Gemma Atkinson reveals her hair loss

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Hair loss is perfectly normal, with most people losing anywhere between 50 and 100 hairs a day, often without noticing. As we grow older, there is a tendency for our hair fibres to become finer and shorter and we may experience hair loss or greying. Nonetheless, research suggests that diet may play a role.

A study published in the National Library of Medicine notes hair loss is caused by various factors. For example, stress hormones, chemotherapy and insufficient nutrition.

The study notes: “While there is no significant impact on health, demand for new treatments for hair loss is growing due to increased interest in appearance.”

It explains: “Human hair undergoes the hair cycle of growth phase (anagen), regression phase (catagen) and resting phase (telogen) for a lifetime.

“Therefore, controlling the hair cycle through maintaining anagen or shortening catagen and telogen and promoting the progression to anagen in hair growth is considered important”.

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It notes: “Hair growth is regulated by the interaction between dermal papilla cells (DPC) and other cells inside the hair follicle.”

“Here, we show the effect and action mechanism of mackerel-derived fermented fish oil (FFO) extract and its component docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in the control of hair growth.”

It says: “DHA, a main omega-3 fatty acid of FFO, has the potential to promote the proliferation of DPC by modulating the level of cell cycle-related proteins.”

It adds: “Our results could help development of hair loss treatments using FFO containing omega-3 fatty acids such as DHA.”

Another study published in the National Library of Medicine looked at the effects on hair loss of a six month supplementation with specific omega 3 and omega 6 and antioxidants.

Researchers looked at 120 healthy female subjects in this randomised comparative study.

It says the six month supplementation with omega 3 and omega 6 and antioxidants acts efficiently against hair loss in improving hair density and reducing the telogen percentage and the proportion of miniaturised anagen hair.

It notes a large majority of supplemented subjects reported a reduction in hair loss, almost 90 percent of subjects at six months, as well as an improvement in hair diameter and hair density.

The NHS says: “See a GP to get a clear idea about what’s causing your hair loss before thinking about going to a commercial hair clinic.”

It explains: “The GP should be able to tell you what’s causing your hair loss by looking at your hair.

“Tell them if your hair loss is affecting your wellbeing, and ask what treatments are available.”

It says: “There are things you can try if your hair loss is causing you distress. But most treatments are not available on the NHS, so you’ll have to pay for them.”

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.

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.”

Other hair loss treatments include steroid injections and creams, as well as immunotherapy. Some people also choose to have hair transplants, which is when hair is removed from the back of the head and moved to thinning patches.

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