Shuna Hammocks is a working Mum of 2 kids, as a Consultant Trichologist who qualified with The Institute of trichologists and gained 12 years’ experience working in the world renowned Philip Kingsley clinic in London. She opened Sussex Trichology in 2011 and following recent expansion would like to spread the word “Trichology”.
Yes, believe it or not this subject applies to babies, children and teenagers alike! Following a recent increase in the amount of parents contacting Sussex Trichology about their son’s and daughter’s, I felt a blog about the conditions that apply to our little offspring.
While the majority of my patients are women who attend for themselves (often with a friend for moral support), I see many Mothers and Daughters attending together, in fact my assistant is the daughter of a patient of mine who was so impressed with my plight to “put back into the community” that she applied for the position of Trichotherapist.
Patches of Hair Loss – Alopecia Areata
This condition affects approximately 4% of the population and is seen in men, women and children of any age or nationality. It is mostly recognised as being of an auto immune origin and is most often triggered by the response to emotional stress either accumulative or sudden shock as in a bereavement.
There can be a single or several patches which are smooth to the touch and are usually round or oval in shape of varying size. These can occasionally join together to cover an extensive area of the scalp. A patch can develop after a stress event but can also be delayed for up to a couple of months. This may also present with pitting or ridges to the finger nails.
In some cases hair regrowth occurs spontaneously, however for those children where this is not, the treatments approach I use in my clinic appears to be very successful. These involve the application of topical stimulants and particularly the beneficial effect of ultraviolet light therapy.
GP will often prescribe topical steroids, creams or lotions in my experience; I have found these to be mostly unhelpful. However, some Dermatologists will use topical steroid injections these can in some cases stimulate regrowth but is not long lasting.
Learn more about Children Hair Loss – Alopecia Areata.
Scaling / Dry Patches – Cradle Cap
Cradle cap is the baby form of, Pityriasis Amiantacea which is a condition that affects adult scalps. This scaly condition of the scalp commonly occurs in babies up to 3 months old. Cradle cap can be uncomfortable for the baby but is not actually harmful. The associated scratching could lead to infection.
The best way to treat cradle cap is with a little warmed olive oil. If a small amount of warm olive oil is applied onto the area, spread with either cotton wool or the finger tips and massaged in gently. I suggest it is left on as a treatment for 5-10 minutes and shampoo off. This should be repeated every few days until the scaling reduces and is under control.
Daily shampooing removes dead skin cells from the scalp and will help to prevent cradle cap. Scientific studies suggest that some types of milk can cause cradle cap.
Learn more about Children Hair Loss – Cradle Cap.
Mechanical Hair Loss – Traction Alopecia
Traction alopecia often occurs in children from the hair being pulled back tightly particularly in those in a bunch or hair bun for example. However it is mostly often seen within the afro-Caribbean community who traditionally braid their hair often from childhood.
In the past hair extensions, weaves and braids also caused considerable traction on the hair however, techniques have vastly improved and traction is minimal these days. If traction alopecia has occurred over several years this presents as most often in hairs lost along the front hairline. The constant pulling on the follicles caused by traction alopecia from hair extensions, if of short duration, with sufficient and through counseling of hair care- can be halted and reversed.
Learn more about Children Hair Loss – Traction Alopecia.
The Hair Growth Phase
I regularly see women with post-partum hair loss (following pregnancy ), hormonal issues following breast feeding and deficiencies which can cause the hair to shed- as a mother myself, I know it is difficult to juggle the many balls of life we need to, but your health and well-being are as important as your child’s.