Laboratoires Vichy Canada, Cosmetics, beauty products, face and body care

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My Vichy Space

Hair
Advice

Under the supervision of Sarah Gora,
PhD, Medical and Scientific Relations Leader,
Vichy Canada

Dermatologist

When should I become concerned about hair loss?
Did you know ?

Hair doesn’t grow continuously, but rather in successive cycles. Each cycle involves a growth phase, a resting phase and a regression phase before the hair dies, separates from the scalp, and falls out.
The average man or woman loses approximately 30 to 80 hairs per day under normal conditions, with seasonal peaks in spring and, more especially, fall. Losing over 100 hairs per day for a sustained period is considered excessive.

What to do:

It’s important to distinguish whether hair is falling out or breaking. If hairs in your comb are fairly short and lack bulbs, the problem is breakage, not hair loss. To help make your locks more resilient, look for treatments specially designed for your hair type.
If you can run your hand through your hair and come away with more than 10 hairs that have intact bulbs, ask your dermatologist to recommend an anti-hair loss treatment.
What causes hair loss?
Did you know ?

Hair loss can be sudden or gradual, and isn’t always hereditary. There can be numerous underlying factors.
Among men, 95% of hair loss can be attributed to androgenetic alopecia—in other words, the root cause is both genetic and hormonal. “Male pattern baldness” begins developing at puberty, and hair loss is particularly noticeable at the temples and crown of the head.
Androgenetic alopecia is less common in women, and can only be established by means of a hormonal evaluation. Women are also more susceptible to seasonal change (particularly in fall) and episodes of hormonal stress (puberty, pregnancy, menopause, and so on) that can trigger hair loss.

What to do:

As a general rule, avoid any aggressive treatment of the hair, including extremely hot dryers, hair color, and the like.
Men should take action immediately to avoid premature hair loss—in other words, as soon as hair around the temples begins to thin. Ask a dermatologist to recommend treatments that are specifically designed to be effective at the onset of hair loss.
Women should keep in mind that occasional hair loss due to temporary hormonal fluctuations—during puberty or pregnancy, for instance—tends to resolve itself. If it persists however, ask your gynecologist for advice.
How can I keep my hair healthy and looking good?
Did you know ?

To look shiny and strong, hair needs to be healthy, both deep inside and on the surface. The hair we see is surrounded by a cuticle, or protective layer of overlapping cells that resemble shingles on a roof, held together by a “cement” of lipids and proteins. When the cuticle scales are in good condition and aligned perfectly on the underlying shaft, the hair appears soft and shiny. Below the surface, the cortex is made up of fibers held together by a lipid–protein mixture. The cortex ensures that hair is strong.

What to do:

Generally speaking, avoid repeated exposure to aggressive treatments (coloring, straightening, frosting, and the like) that can affect the cuticle and fibers of the cortex. Hair then becomes fragile and subject to breakage, losing its shine and softness. Wash with a gentle cleansing shampoo and gently blot hair with a towel before using a dryer (on a moderate setting) for as little time as possible. You can also make regular use of restorative treatments to smooth out the cuticle and strengthen hair.
What’s the best way to treat dandruff?
Did you know ?

Dandruff occurs when the scalp gives off an excessive amount of flakes. Normally, scalp cells are naturally renewed and eliminated in the form of extremely tiny, invisible flakes. However, some factors can cause this process to intensify, with clusters of dead cells then forming two types of dandruff. Dry dandruff, which is small and fine, detaches and falls. Greasy dandruff, which has coarser and larger flakes, tends to stay in the hair and on the scalp.

What to do:

Whichever kind of dandruff you have, avoid using overly strong haircare products and washing or drying your hair at too high a temperature. Antidandruff shampoo developed for each type of dandruff will help eliminate the problem. You can also ask your dermatologist to make a specific diagnosis and help you find treatments that work.
What can be done about an itchy scalp?
Did you know ?

