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BBC News Reports on Alopecia patients call for NHS to fund real hair wigs

People with alopecia want better access to good quality wigs to help with the psychological impacts of the condition

The NHS should fund real hair wigs for people with alopecia and better recognise the psychological impacts, people with the condition have said.

Julie Mees was diagnosed more than two years ago after her mother noticed a bald patch the size of a coin on the back of her head.The hair loss has since worsened, and she will eventually be completely bald.NHS Wales funds wigs for patients with hair loss but they are often made with synthetic hair.

The Welsh Government said health boards were given a list of approved suppliers to choose from for patients who have alopecia, burns or have lost hair because of treatments such as chemotherapy.

They also help patients with fitting and styling.But it is up to each health board how much funding they provide – meaning people in some areas could be offered more to buy a wig than others. Former lecturer Ms Mees, from Barry, said the £50 voucher she was given would only buy a synthetic wig from a specific shop, and she was not able to offset that against the cost of going private. She saved £600 of her own money for a real hair topper – a type of mini wig.

“They give you a voucher to take to a shop for what I call a ‘wiggy wig’… like a fancy dress costume, which look awful and do absolutely nothing for the person’s emotional and psychological needs,” she said. “Your hair is the first thing people see… I’ve always had long hair, it’s part of my identity.

“I’m losing it all and that’s emotionally hard, it’s very difficult.”It’s a case of if you have good finances, you can live life normally.”

Ms Mees added those overwhelmed by the search for good quality wigs could end up paying over the odds, and she had since found a supplier for half the price she originally paid.

Diane Shawe Top Hair Extensions and Hairloss Educator, Consultant and author in two of her recent blogs about hairloss tackled the subject of wigs.

Click to read articles here:

https://academyexpresscourses.com/2017/03/17/20-different-hairloss-conditions-you-should-know-about/

https://academyexpresscourses.com/2018/10/17/benefits-of-silk-base-wigs-and-why-alopecia-chemotherapy-hair-loss-condition-customers-should-use-these-types-of-wigs-by-diane-shawe/

Moira Jones’ 18-year-old son Thomas Barry, from Cardiff, has had alopecia universalis – complete loss of hair from the scalp and body. He started losing his hair when he was 11, and it was gone within three months.

Doctors believe his body is producing an allergic reaction, reacting as though hair is a disease – but no treatment has helped so far.

Ms Jones has paid more than £2,000 for two wigs for her son but neither was suitable. She said she was not helped by the NHS in her search and her son has never been offered counselling.”He was really strong, stronger than everybody else around him,” she added.

Thomas wore two beanie hats – in case one fell off – to hide his scalp during his teenage years, even during sleepovers and in the heat of summer. When he went to Camp America last summer, his hair began to grow back in the sunshine – but fell out on his return to the UK.

While Thomas’ experiences abroad have given him the confidence to go without a hat at university, Ms Jones feels the family should have received more support.

Betsi Cadwaladr, Cwm Taf, Hywel Dda, Abertawe Bro Morgannwg and Aneurin Bevan health boards said they fund two wigs per person annually. They said all suppliers go through a procurement process to ensure quality.

Cardiff and Vale and Powys health boards were also asked to comment. Amy Johnson, from the charity Alopecia UK , said: “For many people with alopecia, wearing a wig is an essential part of managing the psychological impact of losing their hair; those who wear wigs for medical necessity don’t see their wig as an optional luxury.

“The charity hears from individuals who struggle to go to work or school, or even leave the house. There should be provision within the NHS to support individuals with access to suitable wigs.”

Source: ews

Hair pulling disorder (Trichotillomania) often unreported article by Diane Shawe

Silent Sufferers of Trichotillomania

Silent Sufferers of Trichotillomania

Compulsive hair pulling, understanding and treating with hair extensions.

article by Diane Shawe M.Ed

Trichotillomania (pronounced /ˌtrɪkəˌtɪləˈmniə/ TRIK-ə-TIL-ə-MAY-NEE, also known as trichotillosis or hair pulling disorder) is an impulse disorder characterised by the compulsive urge to pull out (and in some cases, eat) one’s own hair leading to noticeable hair loss and balding, distress, and social or functional impairment. It appears in the ICD chapter 5 on Mental and behavioral disorders and is often chronic and difficult to treat.

