Hair fall after 40's: Causes, hair care routine, treatment tips that can help men and women
By the age of 40 years, around 30% of males suffer from hair loss and females face the widening on the center of the scalp which can start by the age of 30 years. So, by the age of 40, one can notice 40-50% of hair loss. Here are its causes, hair care routine and treatment tips that can help
Hair shedding is a biological process in which hair follows a cycle of growth and fall where hair loss occurs when the balance between growing and falling hair is disrupted. By the age of 40 years, around 30% of males suffer from hair loss and females face the widening on the center of the scalp which can start by the age of 30 years and the most common changes are thinning of hair and a decrease in hair growth.
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr BL Jangid, Dermatologist and Hair Transplant Surgeon at SkinQure Clinic in South Delhi, explained, “The reason behind these concerns are your hormones. The effect of the hormones can start at the age of 20-25 years which further depends on the genetic part. So, if the genetic part is strong then the hormone's action on the hair is very aggressive. So, by the age of 40 years, one can notice 40-50% of hair loss which might be more depending on the action of the hormone.”
He added, “Most of the time, the cause of hair loss is male pattern baldness and female pattern baldness. Due to hormones, the hair loss in males will impact the front, top and mid area and in women the hair loss will be on the top and crown of the scalp. Apart from this, the issues that can cause hair loss includes, stress-induced hair loss, deficiencies induced hair loss and hair loss due to intake of certain medications, and scalp diseases. It can also happen that at the age of 35-40 years, you might develop conditions like thyroid, diabetes or hypertension which can cause hair loss or changes in the hair.”
Dr Shireen Furtado, Consultant – Medical and Cosmetic Dermatology at Aster CMI Hospital, highlighted, “Alopecia is the medical term for hair loss. Within the genders, male suffer more from a familial pattern of hair fall called Androgenic alopecia. A whopping 50% of women undergo noticeable hair loss, majority of which is nutritional. Female-pattern hair fall (FPHL) is the female genetic equivalent of male hair loss.” According to her, the causes are:
- Genes - Genetically, some individuals are more prone to develop a visible patterned hair fall. Sometimes it may skip a generation too.
- Hormone changes - In adolescence like PCOS or in later years can contribute to baldness.
- Menopause - When oestrogen levels drop during menopause it can unmask a FPHL.
- Toxic substances, such as radiation treatment, chemotherapy and some drugs.
- Procedure like hair straightening can also cause hair fall and recent studies have also demonstrated adverse effects of these hair straightening products on the kidney causing - AKI- Acute kidney injury.
Hair loss treatment:
Dr BL Jangid advised, “If one has an internal problem or disease, get it treated on time, if the hair loss is due to some deficiency, it should be addressed with supplements or medications. If the hair loss is due to hormones, there are medications like Minoxidil, Finasteride that can help in treating the condition. But these medicines should be taken after consulting your dermatologist. Also, Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) can be an add-on therapy to control hair loss and thinning.”
He insisted, “It is also very important to understand that at the age of 35-40 years, we can't give aggressive medicines i.e. anti-hormones medicines, because few might be planning for babies and these medicines can have sexual side effects. So the problem that this age group may face is that aggressive medicines are not possible, and there is already a delay in the treatment process. So it is advisable to be prompt and look for hair issues at an early stage.”
According to Dr Shireen Furtado, when hair loss is brought on by illness, ageing, hereditary, or physical stressors like injuries, it is challenging to prevent but the right hair supplements can tremendously help to boot hair growth and stop hair fall. She informed, “By eating a nutritious diet that contains the required elements in the form of vitamins, minerals and protein, you may be able to stop some nutritional hair loss. Smoking and drinking in excess can alter the texture and growth pattern of hair.”
Hair care routine and tips that can help:
For males, Dr BL Jangid advised to keep your hair short because with short hair they can take better care. For women having long hair, he suggetsed, “Hair should be washed on alternate days. Apply gentle non-sticky hair oil. For those suffering from dandruff, use sulphate-based shampoo because it is the best cleanser, though after washing the hair will look frizzy, so use a good conditioner post shampooing. Rest can use a sulphate-free shampoo, which is a normal cleanser and is good for hair maintenance, moreover, conditioner is usually not required with this shampoo and is optional to use.”
He cautioned, “Avoid using heat on the tresses every day because it can damage the hair cuticles severely. , it is advisable to first improve the health of your hair. If your hair is healthy, it will accept all the traumas, whether it's heating or coloring. And if the hair is thick, and cuticles are strong, 50% of damage will not impact the hair much. Besides this, keep the scalp clean, no need to use too much oil on the scalp. Additionally, a balanced diet is important for not only our body but for our hair as well. Supplements can be given on the basis of blood tests for deficiency of Iron, Vitamin, B12, Protein, Folic acid. Moreover, there is a myth that taking Biotin will help in hair growth as there is no scientific evidence that claims that after consuming normal Biotin through a healthy diet you have to take extra supplements for hair growth. Biotin deficiency is actually very rare and through a healthy balanced diet, we can control this also Biotin tablets are not recommended for those who don't have a Biotin deficiency.”
If someone is noticing more than 100 hair loss a day, then a certified dermatologist should be consulted who can understand the cause of the hair loss, which can be from one of the above. Dr BL Jangid concluded, “Those who are suffering from hair loss because of hormone issues, have to take medicine throughout their life because the impact of hormones will not go permanently but the problem is that less than 2% of people continue with the treatment. Since the results for pattern baldness comes near to 5-6 months so medication should be continued up to the prescribed duration but most of the people stop the medication within a few weeks or within 1-2 months as they can't see positive results or improvement in their condition. So, listen to your medical practitioner and continue the treatment as suggested by them.”