush, the thicker and more natural looking your result becomes. Finish and set with a shot of hairspray and you’re done!

    Hair Fiber when in a Pinch

    The greatest benefit of hair fillers and concealers is their low cost of entry to achieve immediate benefit to the sufferer. No different than buying skincare or cologne, it allows both men and women to manage the cost/lifestyle impact their condition has upon their finances at the early stages. It also offers no impact on health (medications) or safety (hair plugs) and is discrete with proper placement.

    • Talk to your hairdresser about a cut and style that will minimize the appearance of hair loss. This can include shorter cuts with lots of depth, dimension and layers such as bobs or shags. 
    • Light scalp massage and even mint based oil can help to increase blood flow to the scalp and hair follicles which can help to slow some of the thinning. Just remember to be gently with your hair and scalp. 
    • If your hair loss is happening at the crown, our Topper units can give you instant volume and density.
  • Avoid shampoos with aggressive sulfates and switch to volumizing haircare. 
  • Complete Your Crown with a Topper

    If you are experiencing balding on the crown of your head, a hair topper is the perfect solution. Ranging in sizes from 4.75” to 7.9” wide, topper pieces provide the ultimate coverage. Made with long-lasting wear in mind, these toppers are made of various breathable materials to allow body heat to escape for more comfortable wear. Our toppers can be installed easily with our secure DuraLock clips. For those looking for a more permanent solution, each topper has a polyurethane lining to glue the piece down.

    What are Hair Toppers?

    human hair toppers

    If you’ve ever used hair extensions before, they’re the best of both worlds, right in the middle between extensions and wigs. Sometimes wiglets or half wigs, unlike a full wig, they only offer you discrete coverage for specific areas of your head as opposed to your whole head. Since most hair loss begins at the crown (top of your head), Hair Toppers offer you renewed hair density and thickness.

    Hair Toppers are designed for durable, long lasting wear with real hair (or synthetic hair which we don’t recommend) hair attached to a base. Modern Hair Topper bases are made of a breathable fabric, avoiding the kind of sweaty, itchy, uncomfortable feeling of older units. They are designed for people with thinning hair or more advanced stages of hair loss where small to large thin or bald patches are visible. They require some of your natural hair to blend and attach to, so they are not ideal for almost full to complete hair loss (we’d recommend wigs for this stage).

    How do Hair Toppers work?

    Your Hair Topper is placed on your head, cut and sized to the right length and width of the spot you are trying to cover. Where it is placed depends on the stage that your hair loss is at currently.  Hair Toppers should always be placed about 1 to 1 1.2 inches from your hairline.

    Stages of Hair Loss

    Hair Toppers easily attach to your existing hair with durable clips that allow for more comfortable wear than older systems that used tapes or glues. This means you can apply your topper in just minutes!

    Once installed you can style your Hair Topper any way you like, including using hot tools. We do recommend you use a thermal styling spray to protect the hair from heat damage. 

    NEVER sleep with your Hair Topper in while you sleep. As you move in the night, it can damage the hair unit, the clips or worse, add tension to your natural hair, pulling and causing further hair loss. 

    What is the difference between a Hair Topper and a Wig?

    As mentioned previously, Hair Toppers are ideal for thinning hair, lack of density and partial baldness. They are an excellent solution to offer you complete coverage of an affected area, fully restoring your hair density and fullness.

    Wigs however are required when you have more advanced or complete hair loss that cannot be covered by the 6.5” x 6” Hair Topper. This level of hair loss is most common in cases of chemotherapy or advanced cases of alopecia. It’s important for you to know that you shouldn’t feel shame if you need to move from a Hair Topper to a full wig. We’ve endeavored to make the natural, high quality, natural wigs available anywhere. 

    How do I choose a Hair Topper?

    Quality is the most important, but so is realism, wear, durability and discretion. Cheaper Hair Toppers can include synthetic or non-remy hair that will be prone to tangles or look “fake” against your natural hair. Moreover, low quality Hair Toppers use clips that could cause damage to your natural hair by pulling on your hair, damaging the cuticle root, resulting in further hair loss.

    Perfect Locks only uses 100% Human Indian Remy Hair of the finest quality for all of our Hair Toppers. The hair is mounted to a 5.9” x 6.2” MonoPart™ Base that mimics the illusion of natural hair growth. 