Itching of the scalp can be attributed to a host of causes, including nervousness, stress, dry skin, etc. In some cases, it can even result from a disruption in the flora, or micro-organisms, that naturally reside on the body. Normally, the scalp provides a natural home for them, a sort of “local ecosystem.” When one of these micro-organisms develops more quickly and becomes predominant, the ecosystem is thrown out of kilter and itching can result. In addition, certain factors (humidity, overuse of gels, dietary imbalance, and more) can allow the proliferation of pityrosporum ovale, a type of fungus that irritates the scalp, causes itching, and can result in the formation of dandruff.

What to do on a daily basis:

To maintain the scalp’s ecological balance, it’s essential to avoid overly harsh haircare treatments. Choose gentle shampoos, don’t keep wet hair under a towel or hat for too long, and use hair products only on the strands-not the scalp. With kind and gentle care, your scalp’s natural balance will be restored. If itching continues, however, ask your dermatologist to determine the cause.
What shampoo should I choose for my hair?
Did you know ?

There are basically three types of hair: normal, dry, and oily.
Normal hair is shiny and soft to the touch. It’s easy to comb and style.
Dry hair is dull and often brittle—it may even break easily. It lacks sebum, produced by the sebaceous glands, which normally provides a lubricating microfilm that protects the hair. Without sufficient protection, hair loses its softness and elasticity and becomes easily damaged.
Oily hair is the other extreme: excessive sebum production makes it lackluster, heavy, and difficult to style.

What to do:

To choose the right shampoo, you need to know your hair type. Ask your dermatologist’s advice. You can then be directed to the shampoo that’s best for your scalp (e.g., normal, oily, dry, sensitive) and your particular type of hair (dry, fine, thick, etc.).
How often should I wash my hair?
Did you know ?

Contrary to common wisdom, there’s no ideal “shampooing schedule” since hair varies from one person to another. It depends on the kind of hair and on external factors. In addition, modern living—especially in high-density, often polluted environments—often means that hair is exposed to substances that leave it dull and stimulate sebum secretion. As a result, hair may become dryer or oiler, depending on the individual.

What to do:

First of all, choose a shampoo made for your type of hair. You can wash your hair daily if you feel the need to do so, but in that case choose a gentle product designed for frequent shampooing.

Gynecologist

Can taking the pill cause hair loss?
Did you know ?

Oral contraceptives suppress ovulation, meaning that hormones—particularly androgens—are no longer produced. The pill contains synthetic estrogen and thus should not have any effect on hair loss. However, some drugs that are essentially composed of progestins can have side effects like hair loss.

What to do:

If you notice significant and abnormal loss of hair, discuss the problem with your gynecologist who may be able to modify your birth control methods accordingly.

Nutritionist

Are there specific foods that will make my hair look better?
Did you know ?

Any protein sources that are rich in amino acids (such as seafood, cruciferous vegetables, legumes, meat, milk, egg yolks), along with B-group vitamins and zinc, will help hair grow and look healthy. Conditions like iron deficiency or poor intestinal absorption can result in hair loss, however. If you experience them, you’ll need to allow 4 to 6 months for your locks to recover. Dietary deficiencies can be identified via blood tests.

What to do:

The best thing you can do for hair health is eat a well-balanced diet. Don’t shun red meat, because its amino acids play a role in producing keratin. Supplement your diet with brewer’s yeast, which is rich in vitamins B and E. Eat plenty of fish, vegetables, and fruits to benefit from their vitamins and minerals. And drink at least 1.5 liters of water every day.

Psychologist

Is there anything that can be done to overcome the discomfort of baldness?
Did you know ?

Lush locks are considered a symbol of femininity by women, while men are often attracted by the allure of beautiful hair. Both men and women may find their self-esteem affected by hair loss, even if it isn’t necessarily extreme.

What to do:

It’s important to discuss hair loss with a specialist so you can analyze the extent of the discomfort you’re experiencing. A dermatologist’s diagnosis can also help identify the cause of hair loss and specialized treatments that you can use to remedy it.