Beauty Clinic: My 12-year-old's losing her hair
Q. My 12-year old daughter has recently started losing quite a lot of her long straight hair, which is usually thick. She eats a well-balanced diet and since this started I have been given her child multivitamins. She started high school last September and I wonder if this could be down to stress and/or puberty? She has never had a problem with hair loss before. She doesn't use chemicals or heat technology on her hair. A. We asked trichologist Philip Kingsley, whose London clinic has helped many people over Philip’s long career. He agrees that your daughter’s hair loss could indeed be due to a combination of both stress and puberty.
He says: ‘If she has recently started her periods, her iron and/or ferritin (stored iron) levels may have dropped to lower than optimum. Ferritin should be at least 80 ug/L (micrograms per litre) for optimum follicle function.’
Philip Kingsley suggests that your daughter eat red meat at least twice a week to boost her iron levels. She should also have a protein-rich breakfast and lunch. Hair is primarily composed of protein [as are skin and nails] and, he says, ‘as she is at an age where her body is growing, these needs will be even greater’.
He advises that ‘an ideal breakfast would be two eggs with two slices of whole grain toast. She could also have a side dish of fruit then, or for a mid-morning snack.’
He also says that you may wish to swop the supplement you are currently giving your daughter for his PK Tricho Complex Hair Nutrition Formula, a multi-vitamin ‘that is formulated with the unique needs of the hair in mind’. For the first month, she should take one with breakfast, after this she should increase the dose to two daily, one with breakfast, the second with lunch. After four months, reduce the dose to one daily again for maintenance. PK Tricho Complex Hair Nutrition Formula/£45 for 90 tablets.