Are you troubled? Irritated? Tensed? Do you feel ancient/old? What could it be? You must know it better. There can be many reasons to it. One of the most torturous problems for any human being is Alopecia. It refers to partial or complete loss of hair from body or head. This is more common in women than men. It is not necessary that every person suffers from a similar kind of hair loss. There are different kind’s alopecia, along with different symptoms and different remedies. If not prevented, the problem of hair loss can definitely be cured.
- Androgenetic or Androgenic Alopecia Also known as male pattern baldness is a common form of hair loss occurring in both men and women. It is characterized by thinning or loss of hair on the crown of the head or receding of hairline from the temples.
- Traction Alopecia A condition in which hair loss is caused by constant pulling of hair which damages the papilla and hair follicle.
- Alopecia Areata A condition of hair loss caused when the hair follicles get attacked by the body’s own immune system disrupting normal hair formation and growth.
- Alopecia Totalis This refers to the complete loss of scalp hair.
- Alopecia Universalis Refers to the complete loss of hair from scalp and body.
- Female Pattern Baldness This is a typical pattern of hair loss in women, due to aging, genes and changes in hormones.
- Telogen Effluvium Involves thinning or shedding of hair caused by the early entry of hair in the resting phase of the hair follicle. This happens due to emotional or physiological stress.
Behind these prevalent forms of hair loss, there are certain reasons and symptoms.
- Thinning of hair
- Receding hairline
- Baldness at a certain area like crown or temple of the head
- Extreme falling or shedding of hair
- Growth cycle- In this, hair follicles go through three stages-anagen phase (growth), catagen phase (transition) and telogen phase (dormant).
- Hormonal changes
- Hereditary reasons
- Chemicals used in hair treatment
- Lack of proper diet
- Deficiency of iron
- Fungal infection in the scalp
Everything You Need to Know to Stop Hair Loss
With changing times, the problem of hair fall has become a common concern. Depending on the gender, the pattern for hair loss varies. Female hair loss pattern occurs in parietal lobe (section of the brain that between front and back lobes) and frontal lobe (sits at the front of each cerebral hemisphere). In men, hair starts thinning and then to fall from the temple area (side of the head and behind eyes) and crown area (upper back of the skull).
Hair Loss: The FAQs
After coming across facts about the hair fall, there must be doubts popping up in your mind.
Why does hair loss happen?
Research answers it all. There are numerous factors that lead to the problem of hair loss.
- Stress Telogen Effluvium is the disorder of scalp which is caused by either physical or mental stress. This stress can further result in eating disorders, anemia, fever, etc., affecting the hair.
- Ageing As the body starts ageing, the rate at which hair grows, also starts falling and the protein levels required for the hair also get affected. Ageing not only involves just falling of hair, but also graying of hair, thinning of hair, loss of protein from hair strands, followed by deteriorating scalp health, less shine in hair and brittleness.
- Genes If your parents have hair loss/ fall, then you are more likely to experience it. This is an avoidable but curable situation and treatment does exist.
- Hormonal Imbalance Not only ageing, but other factors like puberty, thyroid (hyper and hypo thyroid), pregnancy, diabetes, etc., also bring in changes in the hormones in women. While in men, it is due to dietary factors, lack of exercise and modern lifestyle (eating habits plus sedentary activity).
- Growth Cycle In this, hair follicles go through three stages-anagen phase (growth), catagen phase (transition) and telogen phase (dormant). When this cycle gets affected due to factors like medication, radiation, chemotherapy, chemical exposure, malnutrition, hormonal changes, etc., it leads to temporary or permanent hair loss.
- Illness HIV, cancer, thyroid problems, lupus (wherein hair become brittle and fall in patches), diabetes, etc. lead to hair fall.
- Medication While you are curing any illness by the use of drugs, you are unaware of one of its major side-effects which is hair-loss. The medicines interfere with the hair growth cycle causing hair to fall. Chemotherapy, which treats cancer, is a prominent example. Anticoagulants or blood thinners, Vitamin A in large doses, antidepressants, etc. are among such medicines.
- Hair treatments Bleaching, hair colouring, perming and hair dyeing have been found, affecting the quality of hair and their roots, severely.
- Diet– Body needs nutrients for its growth and functioning. If you start compromising with their required intake, it will affect the hair growth cycle as well.
- Deficiency of Iron Insufficient iron levels in the body cause anemia, resulting in the hair fall in both men and women. Poor diet, blood loss during menstruation and demand of blood supply in pregnant women contribute to the disorder of the blood.
- Menopause An inseparable part of a woman’s life. Her body undergoes hormonal changes (estrogen and testosterone levels), stress, etc. during this phase, causing female pattern baldness. But this is again curable by means of anti-androgen therapy, hormone treatment and a nutrient rich diet.
- Poor Scalp Hygiene There are times when we miss cleaning the scalp thoroughly which develops dirt and impurities leading to a fungal infection. Another reason is dandruff, wherein the scalp becomes dry, flaky and itchy, resulting in falling hair.
