Seeing her hair density get thinner is no longer “the privilege of age”. Quite the contrary. Hormonal disorders, nutritional deficiencies, stress… More and more women complain of sudden or acute alopecia. Discover our solutions to find density and thickness.
What to do about hair loss? Almost seventy years after Gilda was shot in Hollywood, Rita Hayworth’s cascading curls still fascinate. Just like Farrah Fawcett’s wavy in the seventies, the “funny ladies” era.
Because, it is well known, the hair makes the look. Short or long, stiff or curly, blond or red, whatever, as long as it has that density, that volume, that opulence.
Understanding the life cycle of a hair
A hair lives on average four years warns dermatologist Sam Benoliel*. “Five years for women, three years for men,” says the expert.
It grows, falls and grows back according to a cyclical and seasonal rhythm. First there is a growth phase, called “anagen”, which lasts between two and seven years, during which the hair grows about 0.3 mm per day. Then a rest phase, or “catagen”, of two weeks which sees the hair stagnating.
This is followed by the telogen phase, when the hair fibre detaches from the follicle and eventually falls out.
When the capillary mass is depleted
“On the same head, each hair is thus at a different stage of its growth, summarizes the specialist. We lose on average between fifty and one hundred a day. A natural and normal hair loss as long as the number of hairs in the growth phase still concerns about 85% of the hair.” Beyond that, we can talk about alopecia.
More or less provided according to our genetic capital, the capillary mass varies over time, sometimes going so far as to be cruelly lacking. It is not strictly speaking baldness, moreover this genetic phenomenon affects more men, and only 20% of women would be concerned by this diffuse fall, located on the top of the skull, and detectable after blood tests.
Instead, the hair becomes thinner, less dense to the touch, less dense, and sometimes alopecia appears on the scalp.
Environment, food, stress… Recurrent causes of hair loss
Specific factors, which concern all women, whatever their age, would encourage this unusual loss: nutritional deficiencies with, in particular, the lack of minerals, vitamins, trace elements or iron (in women with heavy periods) taking certain drugs hormonal changes (childbirth, menopause) change of seasons (in early autumn especially, while late spring remains synonymous with maximum growth, UV having an influence on the synthesis of steroid hormones).
Finally, stress, whether psychological or external (pollution, UV), attacks the scalp as well as the skin and can even create micro-irritation that can reach the bulb. In this case, the capillary fibre weakens, refines and eventually falls out.
The different techniques to find density and thickness
Lotions to stimulate regrowth
Certainly, there are the classic hair food supplements based on vitamins (notably B5 and B8), sulphur amino acids and trace elements responsible for stimulating hair growth.
But for an even more localized treatment, some brands offer lotions to apply by massage, directly on the scalp to stimulate microcirculation. Formulated with aminexil, they help to anchor the root more firmly in the epidermis.
This molecule fights against the rigidification of the collagen sheath which makes the hair less permeable to the nutrients necessary for its growth. Aminexil is often combined with a mixture of vitamins, glucose and other nutrients to fortify the fibre. Not only does the hair breathe better, it also becomes more resistant.
Today, some formulas go even further and promise to accelerate regrowth.
“Once the hair falls, the bulb is empty and the follicle is still dormant. And the longer this latency period lasts, the hair loses density. Hence the idea of reducing this inactive phase.
It was observed that the stem cells of the bulb were bathed in a hypoxic environment, i.e. low in oxygen. Hypothesis: an active ingredient that mimics the effects of this favourable environment will shorten the dormancy phase and thus promote follicle regeneration.
The molecule used by Vichy laboratories, stemoxydine, for example, wakes up sleeping bulbs. Concentrated at 5% in the Dercos Neogenic lotion, it increases, according to certain studies, the capillary density by 4%, that is to say on average more than one thousand seven hundred new hairs after three months of treatment.
Mesotherapy to boost hair density
Of course, mesotherapy is known in anti-aging skin treatment. Less in alopecia. However, this technique of microfilling by injections is also invited in the practice of doctors specializing in hair.
“The starting point was simple: just like the skin, the scalp ages, so why not treat it the same way with mesotherapy sessions,” recalls Dr Catherine Salomon, Medical Director at Filorga. Injected with tiny needles, the cocktail of hyaluronic acid, vitamins and minerals could thus revive the atrophied vascularization of the hair follicle and at the same time provide all the ingredients it needs.
“Mesotherapy acts as a real booster because the necessary basic elements are delivered directly into the bulb, preventing the substances from passing into the bloodstream and into the stomach or liver,” confirms Dr Sam Benoliel.
Treatment begins with one session every fortnight for two or three months and then progresses to a monthly appointment. Above all, the micro-injections are, most of the time, completed by the application of LEDs, appreciated here for their anti-inflammatory effects (they calm the bulb).
“At the same time, they improve micro-vascularisation and revive the skin’s cellular functions,” says Dr Catherine Salomon. This session lasts, in general, less than one hour and costs between 100 and 150 euros.
“This hair mesotherapy, less heavy than a transplant, already seduces those who wish to quickly regain their capillary mass lost after childbirth or illness. But also all those who seek to activate the results of a transplant,” explains the specialist.
Hair implants without surgery to fill the holes
When local or oral treatments are no longer sufficient, some women who are bothered by their alopecia decide to take the step of transplantation, a technique that is quite cumbersome.
“The surgical arsenal to treat alopecia has long relied on painful and painful techniques. They gave rather disappointing results and large scars on the scalp, agrees Dr. Sam Benoliel. Today, there exists a technique of aesthetic medicine capable without surgery to restore a true natural hair, without scars and without pain.”
Known as RoboGreffe®, this completely automated protocol seduces first of all by its speed: the sampling as well as the reimplantation of follicles are carried out using the famous RoboGreffe and its hyper precise “micro punch” (and no longer manually, with forceps). A technological advance that shortens the duration of the session to four hours (compared to eight previously) and makes it less painful for the patient.
How does it work? The doctor shaves then disinfects the parts to be treated before anaesthetizing. The grafts are then extracted from the donor area by aspiration and stored in a reservoir before being re-implanted in each mini-incision previously made by the doctor. Non-invasive, this procedure limits all scars, especially since the size of each graft never reaches more than one millimetre against two millimetres for more traditional techniques.
Thus, the procedure seems perfectly suited to those who wear short hair. “Almost painless, a simple local anaesthetic is enough, RoboGreffe is ideal to thicken thin hair, especially in cases of diffuse female alopecia, insists Dr Sam Benoliel. It is also an excellent technique to mask a scar on the scalp or, why not, “reconstruct” eyebrows.”
The price? Approximately 1 800 euros per zone.