Everything You Need to Know About Hair Loss
Living the ultra-modern lifestyle has its pros and cons. Where at one end we experience the best of comfort, luxury and happiness; on the other, we surround ourselves with various concerns. One of such fears happens to be loss of hair. As hair is something to enhance our physical look, style and appeal, we definitely don’t want to lose it. Instead, we must take all possible measures to protect this asset and treasure it for lifetime.
Here are some Q&As related to hair loss
Can I stop hair loss?
We live in a world where everything is possible and so is controlling hair loss at any stage and age. There are different ways to first control and then stop loss of hair.
To start with, Minoxidil makes a wonderful choice. It is a hair re-growth solution to be massaged into the scalp, especially the affected area. It comes with a tube and should be applied only using the tube. Users must refrain from having direct skin contact with the solution. Using once or twice a day will not only open the pores but also make the hair follicles larger.
Finasteride is a pill medicine which should be consumed only once a day. However, all pharmacies don’t give this medicine without a prescription.
Corticosteroid is a good option and available in various forms- injections, ointments, creams and oral medicines. Based on the pattern and stage of hair loss, it is advisable to customise all the forms of Corticosteroids for better results. However, one must always visit a hair specialist or dermatologist to know the exact dosages. A proper combination of Corticosteroids is mandatory for getting back lost hair.
A very popular hair loss treatment, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) works for both men and women. It’s a non-surgical and natural medical procedure for gaining back lost hair and also growing hair in large number in a short time. In this, blood sample is taken and platelet-rich plasma is segregated and further processed. Processed PPP is then injected inside the scalp with the help of a thin needle. Following this, growth factors in blood cells start working and soon hair starts growing and re-growing. It is safe, reliable and has quick recovery. There’s hardly any pain or discomfort during the procedure. Moreover, it’s cost-effective and devoid of any post-treatment complications. Above all, it delivers natural looking results.
It is a cosmetic procedure where hair surgeons insert multiple tiny injections of essential nutrients and vitamins into the scalp and this indirectly promotes hair growth. All the required pharmaceuticals are delivered into the mesodermal layer of tissue, lying beneath the scalp skin. This causes the fat cells (cellulite) to burst; body starts regulating hair growth factors; hair follicles gain more protein and the cumulative result of all these actions result in hair growth. In this treatment, the injected nutrients boost hair growth factors while hydrating the scalp simultaneously. Besides these, mesotherapy also normalises blood circulation and improves body’s metabolism; thus indirectly contributing to hair growth.
Triple Light Lasers
For those who are looking for something new and innovative, triple light laser is an amazing treatment. It is basically a laser helmet equipped with latest hair growth technology. Its powerful red light and effective cold lasers works best on affected scalp areas and delivers optimal energy dosage to regain hair at the earliest. This one-of-a-kind laser hits the stem cells, right at the base of hair follicles and forms a photonic pathway to restore healthy and natural hair. In short, it does maximum therapy in minimum time.
Hair Transplant- The Last Resort
And if all the above methods fail, which is the rarest of the rare cases, one has to then look up to hair transplant. The age-old and effective treatment is performed by specialised doctors and this involves a small surgery. Here, the specialists identify the donor site and the recipient site. The former is the affected area of the scalp and the latter is any part of the body which contains dense and healthy hair, suitable for transplant.
Once they fix both the sites, they harvest the hair follicles from the recipient site by collecting the follicles in small strips and then carefully insert it into the donor areas. Before inserting, doctors ensure that the selected grafts are genetically resistant to balding. Although the process involves some post-operative care, it does give everlasting and natural hair growth, provided one takes the necessary precautions and care.
What are the signs of hair loss?
Just like diseases, hair loss also sends some early warning signals. Initially, it starts with miniaturization in various forms like thinning hair on the scalp, receding hairline, gradual hair thinning at the crown leading to balding of the crown and horse-shoe pattern balding where crown gets exposed. While the first sign is most common in case of women, the last three symptoms hold true for men.
As hair loss is not just confined to mature adults, children and young adults must also look for specific early stage hair loss symptoms. For example once can experience sudden loss of patches of hair, complete hair loss all over the body, incomplete hair loss on scalp, patches of broken hair and excessive hair fall especially after certain treatments or critical disease or prolonged medicines.
Besides these, clumpy hair, visible scalp, smaller pony tails and lighter hair weight also point towards hair loss.
What causes my hair to fall out?
Depending on various factors, hair fall can have many reasons.
It is a hair loss condition in which hair falls out in one or more patches. Common for both genders, alopecia aerata happens when problems in immune system attacks hair follicles and stops its further growth. While most patients recover their hair loss in due course of time, some others face permanent hair fall out owing to immune disorders. To overcome this problem, it is best to take care of health and maintain good hygiene so as to regulate normal body functioning and metabolism.
A type of hair loss which is not realised by many, traction alopecia takes place due to pulling of hair by traction force. It is commonly seen in people who tie their hair in right ponytails or braids. Also, clipping hair for prolonged hours pulls off hair from its roots, resulting in hair fall. This problem can easily be avoided by tying hair in a more soothing manner, avoiding constant clipping of hair and letting the hair free for some hours. By doing so, hair follicles get a breathing space and hence can grow longer and better.
