Today, I was quite saddened to see one of my regular clients who had suffered excessive hair loss in a matter of 3 months.
Annie had travelled interstate in early August for a wedding when the hair loss was at its worst. She went into the nearest hairdresser to her hotel and had her hair cut quite short as she hardly had much thickness left but long whispy strands of length.
Her hair had been cascading waves down below her shoulders before this. I had been colouring her greys with an organic colour for a year now, so her hair had been in beautiful condition. The last I saw her was early July.
On her visit this morning I could not get over the change, or what she called ‘her worst hair journey ever!’ I sat and spoke with her for about 45mins, just trying to get a grasp on her sudden hair loss. Annie recently had her thyroid checked, that was all fine, but when talking with her she kept dropping into sentances the word ‘stressed’. And when mentioning that word she would act out with her hands the motion of running her hands through her hair. I worked out that the acting out of running her hands through her hair, and explaining to me of how much hair was falling out into her hands, was making her stressed!
So what could be the trigger that has caused this sudden hair loss?
Annie’s scalp was incredibly dry with small patches of irritated, crusty skin, and was tight and itchy. It looked to me that there was no sebum being produced at all.
The hairdresser Annie had been to see had sent her home with a shampoo and conditioner for thinning hair. Yes, Annie’s hair was thinning, but the ingredient list on the shampoo bottle had me gasping!
There could be a multitude of reasons why a persons hair would be thinning, from stress, to hormones, to hereditary, to alopecia etc…..but I would not be treating everyone that has thinning hair with the same shampoo that is laden with such nasties!
Sodium Laureth Sulfate & Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLES & SLS)
- Harmful skin irritant
- Findings link SLS to hormone imbalances
- While they are generally considered safe to use at a level of 1%, over time the amount absorbed by the bloodstream can mean residual levels in your body are much higher.
- Draws moisture from the lower layers of the skin and holds it on the surface, drying the skin from the inside out.
Glycol Distearate & Diamethicone
- Are used as thickeners and also give the illusion of ‘body building’ in hair.
- Not to be used on skin that is irritated or inflamed.
These are the few main ingredients of the shampoo and obviously should not be used by Annie with her scalp in the condition it is in.
Annie and I put together an action plan.
- I was not colouring Annie’s hair. Although I use organic colours, I am not going to be mucking around or causing Annie any more discomfort with her scalp.
- Second action was to stop using the shampoo and conditioner that had been recommended and try not to shampoo much at all.
- To book in with a Naturopath that I recommended who I know specialisises in female hormones.
- To start nourishing her scalp by massaging a very small amount of organic virgin coconut oil to help with the tightness, itchiness and dry flakes.
- I recommended a shampoo from Organic Colour Systems called Soothe Plus to be used when she needs to wash her scalp. Soothe Plus Shampoo is designed to calm, cleanse and rebalance irritated and sensitive scalps. It contains certified organic ingredients of almond seed oil, aloe Vera, chamomile, comfrey, jojoba seed oil, sunflower oil plus vitamin B & E.
- Annie has also begun drinking Organic Apple Cider Vinegar and we spoke about using it also as a final rinse over her scalp and hair to really help balance the ph level.
Annie has confirmed that she has an appointment with the naturopath on Friday. I will be touching base with her over the coming weeks and hopefully with some questions answered, I will write a part 2 to this blog……..
To be continued………
Disclaimer ~ the information provided is based on one persons condition and may vary from person to person. The remedies provided are based on the case study stated (Annie) and are not a general guide for thinning hair.