Hair fall, also called as alopecia affects both men and women worldwide. It is totally normal to lose around 50-100 hair every day from the scalp. But when this hair fall increases, it can be quite disturbing for the patient. Patients might notice increased hair fall with excess hair filling up the drain after washing, hair on the pillow and floor after combing and bunches of hair accumulating in the comb. Hence, it is important to know how to stop hair fall.
WHAT CAUSES IT?
Genetics, diet and certain diseases can cause hair to fall out. Some conditions that may precipitate hair fall are:
- Hereditary hair fall: It can occur in both men and women but is more common in men. Usually, testosterone is responsible for the hair fall. Women with excess testosterone esp in PCOS also can suffer from this type of hair fall. Usually, there is a history of either the mother or father suffering from this similar hair loss.
- Hair fall due to inflammatory diseases of the skin: Diseases like tinea capitis, eczema or psoriasis can cause hair loss not just from the scalp but even from eyebrows and eyelashes.
- Autoimmune diseases: The body’s immune system i.e white blood cells attack the hair follicles, causing damage and destruction of the follicles. Autoimmune disease like vitiligo, thyrotoxicosis and SLE can also cause hair loss.
- Hormonal conditions: Conditions where there are excess of hormones, or there is an imbalance of hormones can cause hair fall. PCOS, pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, hormonal contraceptive pills, intrauterine contraceptive device can cause sudden but reversible hair fall.
- Systemic illness: Diseases which cause massive blood loss, blood clots and danger to life can have sudden hair loss as its sequelae. But this hair fall is usually reversible.
- Nutritional deficiencies: Deficiency of iron, protein and biotin can also cause hair fall issues.
- Drugs and medications: Psychiatric medications, antihypertensives have hair fall as a side effect.
- Stress, grief as well as sudden loss.
- Psychiatric disorder of pulling of hair (trichotillomania)
- Tight braiding, twisting, pulling and heat treatment of hair
- Scar tissue cause loss of hair in that area, such as burns.
5 patterns of hair loss are seen depending on the cause and severity of hair loss.
- Androgenic alopecia : Seen in hair fall due to hereditary or genetic causes. The pattern runs in the males of the families. It can start in early teens, causing full-blown alopecia in the mid-30s. It starts with loss of hair from temples, along with recession of the hairline. Thinning of hair and baldness progresses to the vertex. Eventually, with severe alopecia, the hairline of the temple and vertex coalesce until, in the worst case, complete loss of hair occurs. The hair follicles eventually atrophy and disappear, hence regrowth of lost hair never happens.
- Alopecia areata : It is an autoimmune hair loss and can occur to men and women at any age. It usually begins with round patchy hair loss from small areas of the scalp. In severe cases, it may progress to cover larger areas of the scalp making it more difficult to treat. The scalp may be sensitive and inflamed. The hair in affected areas become thin and show the characteristic exclamation mark appearance.
- Alopecia totalis : It is a more severe form of alopecia areata, which causes hair loss of the entire scalp with or without the involvement of facial hair.
- Diffuse hair loss : It is characterized by hair falling out from the roots throughout the entire scalp. It is usually seen in middle-aged and elder women. The density of hair shaft reduces and hair becomes thinner as age advances. There is also a decrease in the density of hair follicles in the scalp. Diffuse hair loss is also seen in nutritional deficiencies esp protein and iron deficiency.
- Telogen effluvium : It is characterized by sudden and severe loss of hair from the entire scalp following an incident like childbirth, massive blood loss, or severe illness like pneumonia. All the hair follicles revert to their resting or Telogen phase and the hair cycle is arrested. It usually continues for a few weeks after which it spontaneously stops and hair regrows.
HOW CAN YOU STOP FALLING OF HAIR?
Hair fall can be really difficult to deal with esp when it starts early in life. All types of hair loss can be treated, except androgenic hair loss and hair loss due to scarring. Here are a few tips to regrow your hair and how to stop hair fall.
- Adequate nutrition. Intake of food rich in protein, iron, biotin and omega-3-fatty acids help in strengthening hair roots and improve the quality of hair. To know more about foods which can improve hair fall, click here.
- Choose the correct oil and shampoo suited to your hair type.
- Avoid blow-drying, curling and straightening too often. Heat damages the hair follicles and makes them weak, hence they can fall out easily.
- Avoid long hours of tight braiding and tying up hair. This can cause traction, hence causing hair loss. Keep hair open for some time every day.
- Massage the scalp regularly, either with or without oil. Massaging increases blood flow to the scalp, hence promoting hair growth.
- While washing hair, use cold water instead of hot. Hot water takes away moisture from the scalp, leaving hair dry and frizzy. Cold water seals in the moisture, keeping hair soft and supple.
NATURAL HOMEOPATHIC TREATMENT FOR HAIR FALL:
Homeopathy offers very good scope for all kinds of hair loss (except androgenic). With proper treatment, you can see fewer amounts of hair falling out on your comb and hair growth also increases. Homeopathic treatment for hair loss is effective and natural, without burning a hole in your pocket with expensive surgical treatments. To check out how homeopathy can help you with hair fall, click here.
If you have any queries regarding homeopathic remedies or want treatment for any of your complaints, feel free to drop a mail at email@example.com. I would be happy to help in any way I can!
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Author- Dr. Tasneem .H. Soni