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Tips for us elderly ladies please

Posted: Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:01 am
by Rozcunliffe
Do you have any tips for prevention of hair loss for elderly ladies (and gentlemen)
It seems a shame that our hair goes thinner and grey as time goes by.
At 71, I find my parting is getting wider and I am getting the grey hairs and would really like to halt this. I'm sure many people my age would love to still have the head of hair they had in their youth.
HRT and strong medication is out of the question, I was thinking along the lines of something I could apply to my scalp or hair or perhaps you know or some vitamins that would be helpful.
Thank you

Re: Tips for us elderly ladies please

Posted: Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:50 pm
by Dr Sharon Wong
Hello there,

Thank you for your query. As with all organ systems, the turnover of cells naturally becomes slower with age and the hair follicle is no different, resulting in hair that grows slower and generally shorter and finer than before. In addition genetic hair loss (male pattern balding and female pattern hair loss) becomes much more common with age, resulting in thinnig on the crown in both sexes and a receding hairline in men.

The onlyl licensed topical product for male and female pattern hair loss is minoxidil which can be applied as a solution or a foam. In women 5% strength is used once daily and in men, it is used twice daily. Minoxidil has an effect of prolonging the growing phase of the hair follicle meaning that with continued use the hair becomes thicker and longer. However please be aware that in up to 40% of people who use minoxidil there can be an initial increase in hair shedding which then settles back down. Results will not be noticeable until after 4-6 months of use, and would need to be continued long term to maintain effect.

In relation to supplements, these can be helpful in improving hair growth and general hair health but only if you have an actual deficiency in the first place. There is no evidence to support empirical supplementation when there is no demonstrable deficiency. I would advise seeing your GP to run some basic blood tests for iron stores (ferritin - which needs to be above 70 for optimum hair growth), Vitamin D and zinc levels.

Best of luck,