As a hairstylist, chances are you’re dealing with hair loss on a daily basis. Whether clients are coming to you for help, or they’re suffering quietly not willing to admit that their hair line is slowly receding, the problem is impossible to ignore.
You’ve also, most likely, tried to help your clients by using every technique you’ve heard of: volumizing shampoos, cover-up styles, scalp pigment powders… Did they work? Probably not.
Same goes for topical treatments. Even if they do show results at first, the improvement almost certainly won’t last for long. Why is that?
In short, it’s because you’ve been treating hair loss as the issue, instead of addressing it as a symptom of a bigger problem.
That’s what this article will explore: why topical treatments won’t give lasting results in treating hair loss, and what will.
The issue with topical hair growth treatments
Common topical treatments for hair loss that can be obtained without a prescription are Minoxidil and Finasteride. These are used as the first line of treatment, especially for male pattern baldness.
Let’s make one thing clear: there’s nothing particularly wrong with these products, in some cases they can bring about substantial hair regrowth. But – and this is a big one – when they’re being used without a deeper investigation into the cause for hair loss, success is almost always temporary.
These products won’t get to the root of the problem. Instead, they try to stimulate hair regrowth, while the underlying issue remains unaddressed. Even if there is some improvement, the moment a client stops using them, the condition of their scalp will worsen.
Aside from wasting money on treatments that only give temporary results, using these topical treatments also prolongs the time it takes to reach a certified hair loss expert because the client is under impression that their issue is being treated.
The longer a person waits to get professional help, the lesser the chance for success. As long as there’s viable hair follicles in place, a hair loss specialist will be able to recommend lasting, effective treatment that can truly make a difference. But if the client waits too long by relying on superficial fixes and cover-up techniques, chances for recovery plummet.
If hair loss is only a symptom, what is the real cause?
Causes for hair loss vary. In fact, in many cases the main culprit is the wrong hair care regimen. Shampooing too often, excessive heat from blow drying or straightening, tight ponytails or chemical treatments such as perms or relaxers, can all bring about hair thinning and eventually strands falling out.
While this issue is relatively easy to reverse, in most cases hair loss is a sign of an underlying condition that requires thorough investigation. Some of the common underlying causes are:
- Illnesses. When we’re healthy and feeling good, our hair, skin and nails reflect that. The same goes when our body is suffering. Illnesses that often cause hair loss are:
- Autoimmune diseases, such as Systemic Lupus Erythmetosous. This happens when the immune system becomes hyer-active and begins attacking hair follicles instead of foreign invaders.
- Hormonal imbalances. Male sex hormones (or androgens) are the main culprits for both female and male pattern baldness. The imbalance in androgens can happen while women use birth control, in menopause, prostate cancer in men or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in women. Hormonal imbalances are also often caused by thyroid issues, whether this gland is being over- or underactive.
- Pregnancy. Another common cause of hair loss, once again – due to the hormonal imbalance.
- Vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Micronutrients are essential for healthy hair, skin and nails. If any of them are lacking in the body, that will reflect on hair and scalp health.
- Side effects of medication, such as oral birth control, blood-thinning therapy, antidepressants, retinoids, chemotherapy, etc.
- Stress. Both physical and emotional stress can disrupt the natural cycle of hair growth. Even after the stressor has been removed, it can take months for hair to regrow.
How you can become a hair loss expert
As you can see, dealing with hair loss is not as simple as recommending the right product. To get to the bottom of the issue, you’ll need to dive deep beneath the surface and invest a significant amount of energy and knowledge to uncover the true cause.
To do this confidently and successfully, you’ll need to get certified in Trichology, science of hair and scalp. The Certified Trichology program designed by the experienced team of educators here at the American Academy for Hair and Scalp Diseases will turn you into the authority for everything related to hair loss. Here you can find more information about the program and take the first step to becoming the source of advice and help in your community.