Not so easily avoidable Tinea Capitis is a fungal disease caused by dermatophytes in Microsporum and Trichophyton genera invading the shafts of hair. The hair shafts along with follicles are severely affected, leaving victims in a state of baldness that takes the shape of ringworm. Consulting a dermatologist or clinical hair specialist can give the best solution to such problems.
In this kind of hair loss, people experience chronic hair fall for longer duration. The primary cause behind telogen effluvium is imbalances in hormones and body’s metabolism. Often, excess stress, anxiety and certain medications can cause diffused hair shedding. Here, baldness develops without scar formation. Recovery takes somewhere around six months, if only there’s no presence of proper pattern of alopecia.
While most hair loss causes are due to physical, metabolical, hormonal or mental conditions; Trichotillomania is a psychological one. It refers to those having excess desire to pull their own hair. Such people have constant urge, which is psychological terms means impulse control disorder. Their body’s own impulse forces them to teat off their hair and doing so gives them a sense of relief. The best medicine for such problems is to seek psychological help and bring about efforts to calm, compose and control one’s mind.
Generalised or Diffused Hair loss
More commonly found across women, diffused hair loss does not cause complete balding. It only causes hair fall in fairly equal proportions all over the scalp. Hair thinning takes place all over the head, except the sides and back, which are most resistant to balding. Causes behind generalised hair loss can be anything from a hidden illness or some past medicine whose reactions might become visible. A good way to tackle such problem is by consulting a hair physician and seeking proper medical help.
Androgenetic or Androgenic Alopecia
It is also known as male pattern hair loss and female pattern hair loss. In females, hair gradually thins and if left untreated, gradually exposes the top and front portion of scalp. Males undergoing such hair loss are subject to thinning and receding hairline.
Is hair loss in women different than that of men?
Yes and in all respect. Hair loss in males is commonly known as male pattern baldness. Here, people witness a gradually receding hairline and thinning of hair surrounding the crown. If this kind of hair loss is measured on the Norwood Scale, it would be identified as Stage III Vertex. If hair loss is not controlled from this stage, balding will spread from the crown and in no time, scalp, full of hair will turn into a bald one.
In males, hair at the side of the scalp remains unaffected, due to lesser effect of DHT and hence hair follicles remain intact in the sides. As a result, males hardly experience hair loss from the sides of scalp. Balding only takes place at the crown area and its surrounding region.
The story is different for women. The central scalp portion becomes the first target of hair loss. This region is equivalent to the crown for male pattern baldness. In females, hair loss starts with thinning hair from the central scalp. Here, hair loss is measured on Ludwig Scale and identified with 3 stages; stage one being a thin gap at the centre while stage 3 being maximum expansion of thinning; thus creating more baldness. Although most women do retain their hairline, a few suffer from Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia. If this condition is not treated, hair loss can be at its worst and show its effects in temples, scalp sides and area above the ears. In a few cases, this can result in complete baldness.
While both men and women have their respective hair loss and balding pattern, it is not impossible for a woman to experience hair loss pattern like that of a man and vice versa. It may so happen that one can show signs of both genders. In such cases, it is important to identify the symptoms at the early stages and take proper measures to control hair loss. Also, visiting hair specialists or therapists in such cases helps.
What about pregnancy hair loss?
Hair loss and pregnancy enjoys an interesting relation. A common notion is that women are subject to severe hair loss while they are pregnant, which is a wrong conception. Truth is that hair starts falling out at massive rate after child birth. Now, this has a reason.
Normally, hair grows and falls. This falling and growing involves a complete cycle. When rate of hair fall exceeds the rate of hair growth, it is termed as hair loss. At any given time, about 85%-90% of hair is active, meaning it is growing while the remaining 10%-15% is resting, after which it will shed. In every two to three months, depending on hereditary hair growth, hair in resting phase sheds and new hair comes in its place. The same cycle takes place during pregnancy. In terms of pregnancy, loss of hair can take place in two ways- one during the pregnancy period and other post child delivery.
The first type of hair loss can take place anytime between one to five months of pregnancy. However, it does not happen with every woman and according to research data, only 40%-50% pregnant women face hair loss in this period. It usually happens due to certain medications or other conditions that influences hair fall out, which is temporary. Hence, it would not be correct to directly associate it with pregnancy.
The second type of hair loss is common for all and that is the real effect of pregnancy. It is because women, when pregnant, experience hormonal changes in their body. Increasing levels of such hormones prevents loss of hair. After child birth, the same hormones jump back to normal levels; thus allowing the hair cycle to function normally. Now, the delayed hair loss start falling out, all at once and women complain of drastic hair fall after giving birth to child.
This pattern of hair fall accelerates in three to four months of delivery when hair follicles rejuvenate themselves. Hair that falls out in this period is gained back in the next six to twelve months. This too is temporal hair loss and with proper maintenance of health and hygiene, hair gradually booms back on the scalp.
Hair loss is undoubtedly a common phenomenon that grips everyone’s minds. With rising pollution levels and increasing bent towards sedentary lifestyle, hair loss is not even sparing teens and children. Despite all such circumstances, one must take good care of one’s hair and maintain its quality, time and again.