Why does hair fall out?

November 21, 2013


Is your hair falling out, getting thinner or losing condition? Watching your crowning glory becoming a shadow of its former self can be extremely confronting – after all, many of us consider our hair a core part of our identities. So why does this happen? And what can you do about it?

 20-11-2013 12-11-15 PM

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First published in Women's Health magazine in May 2013

Losing up to 100 hairs from your scalp every day is normal and nothing to worry about. It happens because your hair continually progresses through a cycle that takes several years to complete, with each of the thousands of strands on your head being in its own phase of the cycle. The hairs that fall out are from follicles in the resting phase of the cycle, called the telogen phase, during which there is no blood supply to the hair follicle. Without the nourishing blood supply, a strand of hair is no longer “attached” to the head, and either falls out by itself or is pushed out once a new hair starts to form beneath it. This signals the start of the anagen (growth) phase, in which blood supply is restored and hair growth continues for up to seven years, usually at the rate of about a centimetre per month.

Then, before moving back into its resting phase, the hair follicle undergoes a short transitional phase called the catagen phase, during which the blood supply to the hair follicle is lost. This removes the hair’s access to nourishment and changes it from being a “living” hair to a “dead” one (called a club hair), moving it back into the telogen (resting) phase again. The resting phase lasts for a few months, after which a new growth cycle begins with the re-establishment of a nourishing blood supply to the hair follicle. However, sometimes the hair follicle becomes withered due to age or other factors (which may include stress, agerelated hormonal changes and general poor health), and the emerging strand of hair becomes progressively finer, shorter and thinner until eventually the follicle ceases to produce new hair at all.


From the perspective of Chinese medicine the growth and development of the hair depends on the health of the kidney and liver organ-meridian systems, with kidney energy (called Jing) influencing the growth of the hair, and liver blood providing the perfect nourishment to the scalp and hair follicles. According to this philosophy, deficiency of either Jing or liver blood may have detrimental effects on the hair, leading to conditions such as dryness, brittleness, premature greying, and alopecia or hair loss including spot baldness, general thinning, male and female pattern baldness (sometimes called androgenic alopecia) and hair loss of unknown cause.

In many instances traditional Chinese herbal hair tonics work by nourishing the liver blood and replenishing Jing to activate the circulation, improve blood flow to the scalp, revitalise the hair follicles and promote normal healthy hair growth and condition. In this way, the herb Fallopia multiflora (Phytofol®) may help regenerate resting hair follicles to increase the percentage of normal healthy hair follicles in the anagen (growth) phase of the cycle. In turn, this promotes healthy hair growth and condition including strength, volume, colour and lustre, and may assist in the management of alopecia (hair loss) and both male and female pattern baldness. Fusion® Health Hair Tonic is a modern herbal medicine formulated with traditional Chinese herbs to support healthy hair growth and condition. The main ingredient Phytofol® has traditionally been used to nourish the liver blood and replenish (Jing) to promote healthy hair follicle function. Fusion® Health Hair Tonic with Phytofol® helps in the management of alopecia (hair loss), spot baldness, thinning hair and pattern baldness, and helps inhibit premature greying and declining hair condition (weak, brittle, dry, dull, split ends).

Fusion® Health Hair Skin & Nails combines Phytofol® and a high dose of silica with essential vitamins and minerals. Together, these ingredients help nourish hair follicles to support healthy hair growth and condition including strength, volume, colour and lustre. They also nourish the skin to encourage healthy skin texture, tone, firmness and elasticity, may aid the management of skin conditions, such as mild to moderate acne, dermatitis and psoriasis, as well as reduce nail breakage, splitting and flaking and help strengthen soft or brittle nails.

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