A healthy body has healthy beautiful hair. Our hair is a reflection of our health.
At any given time, about 90 percent of the hair on the scalp is in its growing phase. This growing phase lasts for 2 to 6 years. Each hair grows approximately 1 centimetre per month during this phase. The rest, 10 % are in their resting phase. After 2 to 3 months, the resting hair falls out and new hair starts to grow in its place. It is normal to shed some hair each day as part of this cycle. However, some people may experience excessive hair loss, if more hairs enter the resting phase.
Some facts you need to know about hair loss:
o It is normal to lose 50-100 hairs from the head each day.
o Frequent shampooing does not lead to hair loss.
o Hats and wigs do not cause hair loss.
o The famous 100 strokes of the hair brush daily does not lead to healthy hair, but it definitely does improve blood circulation to the hair follicles.
o Cosmetic products do not cause the hair to grow thicker and faster.
o Some hairstyles, like braiding, tight ponytails can cause hair loss.
o Blow-drying can worsen hair loss.
o Scalp hair grows at a rate of about 1 cm a month.
o Each hair on the head grows for about 3-6 years before being shed.
What are the causes of hair loss?
- Stress – hair loss is temporary, but can trigger off a genetic hair loss in many people.
- Extensive use of birth control pills by women.
- Hormonal problems – Hair loss may also occur if male hormones (androgens) and the female hormones (estrogens) are imbalanced.
- Post delivery hormonal changes: Many women notice hair loss about 3 months after they’ve had a baby. This loss is also related to hormones.
- Nutritional deficiencies: A diet deficient in nutrients such as protein, iron, zinc deficiency is a main cause of falling hair. Excessive intake of tea, coffee, alcohol; and fried, oily, spicy, sour foods can reduce the nutrients reaching the hair follicles and may lead to hair loss.
- Drugs and medicines such as anticoagulants, chemotherapy drugs to treat cancer and antidepressants.
- Infections of the scalp: Fungal infections of the scalp such as ringworm, or a sexually transmitted disease such as Treponema pallidum can cause hair loss.
- Any underlying disease: such as lupus, lichen planus or diabetes.
- Age: Hair loss is a common symptom of the ageing process. The age of onset varies from one individual to another.
- Physical and emotional stress
Is there any treatment for hair loss?
Depending on the type of hair loss, treatments are available. If the hair loss is drug related, the doctor might change the medication. Correct diagnosis along with treating an infection may help stop the hair loss. Correcting a hormone imbalance may also prevent further hair loss.
Treatment of hair loss -
- If loss of hair is due to a temporary situation such as drugs or deficiency of serum, iron, it will stop when the cause ends.
- Hair loss due to infection may require oral antibiotics or drug treatment.
- Finasteride is a prescription medication that is prescribed only for men.
- Well-chosen hairstyles often hide thinning hair and hair loss effectively. Wigs are recommended if hair loss is severe.
- Hair transplantation, hair weaving and hair bonding has improved dramatically over the last several years. If done meticulously, the result is extremely natural appearing.
Some tips for beautiful lustrous hair:
o The key to beautiful hair is a clean scalp. Gently rub lemon juice all over the scalp and leave for 15-20 minutes. Then rinse off. This treatment ensures dandruff free and absolutely clean hair.
o Include a lot of calcium in diet, through dairy products, sesame seeds, figs.
o A mixture of an equal quantity of fresh amla juice and lime juice, used as a shampoo also stimulates hair growth and prevents hair loss.
o Avoid strong shampoos and conditioners. Also avoid exposing hair to harsh weather such as wind or sunlight for long duration.
o Home made shampoo – Soak equal amounts of dried shikakai, amla and reetha powder in some water, preferably in an iron vessel. Next day, use it to wash hair. This promotes hair growth as well as cures dandruff.
o For dry hair, increase the intake of polyunsaturated oils such as sunflower oil, margarine and eat food rich in Vitamin B like pulses, brown rice, bananas etc.
o Regularly wash hair with Fuller’s earth (Multani Mitti). This will not only reduce the oil, but the hair will feel much cleaner.
o Amla is an excellent hair tonic and a hair nourisher. It also helps cure graying of hair.
o Boil dried amla pieces in coconut oil for a few minutes. Cool and sieve. Massage hair with this oil regularly to get black, thick and lustrous hair.
o Henna or mehendi is an excellent conditioner for hair.