At the start of the school year, it’s not just the leaves that begin to fall. Some people notice that their hair is weakened during this period. Why? And how to react? Our time takes stock with two dermatologists.
Why back to school can rhyme with hair loss?
“We all lose hair, it’s banal and normal, introduces Henry Pawin, dermatologist in Paris. In addition, temporary hair loss is more frequent in autumn and spring.” Like the trees therefore, we lose some leaves with the entry into this new season. “Women prone to hair loss find that it very often happens in the fall, confirms Isabelle Gallay, dermatologist in Dijon and vice-president of the National Syndicate of Dermatology-Venerology. hair during the summer with sun exposure, sea bathing, we wash it more frequently.” “In addition, stress and fatigue can promote hair loss,” continues Henry Pawin. So for those who are struggling to resume the accelerated pace of the start of the school year, between association, homework help and gym classes, nothing out of the ordinary.
When should you be worried?
If you notice that your ponytail is visibly reduced, that your pillow is full of hair when you wake up, that the shower is clogged with handfuls of hair, this can alert you. “If the hair loss comes back regularly, if you lose more than 80 hairs a day, you have to consult, insists Isabelle Gallay. The patients say that they are losing their hair, but in reality it is rather that the hair is getting thinner .”
“We must differentiate regular hair loss, over more than six months, from a temporary phenomenon”, reassures Henry Pawin. Indeed, after this transition period, the hair grows back on its own and there is no risk of baldness. However, during illness or menopause, this hair loss can become visible. It will then be necessary to consult a dermatologist to see what are the causes of this alopecia (hair loss) and your options.
“We will try to find out if there is a disease, a treatment, an infection, for example we have seen a lot of hair loss after Covid-19. If during the interrogation, we do not find a cause, we will do a blood test. To look for iron, which is very important, because it oxygenates the cells. However, hair cells have an intense metabolism, so they need to be very oxygenated. We will also check that there is no no deficiency in vitamins A, B, D. Finally, the examination of the skull can reveal local inflammations of the scalp, a proliferation of fungi, lice…” A hormonal dosage can prove to be invaluable, because the Androgenic alopecia, due to hormones, is common in men and affects 20% of women affected by problematic hair loss.
Read also > Androgenetic alopecia: all you need to know about hair loss
What good habits to take to stop hair loss?
First of all, there are a few reflexes to take: avoid too tight chignons, untangle your hair gently and only once a day, protect yourself from the summer sun. On the washing side, you can use a detangler or a treatment and space out the shampoos. And you can look for a brush adapted to your hair: soft with boar bristles if your hair is fine and brittle for example.
Some followers of natural methods advocate head massages with castor oil, this inedible vegetable oil. A good idea? “The effectiveness of this oil has never been scientifically proven”, nuance Henry Pawin. A study, published in the medical journal Healthline in 2019, revealed that bald men had higher levels of prostaglandin D2 (PGD2) and that this could explain their baldness. Another study showed that ricinolein, a fatty acid that makes up 90% of castor oil, could block this molecule. But further studies need to be conducted to verify this hypothesis.
“Castor oil, it can give blackheads [petits boutons de sébum] under the skin, because like all vegetable oils, it clogs the pores, warns Isabelle Gallay. I don’t recommend it.” On the other hand, she assures us that performing a scalp massage, with or without hair loss lotion, is excellent. “It facilitates blood circulation, it softens the skull, it hydrates it and that’s fine. thus mechanically boosting cellular synthesis.”
Read also > Beauty: say goodbye to dull hair!
Which treatments to choose?
“You can take food supplements, continues Henry Pawin. Cocktails often give results.” The palette is wide in pharmacies or supermarkets to find the formula that suits your hair and your wallet. “A three-month cure of magnesium can be very useful, especially in hormonal alopecia,” adds the Dijon dermatologist. Similarly, group B vitamins (provided they contain at least 7.5 micrograms of micrograms of vitamin B8 per 100 g), zinc, iron are often found in pills offered to stop hair loss.
Read also > Foods to eat to prevent hair loss
What if the hair loss persists for more than six months and obsesses you? “So the only treatment that seems effective to me is minoxidil, a medicine in the form of a lotion that must be applied morning and evening… for life!”, suggests Henry Pawin. Be careful though, the most dosed treatments are reserved for men because they can cause an increase in hair growth. For her part, Isabelle Gallay advises “a technique carried out in the office called fractionated laser, which makes tiny perforations of the scalp in order to pass products to boost regrowth. Finally, today there is the mesograft. “This n’ is not a hair transplant, insists the dermatologist. We take small pieces of skin from the scalp, under local anesthesia, which we will grind and reinject into the areas affected by alopecia, it makes the cells of the scalp work again.
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