Trichotillomania may be present in infants, but the mis conception that the peak age of onset is 9 to 13 understated to say the least.  It is estimated that 3.4 % of women suffer this and around 1.5% men.

Crowning Glory hair extension technique

Crowning Glory hair extension technique

It may be triggered by depression or stress. Owing to social implications the disorder is often unreported and it is difficult to accurately predict. Common areas for hair to be pulled out are the scalp, eyelashes, eyebrows, legs, arms, hands, nose and the pubic areas.

I have been involved in the hair extension sector for over 30 years.  I have seen clients attend my salon and whilst waiting to get their hair extensions put in I have witnessed them pulling their hair out.

Often these clients are unaware that they have a disorder are sometime highly strung or very nervous.

So what are the symptons?

People who suffer from trichotillomania are said to often pull only one hair at a time and these hair pull episodes can last for hours at a time. Trichotillomania can go into remission-like states where the individual may not experience the urge to “pull” for days, weeks, months, and even years.

I had a client who would bit by bit feel the urge to snip of single hair strands at a time and could not stop snipping with her very small scissors.  It was vital for her to have these scissors at hand at all times.

Individuals with trichotillomania exhibit hair of differing lengths; some are broken hairs with blunt ends, some new growth with tapered ends, some broken mid-shaft, or some uneven stubble. Scaling on the scalp is not present, overall hair density is normal, and a hair pull test is negative (the hair does not pull out easily). Hair is often pulled out leaving an unusual shape. Individuals with trichotillomania may be secretive or shameful of the hair pulling behavior.

Hook & Latch Technique No glue, threads or cornrows.

Hook & Latch Technique No glue, threads or cornrows.

An additional psychological effect can be low self-esteem, often associated with being shunned by peers and the fear of socialising due to appearance and negative attention they may receive.

Some people with trichotillomania wear hats, wigs, false eyelashes, eyebrow pencil, or style their hair in an effort to disguise the probem. There seems to be a strong stress-related component and some individuals with trichotillomania may feel they are the only person with this problem due to the low rates of reporting.

Hair dressers are usually the first to work with clients who may have this problem, and whilst washing, blow drying and back combing with hair spray or using big rollers under a hair dryer to add volume, this does not assist the client in the long term.

Hair enhancement (hair extensions) techniques have come a long way.  Techniques such as Crowning glory, Hair to skin, lace wigs, the net weave and the hook and latch can provide instant gratification.

During this process I have also witnessed the clients change of habit in pulling out their hair because they pay much more attention to not pulling out their hair extensions.

Habit reversal Training can help.

Whilst I agree that certain Habit reversal training (HRT) has the highest rate of success in treating trichotillomania. HRT has been shown to be a successful adjunct to medication as a way to treat trichotillomania. With HRT, the individual is trained to learn to recognise their impulse to pull and also teach them to redirect this impulse. I believe that hair extensions speed up this process because the suffer has a completely different mindset to the hair that has been added to help disguise their problem whilst giving the appearance of a lovely healthy head of hair.

Net Weave Hair enhancement technique

Net Weave Hair enhancement technique

Any hair enhancement technique should be light, non intrusive, well blended and easy to manage.  One of the most effective techniques could be the Hook and Latch hair extension technique.  However if the client has damaged the hair line, the most effective system would be a lace wig applied without using any bonding agents.

The Hair Extension Training Academy offer five hair enhancement techniques designed to work with clients who suffer from alopechia, trichotillomania, hair loss due to medication or severe thinning hair.

Try out our 1 day hook and latch hair extension technique course and you can see for yourself the benefits to the client.

1 day hair extension course for just 150.00 UK