It’s the most dramatic issue for men and women when it comes to hair, and one that clients are not comfortable addressing either. But as these experts tell, tackling the issue of hair loss should be part of every consultation. You’re welcome.
For some men, the problem becomes glaringly visible as early as their 20s. And for women, the issue of thinning hair can start in their mid-30s—yes, when all those wonderful hormonal changes begin.
“It makes sense that if your hormone levels are shifting, it also affects hair, much like the aging process influences your skin. Hair and skin cells are the ones that regenerate the fastest in the body, so that’s where you are likely to see changes first,” says Michelle Blaisure, a seasoned trichologist and director of education at Bosley, a professional-strength scalp and hair care brand. “With women, we talk about obtaining shine and volume but those words don’t appeal to men,” says Blaisure. Instead, using analogies that men can relate to during your consultation, such as anti-aging and full and healthy hair is a good option.
Here are the top five signs your client is suffering from hair loss:
1. Dry, greasy or itchy scalp and dandruff.
2. Noticeably thinner hair strands because the diameter of the hair shaft is shrinking.
3. Client says bigger clumps of hair appear in the shower after shampooing (by the way, it’s normal for everyone to lose about 100 hair strands a day).
4. A wider parting or thinning crown.
5. Hair feels limp and shows less body and bounce.
Tackling the topic
Of course, if you already have a good relationship with the client, you know how far you can go in terms of suggesting systems and specific products. But it’s essential to get the conversation going. “Opening up the topic of hair loss also shows your client you are paying attention to his or her specific needs. If you notice less density on the scalp, you have to bring it up. It shows the client you are the hair specialist they trust,” says Jean-Sébastien Tremblay, field education capability master for Nioxin Canada.
“One of the most enduring—and erroneous—myths is that washing your hair every day is damaging. But when hair loss occurs, you need to make sure the scalp is as clean as possible because it’s an extension of the skin on the face. You certainly want to avoid sebum and grime accumulating because it creates a toxic environment and clogs follicles, which in turn compromises the growth of healthy hair,” says Tremblay.
Enriched with niacinamide, panthenol and caffeine, Diamax, Nioxin’s newest product, is proven to boost existing hair diameter instantly, making it manageable and full while thickening existing hair at the roots. “It’s, literally as if you had up to 11,000 more hair strands,” specifies Tremblay. The brand has also created two types of treatment systems designed for normal to thin-looking hair and noticeably thinning hair. In order to work at their peak efficiency, the products must be used every day.
“The systems work as long as you use them correctly,” says Blaisure. “Our Bos Defense 3 part kit is for early stages of hair loss and prevention and Bos-Revive is for noticeably thinning hair and excessive hair loss. Both contain our advanced technology called LIfeXtend Complex which is a triad of ingredients such as natural proteins that give thickness and volume, plant based ingredients that help produce better quality hair and ocean marine extracts to help inhibit the effects of DHT in the follicle, a known cause of hair loss.”
A Question of Image
Dr. Stephen Franzoi, a professor of psychology at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and a specialist in the psychology of appearance, says hair loss has a huge impact on self-confidence and recommends that hairstylists build relationships with clients to address thinning hair concerns. Here are a few things Dr. Franzoi suggests to keep in mind when speaking with your clients.
1. Show you care: “About 70 per cent of men and 90 per cent of women who have hair loss consider it a problem affecting their self-confidence.”
2. Be approachable: “Hairstylists need to create a warm, safe environment where clients can ask some questions and the hairstylist can actively listen to what they are saying,”
3. Dispel the myth: “Because it’s considered by most people to be a male problem, women with thinning hair think that they’re alone,” he says. “They think that they are the only one suffering from this. They’re embarrassed.”
Root of the Matter
From diet to genetics, Jean-Sébastien Tremblay and Michelle Blaisure offer up their insight on some of the causes of hair loss.
1. Genetic predisposition: If it’s a man, 90 per cent of the time it’s inherited male pattern baldness. “We used to think that the responsible gene was handed down by the mother, but studies have now proven otherwise,” says Blaisure. If it’s a woman, some of that hair loss can be inherited as well.
2. Stress: Major life changes, such as losing your job, divorce and mourning can manifest in hairloss.
3. Diet: Yes, eating junk even has negative repercussions on the health and quality of your hair, “because hair gets its nutrients from blood,” says Tremblay. As well, super-restrictive low-cal diets can take their toll. “It’s a good idea to take multivitamins, which contain healthy fatty acids that are good for keeping moisture in the skin, nails and hair, says Blaisure. “As prevention, if you’re stressed, get more vitamins B and D as well.”
4. Health: Hormonal changes such as pregnancy and menopause affect hair loss. “An underactive thyroid and low levels of iron can cause hair loss in some women,” cautions Blaisure.
5. Medication: According to some studies done by Nioxin, some drugs (such as antidepressants) have secondary effects on hair’s overall health and thickness.
6. Environmental damage: UV rays, pollution, too much chlorine and even hard water can be an issue.