Stafford Hair

Hair loss…and what to do about it

Expert advice from a trichologist

Every week another letter or email appears asking us what to do about hair loss. It’s a complex subject and one we have touched on in the past. The reasons for hair loss are manifold but the result is clearly the same as the letters we have been receiving show women who are understandable distressed about losing their hair.

Which is why this week we decided to talk to our good friend Mark Blake about what causes hair loss, what to do and also how to prevent it.

Mark Blake is a highly recognised hairstylist with an enviable reputation within the salon industry. He is an award winner and salon owner who is now a leading trichologist, with clinics in London’s Harley Street, Liverpool and Gloucester.

Here, we discuss why discuss why hair loss in women seems to be on the rise and what are the options available to those who are suffering from it.

So Mark, why do women lose their hair?

Mark Blake: Women lose their hair for seven reasons as identified by Dr David Kingsley. They are called the seven aitches of hair loss.

  1. Hereditary (genetics)
  2. Health
  3. Hunger (nutrition)
  4. Hassle (stress)
  5. Healing (medication)
  6. Hormones
  7. Hairdressing


However, the main two reasons usually are number one and number three.

In the case of H for hereditary, genetics inherited from your parents and grandparents may have left you with a sensitivity to a dihydrotestosterone (DHT) a by-product of testosterone. If your follicles are sensitive to DHT they will miniaturize causing a progressive thinning on the scalp called Androgenetic alopecia.

The second biggest issue is H for hunger or your nutrition. Your body is made up of around 85% protein and you grow hair from what you eat or retain nutritionally.

The hair follicle is the second most prolific cell producer in the body. For example, you grow between 0.3 – 0.5mm of hair every day and you have between 100,000- 150,000 hairs on your scalp.

If you multiply each 0.3-0.5mm of daily hair growth by the 100,000 – 150,000 hairs you have on your head, that equates to growing circa 36 metres of hair a day if all those little bits of hair were all joined together end-to-end.

That’s a lot of hair to grow every day, hence why nutrition is one of the biggest factors for affecting hair quality and growth.

Hair follicles needs a boundless source of energy unfortunately people today are faddy eaters and sometimes are n restrictive diets that have a massive impact on hair growth.

Are there off the shelf solutions that can help?

There are off the shelf solutions that can help with female hair loss such Nioxin’s Anti-Hair Loss serum that reduces hair loss by 20% in eight weeks and improves root anchorage.

However, firstly you need to find out what is the causative factor of your hair loss, otherwise when you stop using the product the hair loss will return. Finding out if it is nutritional, hormonal or both is the key to stopping hair loss and thinning hair.

If you were to take unnecessary supplements this can cause your hair loss to be exacerbated. For example, taking a zinc supplement when you don’t need it can cause hair loss. Your hair follicle needs a certain amount of zinc so not enough zinc in your diet, and you will lose hair, however too much zinc in your diet and you will lose hair. Also taking a zinc supplement can lead to lower iron absorption causing yet more problems.

The one thing that probably won’t help is taking Biotin, it’s very rare to have a biotin deficiency in a western diet so don’t waste your money taking Biotin as I can assure you its 99.9% not the problem.

Finding the causative factor or factors is the most important thing to successfully treat hair loss so see a trichologist and fast track your diagnosis.

One thing everyone can do to help their hair is to exfoliate their scalp around every six weeks. We take great care of our faces and seem to have an invisible line on our forehead above which we do absolutely nothing to take care of the skin on our scalps and yet expect our scalps to grow great hair.

Scalp exfoliants are a fantastic way to exfoliate the scalp remove all the dirt, dead skin and sebum from your follicle opening and get the best from your hair and scalp. Scalp health is directly linked to hair health!

Why should somebody come see you , are you their last hope?

A trichologist should be the first person you go to see, otherwise you could be making the problem worse and wasting money on things you don’t need.

Trichologists use a differential diagnosis to find out what the problem is. Patients often have more than one condition so without a full investigation just treating the first issue that comes up may not help you regrow or retain your hair.

Doctors don’t generally specialise in hair problems, and it’s not always taken seriously because its not life threatening. However the thing that needs to remembered is hair loss can be life changing. A lot of the time people leave it too late to come and see me and have been burying their head in the sand, the quicker you find out what the problem is the better the prognosis.

Has there been an increase in hair loss or thinning in women since the pandemic ?

I have been busier since the pandemic. Covid had a massive part in hair loss and thinning hair. We call it post febrile telogen effluvium — this is when the hair cycle is disturbed through a high fever and a change in the body’s circumstances, resulting in a sudden shedding of the hair.

The other thing that has happened since the pandemic is that the menopause has been highlighted in the press and
so there is a lot more awareness of the menopause.

This change in the female body has a massive impact on hair causing hair loss, hair thinning, loss of volume, shine and the hairs’ ability to grow as long as it used to. More women are aware of this now and patients know they don’t need to suffer these hair problems in silence.

Visit Us

The salon is as much a part of the Belfast heritage and tradition as its famous cranes , with their trademark precision haircuts and stunning fashion forward colouring techniques, the salon is a buzz of creativity and excellence in a friendly relaxed professional setting.