- Cosmetic Applications Different brands are prevailing in the market and do their best to sell their hair products. Often, a consumer gets carried away by the advertisements and end up buying a wrong product. Also, changing shampoos, cleansers, conditioners, hair oils, etc, too often weaken the roots resulting in hair fall.
How to reduce hair loss?
Thanks to scientific advancement, there are a number of ways, medicines and treatments available to get rid of hair fall or to prevent it. . However, these shouldn’t be solely relied upon. Any of these supplemented with certain lifestyle changes will make a difference.
- Regular exercising Exercises like aerobics and yoga, help you deal with the stress and thereby reducing hair fall. Regular exercise leads to an upsurge of endorphins that function as mood lifting neurotransmitters and thus, make you feel happy. Moreover, they calm and relax your mind and body.
- Proper diet A diet rich in nutrients ensures that your hair becomes healthy, strong and doesn’t fall. One should try including foods like salmon, walnuts, sweet potatoes, eggs, spinach, lentils and blueberries in daily diet. Avoid eating raw egg whites, very low calorie liquid diets, and caffeinated drinks.
- Adequate sleep Sleeping too much or too less is bad for health. A moderate 8 hours of sleep will prevent fatigue and stress, the two contributing factors to hair loss.
- Avoid them Alcohol, coffee, tea and junk food interferes with the hair growth cycle. So their intake should either be limited or avoided.
- Stick to benign cosmetics Consult a dermatologist or a hair expert who will assist you in knowing what is best for your hair. Stick to it and refrain yourself from buying many products and indulging in any kind of treatments that are often not required. Rather, prefer natural products over other cosmetics available in the market. Products enriched with coconut, henna, shea butter, aloe vera, glycerine, jojoba, olive oil, castor oil, honey, avocado and tea tree will be beneficial.
- Love them natural Planning to go in for hair rebonding, straightening or perming? Then just don’t. These will surely give you a makeover but the after effects will be shocking. Any of these treatments, take away the natural beauty and texture of hair.
- Increase the daily intake of water The hair shaft comprises of one quarter of water. So 8-10 glasses of water, daily will not only keep you hydrated and but also help in the growth of hair.
- Meditate Practice meditation and keep stress and tension at bay. It also helps in balancing hormones.
How to prevent hair loss?
Here’s a set of dos and don’ts which will solve the various issues related to hair, especially the shedding of hair.
- Start looking for the possible treatments as soon as you start suffering from it.
- Improve your lifestyle. Improve the quality of food, sleep and rest.
- Take a proper care of them, from cleansing to combing. Use good quality hair products after evaluating your hair type to avoid harm.
- A diet with all the vitamins, minerals is what is you must ensure for getting healthy hair.
- Exercise regularly to keep yourself away from any kind of illness.
- Protect your hair from sun, dust and impurities in the environment. Always keep your hair covered whenever going out in the sun and while travelling.
- Oiling regularly is the key to a healthy scalp. And hot oil massage is even more effective.
- Be sensitive towards treating your hair whilst combing and drying.
- Pat dry your hair smoothly with towel without causing abrasion to the hair.
- Avoid fatty foods
- Avoid unnecessary combing and brushing
- Don’t buy the marketed products without evaluating their pros and cons on your hair.
- Never use hot water for your hair
- Quit smoking, caffeinated drinks and alcohol
- Do not use anti-dandruff shampoos regularly. It can damage your hair.
- Never try multiple treatments on your hair like coloring with perming or straightening with coloring.
- Never comb and tie wet hair, as they become extremely weak after getting wet leading to hair fall.
5 Quick home remedies:
We blindly follow the treatments that come in our way, whether natural, chemical or medicinal. But have we ever evaluated the benefits for each? I guess, no. We are ready to spend lavishly and demand quick results. Why have we never thought of ways that are less painful or painless, easy to do and economic? Let us try some.
Rubbing of scalp Rub your scalp briskly after washing your hair with cold water. This will improve blood circulation and activate the sebaceous glands contributing to a healthy hair growth and treatment of hair loss.
Amla Oil Dry some pieces of amla and boil them in coconut oil. This supports hair growth. Mixing equal quantities of amla juice and lime juice and using it like a shampoo also helps in hair growth and preventing hair loss.
Lettuce Mix equal quantities of lettuce and spinach juice and drink up to half a litre a day will help in dealing with the problem. Spinach is rich in iron, zinc, vitamins, while spinach is rich in Vitamins A, C and E.
Henna It is best known as a natural hair conditioner. Boil 60 grams of henna leaves in 250 ml of mustard oil till they are burnt and then filter this oil using a cloth. Store it and massage regularly will add to the strength and number of hair.
Coconut oil Grind coconut shavings and squeeze them to obtain the coconut oil. Apply this all over the scalp and massage properly so that it reaches the roots of the hair. This nourishes them and encourages hair growth.
Well balanced diet External applications are never enough for curing disorders that are rooted from within the body. So include healthy foods in your diet. A diet rich in seeds, grains, nuts, fruits and vegetables provides all the essential nutrients to the body. These, when supplemented with milk, vegetable oils, honey, wheat germ and lots of water will be like cherry on the cake.
It is always better to go for natural remedies over costly and cosmetic treatments. After all, your hair is your beauty!!