Hairs and hair styles of a person has a lot to do with ones personality. A slight change in hair style may either enhance or diminish your appearance. For this same reason hair loss depresses one very much and has become one of the major problems nowadays. Alopecia is the medical term used to describe the loss of hairs from the body especially head which may sometimes even extend to baldness. Alopecia is of different types based on the site and extends of hair fall. They are:
- Alopecia Areata- Hair loss occurs in patches anywhere in the body.
- Alopecia Totalis- Total hair loss from the scalp.
- Traction Alopecia- Hair fall due to pulling effect on the hair shaft
- Alopecia barbae – Loss of facial hairs in men particularly in beard area.
- Alopecia universalis – loss of complete body hairs.
- Alopecia mucinosa – Hair loss which causes scaly patches.
- Anagen Effluvium – Hair loss caused by certain drugs.
- Androgenetic Alopecia – loss of hairs due to genetic factors.
Causes for Hair Loss:
Following are some of the major causes for hair fall:
- Inadequate nutrition
- Environmental pollution
- Microbial infection.
- Excess dandruff.
- Exposure to certain chemicals present in hair dyes, shampoos etc.
- Use of certain drugs.
- Medical treatments like chemotherapy and radiations.
- Change in hormone level.
- Over secretion of sebum by the sebaceous gland
- Emotional factors like stress, depression etc.
- Child birth.
- Force induced on scalp and hairs by certain hair styles
Permanent Hair Loss:
Permanent hair loss is of three major types
- Male Pattern Baldness: In male pattern baldness the scalp does not get replaced by new hairs once the existing hair falls out and finally bald patches appears. Baldness normally occurs as a receding hairline at the temples and bald patches at the top of head. This type of hair loss occurs due to the conversion of the hormone testosterone to dihydrotestosterone. This dihydrotestosterone acts on the hormone receptors present at the hair follicle and slows down the hair production.
- Female Pattern Baldness: This is quite different from that of male pattern baldness. Here hair thinning occurs all over the head but the frontal hairline is maintained well. The actual cause of female pattern baldness is not known but it is thought to be because of aging, genetic predisposition, hormonal imbalance particularly androgen.
- Cicatricial alopecia: Cicatricial alopecia is also known as scarring alopecia and occurs very rarely. In this case permanent hair loss occurs due to inflammation which damages and produces scars on the hair follicle.
Temporary Hair Loss:
Temporary Hair Loss is of Following Types:
- Alopecia Areata: Alopecia areata is an auto immune disorder where the body’s own immune system acts against the hair follicles and thus interferes with normal hair formation. The hair fall occurs more rapidly in one side of the head rather than other. It may affect parts of the body other than scalp. It is seen both in males and females.
- Telogen Effluvium: Telogen refers to a resting stage in the normal hair growth cycle. Telogen effluvium is a condition where some stress leads the fair follicle to a resting stage. Some of the factors which triggers this type of hair loss includes psychological stress, certain microbial infection, child birth, inadequate diet, abnormality in thyroid gland functioning, certain medication, surgery etc.
- Anagen Effluvium: Anagen effluvium is the sudden loss of hair due to the exposure to chemicals and radiations. Mostly seen in cancer patients under going chemotherapy and radiation therapy
Hair Fall Treatment:
- Drink plenty of water. Drink a minimum of 10 -12 glasses of water daily
- Include lots of fruits and vegetables in the diet
- Avoid food items rich in fats and carbohybrates and include food items rich in proteins like green leafy vegetables, soy bean, whole grain cereals, milk etc
- Do not wash hairs with too cold or too hot water.
- Treatment of hair loss due to fungal and bacterial infections needs oral intake of antifungal and antibacterial antibiotics.
- The temporary hair loss caused by certain medications, chid birth, depression etc can get reverted when the individual overcomes the situation.
- Avoid excess combing and also hair styles which imparts mechanical stress.
- Limit hair washing to just 2 -3 times a week.
- Use mild shampoos to clean the hairs and scalp
Home Remedies for the Treatment of Hair Loss:
- Massage the scalp daily with olive oil, almond oil or coconut milk to improve the blood circulation and to activate and strengthen the hair follicles.
- Massage the scalp with oil prepared by boiling henna leaves in mustard oil.
- Massaging the scalp with oil prepared by boiling amla in mustard oil gives good result.
- Cover hair with a towel soaked in hot water after removing excess water from it.
If you have noticed excess hair fall, then it is time to undergo treatment as early treatment gives good result and there by helps in retaining your old healthy hair.