Baldness refers to the condition where the scalp is partially or completely devoid of hair. At any given time only 10-15% of the hair on the scalp is in the resting phase and these eventually fall off. Due to this, it is normal to lose 50-100 hair strands in a day. However, if the hair fall is more than this it becomes a cause of concern.
What are the reasons why you are losing hair?
The various reason for hair fall are:
- Heredity means one has inherited genes that make the hair follicles shrink and stop supporting any further hair growth. It is the most common cause of baldness. It is also called patterned baldness.
- Age– With age hair follicle slows and eventually stops growing hair.
- Alopecia areata– In this, the body’s immune system attacks the hair follicle and prevents hair growth.
- Cancer treatment Chemotherapy and radiotherapy cause all or most of the hair on the head and neck to fall.
- Stress– Both mental stress such as after divorce or losing a loved one and physical stress such as after an illness, delivery, or surgery can cause baldness.
- Haircare– Too much colouring, perming, or straightening hair can lead to hair loss.
- Hairstyling– Pulling hair back like in a bun or ponytail leads to permanent hair loss.
- Hormonal imbalance– Having cysts in the ovaries (as in PCOD) or at times stopping birth control pills.
- Scalp infection– It can lead to scaling and even inflammation of the affected scalp area thus causing localized hair loss.
- Medications– Some medications can lead to hair fall. If this is suspected one should consult one’s doctor.
- Scalp psoriasis– Patients with plaque psoriasis also tend to have scalp psoriasis which causes hair loss on the affected part of the scalp.
- Trichotillomania– Some people consciously or more commonly unconsciously pull on their hair, often to relieve stress. This eventually causes baldness.
- Scarring alopecia– This arises when hair follicles are destroyed due to inflammation. This causes permanent hair loss.
- Sexually transmitted diseases– STDs such as syphilis if left untreated can lead to hair loss.
- Thyroid disorder
- Nutritional deficiency– Diet low in iron, biotin, zinc, and protein can lead to hair fall.
- Friction– Temporary hair loss occurs where the socks, boots, or tight clothing rub against the skin.
- Poison– Slow poisoning especially from arsenic, thallium, mercury, and lithium can lead to hair loss. Also ingesting large amounts of vitamin A, Selenium, and warfarin present in rat poison can cause hair loss.
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How can hair fall be diagnosed?
The following tests can help in the diagnosis of hair fall:
- Blood tests– Such as hormonal tests to help diagnose medical conditions responsible for hair loss.
- A pull test-It is done to find the stage of the hair cycle. In this dozens of hair are gently pulled to observe how many come out.
- Scalp biopsy– It is done to find out any infection of the hair.
- Light microscopy– It is done to detect any disorder of the hair shaft.
How we can prevent baldness?
The various steps how to prevent baldness include: –
- Massage of the scalp– Regular scalp massage with lukewarm oil improves the scalp?s blood circulation and stimulates hair follicles. Almond oil, coconut oil, or sesame oil are the best for hair massage.
- De-stressing– The stress hormones, cortisol, and epinephrine cause hair loss. By practising yoga, working out and meditation we can calm our minds.
- Avoid smoking
- Decrease consumption of alcohol.
- Diet– Fresh fruits and vegetables help to promote good hair growth. Food items rich in zinc, iron, proteins, biotin, vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids will help to improve blood circulation in the scalp and thus promote hair growth.
- Regularly wash the hair with a mild shampoo. This will, clean the sweat, and avoid dandruff or infection of the scalp.
- Avoid combing hair too frequently or combing wet hair.
- Stay hydrated and have at least eight glasses of water a day.
- Let hair dry naturally rather than rubbing them dry with a towel.
- Engage in some physical activity for at least 30 min per day.
- Avoid frequent heating and drying of hair.
- Change hairstyles such as ponytails and braids that pull hair and damage hair follicles.
- Avoid using chemicals on your hair such as those found in hair color products.
What homeopathy can do to treat hair fall and prevent baldness?
Homeopathy has a significant role to play in the treatment of baldness. It helps to eliminate the root cause of hair fall and thus promotes healthy hair. Common homeopathic medicines for hair fall are:-
- Lycopodium Clavatum– It is suited for hair fall in women that begins during pregnancy or after childbirth. It is also effective to treat hair fall that arises due to ovarian disorder or after menopause. In men, hair loss is seen first from the vertex. There is premature greying of hair and baldness.
- Sepia– It is indicated when the hair fall is associated with chronic headaches. The headache comes in terrific shock, more during menses. The headache is better with external pressure and continued hard motion. Sepia is also good for hair fall at climacteric.
- Phosphorus– It is indicated for hair fall associated with dandruff. The dandruff is excessive and falls out in the clouds. The hair fall is in bunches. Also, patchy hair loss responds well to this medicine.
- Acidum phosphoricum– It is useful for hair fall as a result of violent acute diseases. Hair fall due to mental stress due to grief, care, or disappointment love also responds well to it.
Thus shiny, long, and full hair not only adds to the appearance of an individual but they are also an indicator of overall optimum health. It is considered normal to lose 50-100 strands a day as part of a normal hair cycle. Hair fall above this becomes a cause of concern. It is most frequently the result of genetics. It can also be a result of lifestyle errors such as poor diet, inadequate water intake, excessive alcohol consumption, or cigarette smoking. Improper hair care as seen due to frequent hair styling, use of hair color, and irregular hair wash also contribute to hair fall. Hormonal changes as seen during pregnancy, childbirth, or climacteric can contribute to hair fall. Right homeopathic medicine with a well-balanced diet and proper hair care regimen can help treat baldness very well.