Contrary to popular belief, hair loss does not only concern men... However, alopecia (understanding hair loss) can be reactive, chronic, or due to hormonal variations.
Whether the hair loss is sudden or progressive but very noticeable, it is important to understand this phenomenon to better fight against this alopecia which can ruin a life. Significant stress, seasonal or hormonal changes can be responsible for abnormal hair loss. Genetics can also work against us. How then to fight against female alopecia and find healthy hair?
First of all, we must look at how our hair, and more precisely the hair bulb that produces it, works. Hair bulbs have a limited lifespan, which runs for 25 cycles. Each of these cycles lasts four to five years and has three phases.
The first, called anagen, is that of the shoot. This is the period of active hair growth. When all is well, about 85% of our hair mass is in this phase, which lasts between 4 and 5 years. The second, called catagen, is that of stopping growth. For a few weeks only, the bulb stops producing and waits for the third phase, called telogen. This is the detachment of the hair, and the bulb will take about 3 months to expel it. After these three stages, it will go into dormancy, or start a new cycle and go back to the anagen phase.
But these stages work like this when everything is going well. In some women, it does not always happen that way. Proof of this is that in an Ifop survey (conducted in 2015), only 16% of women surveyed said they did not lose their hair at all. The others, therefore, suffer from alopecia, the technical and medical term for the phenomenon of hair loss - which we will see, has neither the same origin nor the same consequences for all.
The life of our hair is governed by this hair life cycle, which is completely independent of our organism. We are normally programmed to have enough hair throughout our lives. But due to external and internal attacks that will damage the hair bulb, these cycles tend to be shortened. We can then use up our hair capital much faster than normal. Sabrina Maudry, Director of Training at Alès Groupe and Doctor of Pharmacy, explains: “When everything is going well, you lose a hundred hairs a day, which is barely visible. It’s a normal loss. We talk about hair loss from the moment you find hair everywhere - on the brush, on the pillows, in the shower, or when you pass your hand through it and find yourself with a handle hair…"
There are two main types of female alopecia. First, the reactive fall: sudden, massive, and diffuse that affects the entire hair, not just an area. Usually, it is a very scary type of hair loss that happens overnight. Then, in others, it may be a chronic or hereditary fall (also called androgenetic). The loss sets in gradually over time and is less stressful because it is progressive. This mainly affects men because it is testosterone (the so-called male hormone) that is strongly involved in this type of hair loss. It is this hormonal phenomenon that is behind baldness in men. All women produce these androgenic hormones (like testosterone) but since they also produce estrogen (the so-called female hormones), this will counterbalance the production of these androgenic hormones, and women are therefore less concerned by this type of loss of blood. hair. But, at certain times in a woman's life, such as menopause, hormonal imbalances can make them prone to this type of fall. “In women, this is characterized by hair loss at the top of the head, the hair mass will thin out. If you have a parting in the middle, for example, you will have the impression that it widens”, explains Sabrina Maudry.
In the case of a reactive chronic fall, we often find the following origins: a feeding problem that creates deficiencies, the taking of certain drugs (certain antithyroid drugs or anticoagulants can have this effect) but also emotional stress (such as bereavement, the announcement of an illness, an accident…). It is possible for a woman to suffer from reactive falls regularly throughout her life. But there are also those who will fall into a chronic fall when they reach menopause because this is the time when their female hormone levels will slowly drop.
"In the case of reactive hair loss, it is necessary to recreate a healthy environment conducive to normal growth, to preserve the hair capital. We will use active ingredients to fight against free radicals - to have antioxidant protection around the bulb - but also to promote intercellular exchanges and activate the microcirculation so that the bulb is well nourished. We also use active ingredients that will stimulate hair growth. If the environment is of good quality, the new hair will be stronger, more resistant, "Sabrina Maudry analyzes. These treatments will therefore stop the fall and promote regrowth. Whereas, unfortunately, in the case of a chronic fall, it is programmed to last. "It will still be necessary to treat regularly: do two cures per year or even throughout the year. It is a vicious circle that has accumulated and that must be treated throughout your life", continues Sabrina. Maudry.
Also according to Sabrina Maudry, the use of hair serum is the preferred strategy. "A serum, whatever it is, will always have the effect of activating the microcirculation. And this is essential. A food supplement, as its name suggests, is a supplement. We ingest vitamins and amino acids that pass through the blood. But if the bulb is not well irrigated, there is little chance that it will arrive safely. Used alone, it is not of much interest. " Ditto for hair loss shampoos. "It will promote the penetration of the treatment applied afterward but has no anti-hair loss vocation when it is not supplemented by a treatment."
According to Jade Frucot, engineer in biotechnology and head of the R&D department of the cosmetic-drink brand Evoleum, there are natural solutions: "We must start by slowing down the mechanism of renewal (and therefore loss) of the hair, and certain plants. can act on the enzyme responsible for our hair cycles: horsetail, sage, Serenoa repens (commonly called Florida's palm). We will take them as a food supplement. Others play on scalp sanitation because hormonal imbalances often lead to excess sebum, which will clog the pores and lead to hair loss. In oral intake always, we will bet on active sources of vitamin D, such as brewer's yeast, but also on zinc which is a sebo-regulator. »Supplements that will therefore help regrowth and strengthen the hair, provided you have a suitable lifestyle - balanced diet, avoid tobacco and alcohol at the origin of oxidative stress, etc. - and think carefully to supplement them with a treatment by skin application, such as serums and shampoos, "absolutely avoiding shampoos containing detergents in their composition, which dramatically damage the bacterial flora of the scalp!" Jade Frucot completes.