Don't lose your crowning glory

PHOTO: Don't lose your crowning glory

Hair loss can happen at any time. It makes people less confident about themselves and worried about the way they look. Given today's stressful lifestyles, hair problems seem to be on the rise.

Falling hair, receding hairlines, thinning hair and other similar problems are common in young adults.

According to nutritionist Fanny Ling at 101 Hair Care, baldness or hair loss used to be associated with old age and genetics but today, more young adults are suffering from premature hair loss.

"Our customers used to be over 30 but now we even treat teenagers and young adults. This is alarming," says Ling, adding that her youngest patient is 7-years-old.

Besides genetics and medications, she says other factors that contribute to hair problems are an unhealthy diet and lifestyle, stress, nutritional deficiency and hormone imbalance.

"We are seeing up to 30 per cent increase in customers who are under 18. Three years ago, the number of people from this age group was very low."

Ling says there are also more women facing this problem. "Excessive styling and over-exposure to hair chemicals is bad for the scalp. Besides, more women are entering the workforce. As they climb the corporate ladder, they tend to forget to eat healthy and to exercise.

"Diet pills, contraceptives and acne medications may also make women prone to alopecia or female pattern baldness. Women who go on crash diets are also deficient in vitamins and minerals that are essential for healthy hair and scalp," says Ling.

She adds that male pattern baldness can be caused by smoking and drinking.


A mitey problem

However, some hair loss problems might be due to a more serious underlying reason.

If you have an itch or the feeling that something is constantly crawling under your skin, you may have demodex mites living in your follicles.

Demodex mites are microscopic mites that feast off the oils and secretions on people's faces and hair follicles. They are also known as eyebrow mites in reference to one of their favourite hang-outs.

Nutritionist Fanny Ling from 101 Hair Care says demodex mites are common factors in hair loss issues.

"These mites are invisible to the naked eye. They look just like worms and live in hair follicles, eyebrows and other parts of the body where oil is secreted."

She says there are two types - demodex brevis, which lives inside the sebaceous glands, and demodex folliculorum, which lives inside the hair follicles.

"Both survive by sucking nutrients from hair roots and this damages the cell walls. After mating, they burrow into the skin, laying eggs that cause bacteria and infection.

"Demodex produces the lipase enzyme which can adversely affect the quality, condition and appearance of your scalp and hair."

Ling says the symptoms of infestation are itching and a crawling sensation on the face and, or in the scalp.

"However, some people do not experience any symptom," says Ling adding that 101 Hair Care centre uses the demodex solution technology to bring hair follicles back to life.

"This treatment kills germs and bacteria that feed on the hair and scalp and uses oxygen to revive hair follicles and promote hair growth. It also incorporates infra red energy to improve blood circulation."