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ImageLeading trichologist Noon Etienne busts the 5 myths about Black hair loss.

Myth No. 1: 'Hair loss is caused by pulling hair too tightly.'

Noon Etienne: This is a myth with some truth, but bear in mind that there are many types of hair loss. Hair loss is classified under four categories: pattern, patchy, scarring and non-scarring. Pattern hair loss can affect both men and women while diffuse hair loss, on the other hand, is gradual hair thinning all over the head.

Traction Alopecia, another type of hair loss, can be the result of styling options that are too tight, such as braids, weaves, or pony tails. Trichotilomania is another type of loss which is self inflicted and which involves pulling the hair out as a form of comfort. Patchy hair loss includes temporary patchy loss - Alopecia Areata - bald patches caused by stress, illness, or the body attacking itself; traumatic patchy loss caused by heat, chemicals, or physical pulling; and permanent patchy loss after an infection or of auto-immune origin. Some of these scarring conditions leave no hair follicles in place.

Myth No. 2: 'Once hair has been lost, it can never grow back.'

Noon Etienne: This is not wholly true since there are so many types of hair loss. There are non-scarring types of hair loss, such as alopecia areata, which leaves the follicles still in place and the chances of hair re-growing is therefore quite likely. Scarring conditions, such as lupus erythematosus or folliculitis decalvans tend to leave no hair follicles in place, and there is therefore, only a very slim chance of the hair growing back.

Myth No. 3: 'There is nothing you can do to help hair grow back.'

Noon Etienne: There are so many things on offer to help improve the condition of the scalp and to make hair grow back better and healthier. Some treatments, such as Rogaine and Propecia, require a lifetime commitment that cannot be broken, but will give you back full recovery of your hair. Other natural products like herbal essential oils can stimulate the blood flow and with the help and correct guidance of a practitioner, can offer a more holistic approach with no side effects and great results.

Maintaining the hair with deep penetrating treatments and moisturisers and the help of a qualified trichologist can also really help to strengthen and improve the hair on your head. We also must not forget the hair replacement option, where follicles are surgically removed from a growing section of your head and then placed in the balding section. Again a trichologist would help guide you to better understand the options available to you in your search for a full head of hair.

Myth No. 4: 'It's impossible to find professional looking wigs to mask hair loss.'

Noon Etienne: Alternatives for styling your hair when you need to mask hair loss can be professionally created by a wig maker or, depending where the hair loss is situated, you would need the help and advice of a professional.

Simi Weave, for example, is a wig that comes with different parting options and colours/textures that can be clipped on to the natural hair. All you need to do is take a section of your natural hair out in the front to comb over the parting, so the wig looks like your natural hair. Alternatively, a weave cap could be created just for you in the salon, which you could use while undergoing treatment to grow the hair back. Or you could have fun with off-the-peg wigs in the shops - but get it cut by a professional to suit your face!

There are so many things on offer to help improve the condition of the scalp and to make hair grow back better and healthier.

Myth No. 5: 'My health and diet has no effect on hair loss.'

Noon Etienne: Crash diets, stress and general health can contribute to hair loss! This is because our body depends on proper nutrients for all our organs to function at their optimum level.

Hair gets its nutrients from the blood, so if our blood is lacking iron, for instance, our hair will grow weak and start to fall out. Stress is the culprit for a lot of different illnesses, depleting our bodies of nutrients such as vitamin C. You may say, "Stress is part of life". Sure it is, but it's how we perceive it and handle it that really matters. Adding an exercise routine to your daily life and taking breaks will help you manage stress more effectively. All in all, a healthy balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, protein and carbohydrates will take care of the internal requirements of the body.

Exercise will eliminate and manage stress from being harboured in the body, while drinking your eight glasses of water per day will regulate flow, remove toxins, and hydrate the body. Let's not forget a good restful sleep to recharge our batteries! All this, coupled with professional advice and subsequent treatments, will help improve on any type of hair loss.

Noon 4 Hair is offering a 15% discount to ReConnect Africa readers for a full hair health check. Quote this offer when calling to book. Noon 4 Hair, 48 Porchester Road, London W2 6ET. Tel: + 44 (0)20 7034 0734

Noon Etienne is a qualified Trichologist and a specialist in scalp and hair care. She deals with hair loss, alopecia, scaly scalp and dry hair problems. Noon is a Cosmetologist (Beautician and Hair Designer) with over 20 years experience working with all types of hair. Originally from New York City, Noon is now based in London, from where she has built an international client base across the U.K., USA, Africa and the Middle East. Contact Noon at: Noon 4 Hair, 48 Porchester Road, London W2 6ET. Tel: + 44 (0)20 7034 0734, Fax: + 44 (0)20 7692 4657, e-mail: noon.etienne@btconnect.com or noon4truecolors@btconnect.com

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