Dealing with Thinning Hair
& Hair Loss

Did you know that thinning hair is a natural part of the ageing process? This section clears up the myths about causes of hair loss and guides you through the options available for combatting thinning hair.

Bald areas are an obvious sign of hair loss, but otherwise it can be difficult to tell whether your hair is getting thinner. To find out, try the “tug test”. Hold a small bunch of about 15 or 20 hairs between the thumb and index finger. Pull slowly and firmly. If more than six hairs come out, there may be a problem.

Most hair loss, especially male pattern baldness is a natural part of ageing and nothing to worry about. Other kinds of hair loss tend to be similarly harmless in medical terms but can have an emotional effect, which can be difficult to deal with.

Hair loss in the young and hair loss in women can carry a social stigma, and in these instances you may want to talk to your doctor about your experiences.

Hair loss can be a symptom of other health problems, for example, thyroid problems. If you are concerned about your hair thinning or hair loss we recommend you speak to a medical professional.

Most types of hair loss will not need treatment as they do not pose a risk to your health, however, there are a couple of treatments available on the NHS for some types of hair loss.

There are also cosmetic shampoos available, like our Activating Shampoo with arginine which can help thin hair regain its natural body and vitality without weighing it down. If you want to know more about how arginine helps your hair, take a look at our article on the subject.

Yes, extreme heat damages the proteins in hair, making them fragile and liable to break.

No, hair dyes, perms and hairsprays do not affect thinning hair; they can help disguise it.

Yes, styles that put tension on the hair – such as tight ponytails, plaits or corn-rows – can cause hair loss. Winding hair tightly onto rollers (particularly heated rollers) can also have a damaging effect.

Yes, if the hair extensions are too tight they can pull on the hairs and cause bald patches (which in severe cases could be permanent).

No, hair does not need to breathe as only the root of the hair is alive and therefore gets its oxygen from the blood in the scalp. Wigs and hairpieces will damage hair only if they are too tight.

No, shampooing simply gets rid of the hairs that have already fallen out.

On average 50 to 100 hairs are shed each day and most are washed out when you shampoo. So you may see what seems like a lot of hair after shampooing, but in reality these hairs have been shed earlier.

Baldness is inherited and probably involves a combination of genes from your father and mother. But this doesn’t mean you’ll automatically avoid hair loss just because your father has a full head of hair.

Yes, a person aged between 20 and 30 averages 615 hair follicles per square centimetre. This number falls to 485 by 50 years of age, and to 435 at 80 to 90 years of age. So with age, hair naturally becomes both finer and sparser.