Often considered an inevitable march to baldness, hair fall can leave you worried. You can, however, stop your bad hair days from turning into bad hair weeks or even longer with minor changes to your lifestyle and a few corrective steps.
Dr Megha Shah, cosmetologist at Beauty and Curves Clinic, Surat, says that problems like hair fall and thinning hair and others are issues afflicting an increasing number of people. “There are many factors that contribute to hair loss and hair fall conditions. Hair loss occurs with the conditions called telogen effluvium, female pattern hormonal hair loss (androgenetic alopecia), anxiety and distress. In men, it is called male pattern baldness or androgenetic alopecia. Stress has long been implicated as one of the casual factors involved in hair loss,” says Dr Shah.
She blames poor hair styling, excessive dying, iron deficiency, thyroid, chronic (long term) medical disease, low haemoglobin level in blood, polycystic disease and endocrine imbalance that leads to hair fall, hair loss and baldness. Sometimes, she adds that it is related to medicines usage, poor nutrition, weight loss, and a condition called trichotillomania.
“You can have a combination of many causes. Hair loss may start after a surgery, with changes in diet, weight loss over 6-12 months, unusual emotional stress, or any change in hair care. Sometime, some scalp disease could also result in hair loss. In this case, a scalp biopsy is also carried out to diagnose the condition. Blood, thyroid function tests, serum iron study, anti nuclear antibody, examination by gynecologist and endocrinologist also help to evaluate the underlying disease,” she notes.
Shah recommends using minoxidil solution, a local application on scalp, and finasteride tablets (FDA approved), which help increase the length and diameter of existing hair.
Says another dermatologist, Dr CM Guri of Venus Clinic, Gurgaon, “There are non-invasive multi-polar magnetic pulse treatments which help grow hair. You also have the surgical option of hair transplantation.” He adds that a balanced nutrition in the form of good iron intake, eggs, milk, sprouts, salad, different varieties of fruits, green leafy vegetables, proper water intake, help build the body’s immunity. “Overall good immunity and good general health will help achieve good results,” he says.
Dr Guri warns against using chemicals, damaging agents and other harmful procedures. Simultaneous treatment of underlying disease helps a lot. Maintenance with some minoxidil lotions is necessary and regular follow up care enhances and maintains the result.
Monsoon, he notes, aggravates fungal infection, dandruff and itchy scalp as people tend to neglect wet hair and keep it tied for long. Using hair dryers could damage the hair shaft and cuticle. Any hair gel, chemicals, harsh serums, which stick to hair and scalp, can cause dandruff.
Dr Rohit Batra, dermatologist at Dermaworld Skin Clinic, explains, “Like skin, hair needs good, healthy protein, minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. This can be achieved through planned, balanced diet nad food like dahi, dalia, fish, sprouts, milk, almonds, vegetables, dals, seasonal fruits. Healthy exercise or sports, or yoga or aerobics will make oxygenated blood available to each and every cell of the body. And there is no substitute of healthy exercise. Good sleep is a must to rest all the body cells, tissues, organs and make them function well.”
He adds, “Some people are in the habit of using very strong hair lotions, shampoos and conditioners which in turn disturbs hair more. Washing hair with milder shampoos will keep scalp free form dandruff and scaly skin.”