Help! My hair has dramatically thinned and is shedding hundreds of strands a day!

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I’m a 22 year old medical student who used to have quite normal waist length hair before my admission in to medical college. Now after four years my hair has thinned and my ponytail has reduced to one sixth of its previous thickness; my grandma probably has more hair on her head than me!

I had my hair cut to midway my forearm length but nothing has changed. In the last few months my hair fall was about 300 strands per day, and if I bathed it could be up to 500 strands per day - yes I counted them! I am traumatized and even had many checkups to see if there was something health wise underlying but all the results came back normal.

My hair fall has recently reduced to about 100 strands per day but it is still very, very thin! Please, please, please help me. I don’t have the guts, nor do I want to, to cut my hair any more in length.

Thank you for your time,

Anon, UK


I do feel for you, having nursed many hundreds of men and women through the experience of hair loss.

It is plausible that you hair loss could have been brought on by stress or even the excitement of starting medical college. There are some products on the market which help reduce hair loss, however they will not help unless you cut your hair very short.

The daily pulling on your hair can weaken the hair follicle, sleeping on long hair tangles it and by brushing it in the morning you pull more out. Washing your hair has the same effect. Basically due to the length of your hair you are literally pulling it out of its socket.

I do realise that your long hair is your glory, but consider having it cut really short. I don’t mean a few inches off; I mean really short, a short bob or a short layered cut. This will give your hair a break from being pulled daily and therefore a chance to recover, especially since your only 22 years old.

If you do take the plunge and go for a shorter hairstyle then I suggest you use specialised shampoos and conditioners so that your hair can recover from the daily pulling and can grow back thicker. Philip Kingsley has a great selection of hair care products which you can buy via the Internet. I recommend you try Philip Kingsley’s special dietary supplement PK4 hair, this may help you but whichever way you go, your hair needs to be cut short, a trim will not work!

I know my advice is not what you want to read, but to be honest it is the only and best advice I can give you. By cutting your hair short, then and only then will your hair recover.

Pierre Alexandre of Pierre Alexandre, Manchester 

As stylists we come across this kind of hair loss all too often, unfortunately there isn’t always an apparent explanation for it. A stressful lifestyle or hormone changes can really affect the hairs density. It is perfectly normal to lose around 150 hairs per day so hopefully your decreased loss is a good sign.

I would recommend a product range called Nioxin, it’s a scalp care range that prepares, nourishes and stimulates blood flow to promote fuller, thicker hair from the root. Our clients have had great success with it and it is priced very reasonably.

I hope this helps and you get your hair vitality back!

Trae, Head Stylist at Browns, Dumfries

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