How To Handle Thinning Hair.

Stress, dieting and genetic factors can all contribute to thinning hair. It can be treated, but should first be given the chop.



Sarah Vine�a dentist once told me I had the teeth of an 80-year-old. As I was 32 at the time, this came as a shock. So bad were my gnashers that he asked if he might use them to illustrate a lecture about the poor standards of foreign (in my case Italian) dentistry.

My teeth have since had some of their vigour restored, but the decrepitude has cropped up elsewhere. My hair started falling out shortly before Christmas, picked up pace over the festive season and is showing no signs of let-up. At this rate, I’ll be as bald as an egg by Easter.

I thought long and hard about writing about it, because, well, it’s not something you want to draw attention to. Also, I’m supposed to be a beauty editor, and beauty editors generally possess beautiful, thick locks destined to be caressed by famous hairdressers. Mine would be more suited to a wig-maker.

The truth is, however, that over 30 per cent of women suffer from hair loss, and as I have experienced the whole ghastly process first-hand, and also have some knowledge of the options available, I thought it best to share. Besides, it saves me having to explain why I’m currently working a slightly eccentric Twenties headscarf look.

I have suffered hair loss on and off since my early teens (it was no coincidence that I met my husband on a skiing trip, when my hair was mostly hidden under a woolly hat). I am an especially tough case: hereditary predisposition, triggered by eating problems in my youth (girls: don’t diet) and stress, later exacerbated by an underactive thyroid. For many women, however, the situation is more straightforward and relatively easy to tackle – provided you catch it early on.

A trichologist should be your first port of call. The Institute of Trichologists lists reputable practitioners, including veteran hair expert Philip Kingsley, whose realistic, sensitive advice and treatments have kept my problem under control for years. Hair loss comes in many forms, and success depends on correctly identifying the problem, so before you spend a single penny on supplements or lotions, get a proper diagnosis.

Then get a haircut. Psychologically, this can be a tough one, but trust me: long, thin hair looks much worse than short, thin hair. Not all hairdressers can work with thin hair, but one who can is Hari. He knows how to maximise volume and, crucially, balance a cut so the thin bits look thicker. As for the scarf option, I can recommend it. It has been strangely liberating just to bundle up the lot in a nice bit of fabric. One friend even suggested it might become my ‘signature’ look. Perhaps; it definitely beats a furrowed brow.

Do you have Hair Loss Problems, read our Hair Loss Help