The untimely hair loss can be a devastating menace for anyone. While it is reasonable to lose 10 to 15 hairs every day after one takes a bath, losing more hairs requires medical attention and corrective measures in terms of diet, lifestyle, medications and prevention.
In India, the studies by Journal of Clinical Diagnostic and Research suggest that the prevalence of hair fall among the men ranging in age of 18 to 50 years can be as high as 60% and with baldness just over 50%.
The increasing trends of hair fall are global in nature with American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) reports around 80 million people from both genders have alopecia (hair loss).
Hair is the first thing someone would notice when they see you for the first time. And this happens even before they point out something about your dress.
Well, now this could be that one ‘WoW’ moment for you if you have dense, long and shiny hair as against someone who is battling with rough hair, hair fall and carries barren scalp over the skull. The menace of hair fall appears more in our society these days. A small section is devoted to counter this mess with a guide on how to go grey gracefully with all hair remain intact on your head.
In this article, we are discussing the sign and symptoms, causes, myths about hair fall, and holistic ayurvedic treatment that can overcome this menace of hair fall.
Hair Loss: Sign and Symptoms
A person with hair loss would present the following signs and symptoms, but not necessarily all the signs and symptoms are given below. Some of it might be missing in the person experiencing the condition of hair fall, but the presence of one or more will help the physician in making the diagnosis.
- Hair loss patches
- Skin Lesions
- Hair loss around eyebrows, the backside of head, and above ears.
Hair Loss Reasons
From the known and many unknown reasons, the following ones are linked to the theory of hair fall in human beings:
- Genetics- The hereditary has a significant role in hair fall. Notably, people with hair loss in early ages would tend to have the progeny that too would suffer from hair loss early in life.
- Pregnancy and Birth Control Pills- The changes in the female hormones at the time of pregnancy, childbirth can bring hair loss in women. The injudicious use of contraceptives, injudicious and prolonged use of them impact the growth of hair. The women who are experiencing menopause too face the issue of hair fall.
- Infections- Various infection like cellulitis, a fungal infection like tinea capitis, secondary syphilis, folliculitis, ringworm and similar conditions that cause scarring like lichen planus lead to hair fall. While these infections can bring temporary hair loss, some diseases like lupus can result in permanent hair loss.
- Drugs- The medications for chemotherapy to treat cancer are widely known to bring baldness in patients who have cancer. Many allopathic medicines for high blood pressure, arthritis, anabolic steroids and depression lead to hair fall in those patients who use them for a prolonged period.
- Diet- Following a dietary regimen that lacks protein, iron and Vitamin E lead to early hair fall.
- Aesthetic Treatments- Undergoing frequent hair treatments like heat blowing, hair straightening procedures, can damage the hair follicles permanently and bring hair fall.
- Traction- People with impulsive habits of pulling their hairs from cheek, head experience hair shortage in their scalp and from the beard.
- Psychological- Some unpleasant incidents in life can trigger the hair fall. A loss of some dear one, sudden weight loss, and chronic fever may have a psychological impact leading to abrupt hair loss in both men and women.
From distress to depression, the condition of hair loss has the ability to make an adverse psychological impact on the people suffering from it.
Stress causes the thinning and greying of hair. “My hairs are growing grey- another reason to take stress”; this works like a vicious cycle if one gets impacted a lot with anxiety.
The stress caused by the thinning and baldness has its psychological impact on the mental health of both sexes. While it appears that women feel more sensitive to the issue of baldness, men also feel a lot of isolation socially if they start losing their hair abruptly, which kill their physical attractiveness and harm self-image.
Myths About Hair Loss
- If the father of a kid is bald, the kid would also be bald? Well, the hereditary does play a role in early hair fall, but this is not true entirely. With proper hair care and avoiding factors that affect the quality of hair, and damage them, one can stop this.
- Daily conditioning and shampooing can save the hair from falling? This belief again does not hold any merit. The daily conditioning and shampooing can make hair go too light and eventually lead to hair fall.
- Chemicals, heat treatment, procedures like rebounding do not harm hair? This urban myth has done more damage to our hair than any artificial hair supplement. While in some cases, these do give aesthetic beauty, the excessive treatment leads to thinning of hair and follicles and eventually abrupt hair fall.
- Washing with Lukewarm water- Bathing in fresh tap water is the best thing unless you live in a cold environment, bathing with hot water snatch the essential oil from hair and make them dry and dull. Washing hair with lukewarm water though is a good option always.
- Hair Conditioning- Conditioning hair correctly is of great importance and has to be in the proper manner by distributing the right conditioner throughout the length of hair. Taking the help of a wide comb is also of great help as that detangles the hair.
