Hair loss is most commonly thought of as a man’s issue. But according to the American Academy of Dermatology, women are almost just as likely to suffer from this condition.
“Anyone after the age of 17 can experience hair loss and thinning,” said licensed cosmetologist and trichologist Peggy Nisbett–Rigg, of Hair Is In Unisex Salon in North Lauderdale. “By the time a woman realizes that she is experiencing hair loss, she will have already lost 30 to 50 percent of her hair.”
On average, women shed 50 to 100 strands of hair a day. Rigg said the loss of more than 100 strands a day may be due to a hormonal imbalance, illness, medication, postpartum, psychological issues, stress, poor nutrition or genetics. Even bad hair weaves can impact the growth of your natural hair.
Linda Alfieri, owner of Linda Alfieri Hair Replacement Salon in Boca Raton, agrees. She said a lot of her clients’ hair loss conditions are unique.
“Many of the women I work with have lost their hair due to chemotherapy, lupus, alopecia, and some of them are burn victims,” she said, adding that her clients are referrals sent to her by dermatologists, oncologists and plastic surgeons. “My relationship with these doctors enables me to offer medical billing and financing options to my clients. I am able to process medical insurance claims for up to $4,000 for hair loss. We don’t accept all insurance, but the ones we do usually cover about 80 percent of the hair replacement and treatment costs.”
To help her clients develop a hair care regimen, Rigg encourages a hair exam to gain some insight on their sudden hair loss or thinning. Rigg’s exam includes a health history questionnaire, various tests on the clients strands of hair, as well as a close–up look of the hair and scalp using a microscope.
“Just as we care for our bodies and get annual physical exams, we should also be as concerned about our hair and have it examined,” she said. Once she is able to make a diagnosis, Rigg can create a rigorous hair regrowth treatment.
“My method of treatment includes scalp exfoliation, washing the hair with a clarifying and cleansing shampoo, conditioning the hair with a volumizing conditioner and applying a dihydrotesterone (DHT) blocker to inhibit the growth of the hormone,” she said. “DHT is known to attack hair follicles and stipulate further hair growth.”
She also uses a low-laser therapy machine to help stimulate regrowth in the hair follicles.
“My clients can expect improvement within four weeks of intense treatment,” she said.
Alfieri also makes handmade wigs.
“My staff and I create wigs by hand, paying careful attention to the needs of each client,” she said. “We do custom fittings, coloring, styling and repairs.”
She also provides hair extensions for clients with thinning hair.
“Our extensions are mainly European and Remy hair,” she said. “We have three factories overseas, which we work very close with, and they are willing to ship products to us overnight for emergency situations.” Alfieri said she is looking to expand her company to a greater network.
“I want to educate doctors so they can build their business in the field of hair replacement and put more people to work,” she said.
Rigg continues to bring awareness to women on hair loss prevention and treatment in her biweekly hair seminars.
“I am very passionate about helping women overcome hair loss through commitment, dedication and time,” she said.