Friday, 1 September 2023, 16:20
Occasional hair loss is not unusual but running a comb through your hair and finding strands in it is never pleasant. "It's normal for us to lose between 50 and 60 hairs a day," notes María José Calderón, a dermatologist who practises at the Igualatorio Médico Quirúrgico. "We tend to get very preoccupied with hair loss, and for those who have experienced it, it's understandable. It's distressing," she admits.
Is there a way to stop this? There are some remedies sold for this purpose but "prevention is best," says pharmacist Yaiza Bouzas. But do over-the -counter products really work? The answer is a bit nuanced: yes and no. "It depends on the formula and the cause of hair loss." Calderón warns not to expect 'miracles' but she gives us a glimmer of hope. "They work in the case of temporary shedding or telogen effluvium (a transient disruption of the hair growth cycle)." You should look for supplements that include 'iron, L-cysteine, biotin, selenium, sulphur, taurine, zinc...' she explains. "And it's important for them to have active ingredients targeting the type of hair loss you're facing," adds Yaiza Bouzas. So, if we have a problem of loss due to stress, the pills or ampoules should include "anti-inflammatory and stress-relieving actives. If it's due to poor nutrition, "vitamins". And if it's due to a hormonal process, "ingredients like biotin, among others."
On social media lately there is a lot of talk about products that you can drink to improve your hair and that give fabulous results. There's no self-respecting influencer who isn't praising their wonders. Is it really that effective? "I was sceptical about trying this product due to its aggressive marketing, but in the end, I did," admits Bouzas, who shares advice on skincare and hair care on her Instagram profile (gutbrainskin). She was convinced by the formula – "it's quite effective," she confesses.
The trend of taking care of one's hair is evident on supermarket shelves, in perfume stores, and in pharmacies. "It's similar to what happened a few years ago with facial care," Bouzas explains. The days of using a single product for both skin and hair are long gone. In 2022, the consumption of products related to this sector increased by 7%, according to the National Association of Perfumery and Cosmetics, Stanpa. However, not everything that glitters is gold. "Anti-hair loss shampoos are nothing more than mild shampoos designed for the scalp, for frequent use and are not therapeutic," points out Calderón.
If we want great hair, it's better to turn to nutritional supplements. However, be careful, because "if bald patches have appeared (for example, those of alopecia areata) or the loss of density is very evident," you should consult a specialist and determine the next step. And when it comes to typical male pattern baldness, no hair growth product will work.
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