- Shampooing- You might already be having one favourite shampoo that you have been using from quite some time now, and you may not even think of changing the same. Well, we assume that you must have studied a lot on its ingredients, the source if organic or inorganic? Unlike conditioner which has to be applied throughout the length, the shampoo is to be used in the scalp. The scalp produces oil and with dirt from the external environment has the tendency to accumulate there to damage hair follicles, and this has to be cleaned regularly with the right type of shampoo.
- Rinsing and Drying- Clearing any leftover with proper rinsing is the surest thing you need to do once you get out of the shower. Use gentle cloth which may or may not necessarily be a towel, any old cotton T-shirt can do a better job to dry the hair.
- Protection from the air- Air can make skin and hair drier. So, when moving out in a windy environment, one needs to protect the hair from a direct hitting from the air.
- Oiling- Oiling of hair is an essential part of one’s daily routine. Don’t fall to the fallacy that hair does not require any oil treatment; dry hair is more curse and leads to early hair fall. The misconception that hair does not require nourishment, just like skin which requires regular moisture, hair too needs daily and proper hydration. This moisture should come from healthy sources and not from some artificial ingredients.
- Straightening of hair- The straightened hair does look very cool and give a pleasing experience to the eyes, but you should not opt for hair straightening unless you have curly hair.
Hair Care Diet Tips
We live in a world now, which is going artificial and sceptic with every new day, but at the same time, it is craving to go organic with the same pace. Notice the heap of hair products when you visit a grocery store next time, chances are high that you may end up seeing more organic products than the range of synthetic products for hair fall.
It is a fact that you cannot reverse age and change genetics, but dietary habits and lifestyle are things that you have full control. Choosing the diets that lack the nutrients necessary to counter hair loss and their maintenance is very imperative.
If you are a holistic health seeker and for a quick and crisp guide, you need to include following healthy dietary and lifestyle changes in your regimen to have healthy hair and reduce the abrupt hair fall.
- The lack of nutrients such as Vitamin A, C, D and E, Zinc, Vitamin B, Iron, protein and essential fatty acids in your meals may lead your hair undernourished and more prone to early fall. Therefore, you must include the items that have these nutrients in abundance, which will treat hair loss and promote hair growth.
- Berries are a rich source of Vitamin C and carry antioxidants which enhances hair growth with adding collagen production and iron absorption.
- Green vegetables, mainly spinach contains Iron, Vitamin A, C and folate that promote hair growth. The deficiency of these nutrients results in hair loss.
- Vitamin E, along with zinc, is essential for hair growth. Therefore, nuts like Almonds, Walnuts, and Pine seeds should find their place in your daily dietary regimen.
- As with the nuts which are rich in Vitamin E, B, seeds like Chia and Flax are also a rich source of omega-3s which help in hair growth.
- If you are a veggie-lover, do find yourself eating more of beans and soybeans as both are excellent sources of protein, biotin, zinc and iron.
Providing essential nutrition to hair alone can counter the issue like dryness, hair fall, dandruff, and dulling of hair.
Holistic Hair Care
Talking about holistic health is not possible without bringing the Ayurveda perspective in the domain.
There are over a dozen of herbal drugs mentioned in the Ayurveda literature named as ‘Keshya’ that promotes the growth of hair and stop pre-mature ageing, greying and hair fall.
The plant ‘Bhringraj’ or ‘False Daisy’ is the leader among all these ‘Keshya’ plants as this has been prescribed widely by the Ayurveda doctors and well accepted among the people hunting for holistic hair care solutions. When processed with ‘Sesame or Til Tailam’ which in turn is a powerful ‘Keshya dravya’, the potency and results of Bhringraj increase many folds and helps in the hair growth, stopping greying of hair and repairing the old and damaged hair follicles.
FAQ About Hair fall
Does onion juice regrow hair?
Onion juice helps in eliminating dandruff only.
What is the best vitamin for hair loss?
Deficiency of Vitamin A and all forms of Vitamin B cause hair loss.
Does garlic regrow hair?
There ain’t any big studies available to ascertain this.
Can vitamin D regrow hair?
No, it doesn’t help in hair regrowth.
Is overnight oiling good for hair?
Yes, it is good but rinsing and shampooing next day is equally important.
What is the best medicine to stop hair fall?
Mahabhringraj oil is being used since ages as a medicine to stop hair fall.
Is it normal for hair to fall out when pulled?
Usually hair should not fall when pulled gently, only old and brittle ones fall out.
Why is my hair falling out at 16?
Lack of protein, vitamin A, vitamin B and vitamin E in diet, and too much hot treatment to hair.
Is zinc good for hair loss?
Yes, Zinc helps in curbing hair fall and is an important nutrient for hair growth.
Does lack of calcium cause hair loss?
Calcium helps in thicker hair and helps in growing them faster.