It’s normal to lose between 50 and 100 hairs a day. The natural process is that a hair grows from the follicle for many years before falling out, and a new hair takes its place. However, as we age, both men and women are at risk of those replacement hairs failing to grow. This results in thinning hair, receding hairlines and baldness.
Women are less likely to go completely bald than men, but more than 50 per cent of women will experience hair thinning in their lifetime. Unlike the typical receding hairline seen on men, women tend to lose hair evenly across their head. This impacts the volume of hair, and the first sign of this is usually seen as a widening of their part.
While women rarely go entirely bald (although it can happen), they often feel distressed when seeing their scalp through thinning hair. Scalp micropigmentation won’t make the hair grow back, but it can camouflage the thinning hair by darkening the scalp.
Thinning hair is more noticeable due to the contrast between the skin colour of the scalp and the hair colour. With SMP, we reduce this contrast by layering pigment on the scalp to match the natural hair colour.
SMP is a great option for women who are noticing and concerned by thinning hair, but don’t want to take more drastic measures. This painless and long-lasting procedure is often enough to restore the look of volume in the hair, and with that, restore the confidence of women suffering from hair loss.
How does hair grow?
There are four phases in the lifecycle of each individual hair on your head (and every hair on your body, for that matter). The first phase is the anagen or growing phase, and for head hair, this typically lasts between three and five years.
As the name suggests, in this phase, your hair is continuing to grow. Each hair on your head begins growing in the root at the base of the follicle. Blood from blood vessels in your scalp feed the root creating more cells and the hair grows. The hair is pushed up during this process which is how we see lengthening hair.
The next phase is the catagen or transition phase and typically lasts two to six weeks. This is when the follicle starts to shrink, and hair growth slows. The hair separates from the follicle, but remains in place. Usually, about five per cent of your hair is in this stage at any given time.
Following this is the telogen or resting phase, which lasts for about three months. The actual hair doesn’t do a lot in this stage — it doesn’t continue to grow but it doesn’t usually fall out either. The follicle starts to create a new hair during this phase.
Finally, we reach the exogen or shedding phase. Some consider this to be the final part of the telogen phase, where over a period of two to five months, the hair falls out. A new hair is already growing in the follicle by the time the hair actually falls out.
What causes hair loss?
Although part of the natural lifecycle of each hair includes it falling out, when the hair growth cycle is in optimal form, new hair constantly replaces all the hair we lose. Overall, hair loss isn’t noticeable.
There are several reasons we lose hair thickness, and genetics and hormones — largely out of your control — play a big part here. Diet and stress can also impact the natural hair lifecycle outlined above.
The stages of hair growth can be disrupted, resulting in fewer hairs on your head at a given time. This naturally means the hair is thinner. If the growth phase shortens for any reason and the hair moves to the shedding stage earlier than expected, replacement hairs may not have reached the length needed to fill in the gaps.
If the follicle fails to create a new hair during the resting phase, there will be no hair to begin the growing or anagen phase. If this happens too often, thinning hair or more obvious hair loss is the result.
While SMP can’t change the disruption to the hair growth cycle, it can disguise the resulting thinning hair. If this concerns you, get in touch with the Precision Scalp team to discuss your options.