It’s a common (and unfortunate) misconception that only a certain ‘type’ of person is affected by hair loss. What’s more – and perhaps worse! – is that the average person thinks it’s ‘normal’ for certain people to lose their hair compared to others. I won’t dance around the stereotyped group: It’s men, in particular middle-aged men.
We – as a society – oftentimes take this stereotype one step further and assume that it’s middle-aged men with a stressful job. We view it as a sort of right of passage and expect those struggling with hair loss to ‘just deal with it!’. Every type of hair loss (there are several…) is typified into the same all-inclusive group and most of us aren’t empathetic towards the effect it can have on a person’s identity.
Here at The London Skin and Hair Clinic, we want to encourage everyone – whether you’re struggling yourself or not – to stop stereotyping hair loss and to seek real information on the subject. Of course, there’s a lot of information to wade through and a lot of what your read on the Internet can be conflicting and even false.
So, we thought we’d make it easy for you. We spoke with two of our hair specialists, Dr Nicola Clayton and Dr Martin Wade, and put together a list of five things you should know about hair loss.
1. Women suffer with hair loss, too. And so do children, teenagers, and 20-somethings. Even men can lose hair in their beards or eyebrows but not on their head. There is no one who’s effectively immune to hair loss and it’s important that you don’t feel isolated in your diagnosis. Dr. Nicola Clayton had her own bout with hair loss when she was just 19 years old which makes her especially sympathetic to those who are in a similar situation. Of course, it’s important that you don’t let society’s expectations add to the pressure that you’re likely already putting on yourself. Whether you’re a young adult who has noticed thinning hair or bald patches or you’re a parent who has noticed the same in your child, there are effective treatments that can help.
2. There isn’t just one ‘way’ to lose your hair. That’s right! Unfortunately, we often think only of male pattern baldness which normally presents itself as a receding hairline. This type of balding is called Androgenetic Alopecia and – as the name suggests – is genetic and is also seen in women. Alopecia Areata, on the other hand, is an autoimmune condition that can affect different people in different ways, from patchy to complete hair loss. Dermatologists at The London Skin and Hair Clinic also treat Scarring Alopecia, a condition in which the hair follicle is destroyed and replaced by scar tissue. Each condition needs to be dealt with differently and on a case-by-case basis. See the next point…
3. There’s more than one form of treatment. There is no one-size-fits-all miracle cure and anyone that sells you that dream is – unfortunately – lying. At The London Skin and Hair Clinic we’re realists. We’re evidence-based and prescribe treatments that have been proven to work. From topical treatments to injection therapy to a course of oral tablets, we always offer what we think will work best in your particular case and always track your progress so that adjustments can be made if necessary.
4. Relating to patients is important. We know (some of us first-hand) that losing your hair can affect your self-esteem. At The London Skin and Hair Clinic, we’re understanding of that. We always want our patients to feel comfortable and understood and, if we can’t help support you emotionally, we have an in-house psychologist who can help. Treatment is multi-faceted and we have the people and resources to accommodate all of our patients’ needs.
5. It’s important that you see a dermatologist. Just because society hasn’t yet accepted the many forms of hair loss and the many people it affects, that doesn’t mean you should simply grin, bear it and complacently wait for it to get better. Time is always of the essence and the sooner you seek medical advice from a dermatologist, the sooner you’ll be on the road to recovery. While other professionals might be able to offer advice as to what shampoo you should use or how you can style your hair to camouflage your hair loss, at The London Skin and Hair Clinic we treat the problem and offer informed and customised treatment plans.
If you or someone you know is struggling with hair loss, contact the The London Skin and Hair Clinic today to set up a consultation. Dr. Nicola Clayton is available every Tuesday and Friday from 2-6 PM and Dr Martin Wade is available Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.