Lorraine: Ranvir Singh shows her hair loss
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Hair is primarily made of a protein called keratin that also makes nails and forms the outer protective layer of skin. The NHS says: “Biotin is needed in very small amounts to help the body make fatty acids. The bacteria that live naturally in your bowel are able to make biotin, so it’s not clear if you need any additional biotin from the diet. Biotin is also found in a wide range of foods, but only at very low levels.”
Chemist Click says biotin can help with hair loss and can help to produce hair that is thicker.
“It works by preventing damage to hair follicles and strengthens hair to prevent it from falling out. Sources of biotin include nuts, eggs and meat,” explains the organisation.
The Cleveland Clinic says biotin is present in many foods, including eggs, fish, meat, seeds, nuts, sweet potatoes, broccoli and cauliflower.
The NHS says there’s not enough evidence to know what the effects might be of taking high daily doses of biotin supplements.
The Department of Health and Social Care advises you should be able to get all the biotin you need by eating a varied and balanced diet.
The NHS says: “If you take biotin supplements, do not take too much as this might be harmful. Taking 0.9mg or less a day of biotin in supplements is unlikely to cause any harm.”
The Mayo Clinic explains hair loss can affect just your scalp or your entire body, and it can be temporary or permanent.
The organisation explains: “People typically lose 50 to 100 hairs a day. This usually isn’t noticeable because new hair is growing in at the same time.”
The NHS says you should see a GP if:
- You have sudden hair loss
- You develop bald patches
- You’re losing hair in clumps
- Your head also itches and burns
- You’re worried about your hair loss.
The health body says it is important to see a GP to get a clear idea about what’s causing your hair loss before thinking about going to a commercial hair clinic.
There are some treatments which may help with hair loss and hair health. Finasteride and minoxidil are the main treatments for male pattern baldness.
Minoxidil can also be used to treat female pattern baldness. Women should not use finasteride.
Some wigs are available on the NHS, but you may have to pay unless you qualify for financial help.
Other hair loss treatments include steroid injections and creams, as well as immunotherapy.
Some people also choose to have a hair transplant, which is when hair is removed from the back of the head and moved to thinning patches.
The Cleveland Clinic says: “It is important to note that premenopausal women should not take medications for hair loss treatment without using contraception.
“Many drugs, including minoxidil and finasteride, are not safe for pregnant women or women who want to get pregnant.”
The Mayo Clinic states: “You might want to try various hair care methods to find one that makes you feel better about how your hair looks.
“For example, use styling products that add volume, colour your hair, choose a hairstyle that makes a widening part less noticeable, or use wigs or extensions. Always handle your hair gently.”
The NHS also warns: “See a GP to get a clear idea about what’s causing your hair loss before thinking about going to a commercial hair clinic.”
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