    Our Perfect Topper is available in a standard 16” length that can be blended, cut and shaped. 

    Hair Extension length Chart

     

    Firstly, choose a color and texture as close to your natural hair as possible. If need be, a professional stylist can custom color your Hair Topper for a perfect color match.

    Our Hair Topper units measure 6.5” from front to back and 6” 

    Hair Topper Diagram

    Clip-In Your Confidence with a Closure

    Clip-in closures are perfect for those experiencing a little hair loss at the top of their head and around their hairline. Restore your confidence with our clip-in closure. Made with a silk base to perfectly mimic the scalp. This closure is incredibly lightweight and can be worn for extended periods of time.

  • Clip-In Closures are also an option and feature a silk base that wears comfortably, just like our Topper Units.
  • Reclaim Your Look with a Wig

    Wigs are a simple solution that provides an instant transformation. Whether you’re looking to restore your old look or you’re interested in trying something new, wigs are a great alternative. Human hair wigs are incredibly versatile and easy to take care of. Style them however you want and simply wash the hair to return it to its natural texture. With 3 inches of lace, our lace-front wigs allow a natural part to occur on either side. If you’re looking for more versatility, our completely hand-knotted full lace wigs will provide it. Each wig is made with 130% density for a natural look.

    For more advanced hair loss or even total hair loss in the case of radiation or chemotherapy, we have a long history of both knowledge and empathy working with women battling breast cancer and other health issues. Full and 100% real human hair wigs are always an option immediately or something you may need to transition to over time. We have Lace Front Wigs or Full Lace Wigs that are ideal and are so flawlessly made people would never know.

    Hair Loss and COVID: Causes and Solutions

    Global demand for wigs, toppers and hair extensions is up, but the cause is a byproduct of COVID-19: hair loss. On average, 100 strands of hair fall per day, increasing in the fall and the summer months to coincide with seasons. This seasonal shedding is evolutionary, but people recovering from COVID-19 have been reporting widespread and dramatic hair loss. Google reported that searches for hair loss increased 8%, up to 829,000 per month currently in the United States alone. So, what is going on?

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says long-term effects of the virus include fatigue and shortness of breath, but doctors are also reporting significant hair loss in their patients in recovery. In a viral Instagram video back in August, actress Alyssa Milano who recovered from COVID-19 shared a shocking video of her hair coming out while brushing that helped raise awareness of the issues.

    The Cause and the Condition

    Telogen effluvium is a condition that occurs when the body is shocked and stressed by a major illness or even an intense emotional psychological event. In essence, our hair goes through a growth life cycle, but when the body is shocked by fever, sickness or severe stress, it pushes more hair into the shedding phase of the life cycle, causes the root to die and release from the scalp. The medical condition is fairly common outside of COVID-19 side effect, most commonly experienced by women after childbirth. Hair fall can start to occur weeks after the stressor event and continue for months or even up to a year. Dermatologists are reporting that hair loss of up to 50% is pretty common, which can be devastating to a woman’s self-confidence and identity.

    Recovery takes time, but thankfully there are techniques and solutions that can help you.

    Solution 1

    Manage Your Stress

    Stress management is critical to stop the cycle of hair loss. This could include breathing exercises, scalp manages, yoga and exercise. Sometimes just changing up your routine to walk daily and get out of the house can dramatically cut stress levels in the body.

    Solution 2

    Change Up Your Diet

    Hair supplements and dietary changes can also help renew the scalp and mitigate further hair loss. Pharmacological solutions such as Rogaine take several months to work and by then your natural hair could be growing back.

    Solution 3

    Mask Your Hair Loss

    While managing your hair loss is a long-term process, there are short-term solutions that may work for you. Our Perfect Locks Hair Integration Toppers are an ideal solution that directly masks the area most commonly impacted by hair loss: the crown. We stock five different sizes with premium lace and net base options for maximum comfort and breathability.

    For above 40% to 50% hair loss, a more complete solution is required while your scalp recovers from the condition. The crown jewel of our Perfect Locks offerings are our complete lifestyle and budget friendly luxury human hair wigs. Full adjustable, they are available with a durable full lace or lace front base.

    No matter the reason for your hair loss or thinning, our team always will answer your questions with empathy and respect. We’re here to take the added stress of finding solutions off your plate and help you plan what you may need when you may need it.

    Remember that you’re still gorgeous. We’re here for you.

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