The key to hair health is scalp health so we spoke with Eleanore Richardson, a Consultant Trichologist at Fulham Scalp & Hair Clinic, Fulham Scalp and Hair Clinic which specialises in treating afro and mixed race hair and scalp conditions to get the answers to the questions some of you have been asking. So sis, grab a pen and paper and take all the notes.
1. So what is a Trichologist?
An expert who examines, diagnoses and treats hair and scalp conditions, focusing on re-establishing hair and scalp health on an individual basis.
2. Why am I not retaining length?
Length retention all comes down to your hair breaking off and wearing away at a slower rate to your hair growing. Most people’s growth rates are determined by genetics and some may have a faster growth rate than others but most length retention is actually improved by cutting out things that could cause your hair to break more than normal.
3. Why is my hair constantly breaking?
If you’re doing one or more of the following excessively you may experience high levels of breakage:
-Heat styling (blow-dryers, straighteners and tongs)
– Permanent colour
– Frequent or strong relaxers/ keratin straightening
– Persistent braiding/ extension styles
– Infrequent hair trims
Remember to make sure your hair is getting the intense conditioning it may need if you have been doing any of the above. If you are still experiencing breakage and are struggling to pin down the cause, book an appointment to see a trichologist.
4. Why is my hair consistently shedding?
Shedding, when hair falls out from the root, is a normal process of the hair growth cycle, but if more hair is shedding than normal it could be due to one of the following things;
-Drastic dieting or major changes to your diet (like going vegan without substituting meat for an alternative protein)
– New medication like antibiotics or changes to regular medication dosages.
– High and sustained levels of emotional/ psychological/ physical stress on the body.
– Illness, particularly high fevers and infections
There is usually a 2 month delay between the trigger for hair shedding and the hair actually falling out, so take a moment to think back over what’s been happening in your life. If you need help pinning down the trigger or shedding is occurring for a long period of time, book an appointment to see a trichologist.
5. Do you have any advice for those suffering with Eczema on their scalp?
Flaky, itchy and sometimes even scabby, eczema can be a misery if it’s flaring up or not well managed. With eczema and other sensitive scalp conditions you really want to focus on keeping the skin calm and reducing inflammation. Try and avoid or manage classic triggers such as high levels of stress, a diet high in sugars (that includes alcohol) and fragranced products in contact with your skin and scalp. If you know your itching a lot, keep nails shorter and filed and if you’re struggling to control flare ups please seek the help of a trichologist.
6. Any advice to combat dryness?
Dryness can leave your hair crunchy and lifeless and your scalp tight or even flakey and it only gets more common in the winter when we crank up our heating and the air becomes drier around us. 4 Easy tips to tackle dryness: -To tackle this you can add a humidifier in my bedroom at night to replenish some of that lost moisture in the air. – Another great tip is to boost the number of steam treatments you are including in your hair care routines. I love a weekly steam treatment when my hair is coated in a rich hair mask. To recreate a steam treatment at home cover your conditioner coated hair with a shower cap and towel and leave for 30 minutes before rinsing off.
– Cut down on direct heat which may be sapping that much needed moisture from your hair.
– Use a water based leave-in conditioner in between wash days to top up the water content of your hair.
7. Any styling advice for those with sensitive hairlines?
You could argue that everyone has a sensitive hairline, depending what you put your hairline through. If you are noticing breakage and thinning around your hairline be strict with the following advice to avoid any permanent hair loss.
First, take away all tight styling, laid edges, slicked and pulled back styles, extensions of any type and ideally wigs too. Your hair needs to have a break from the excessive weight and tension you’re asking it to endure. Secondly reduce any friction over the hairline, this means taking a break from tight scarves, bristle brushes and massaging. If you need to wear them, switch to silk scarves and invest in a silk pillowcase for bedtimes.If you don’t see improvement in a few months please book an appointment with a trichologist to prevent the hair loss from worsening.
We hope these answers were helpful, sis. If you’d like more information about Fulham Scalp and Hair Clinic, you can see find them on IG/FB: @fulhamscalphair, online at: www.fulhamscalphairclinic.com or you can contact them: Info@fulhamscalphairclinic.com.