Hair loss | Alopecia
Hair loss | Alopecia without scarring of the scalp is a very common condition and affects most people at sometime in their lives. It can affect just the hair on your scalp or your entire body. Although alopecia is more prevalent in older adults but excessive hair loss can occur in children as well.
It is normal to lose between 50 & 100 hairs a day ,with about 100000 hairs on your head ,that small loss is not noticeable. New hair normally replaces the lost hair but it doesn’t always happen. Hairloss can develop gradually over years or happen abruptly.
• Gradual thinning on top of head.
• Circular or patchy bald spots.
• Sudden loosening of hair due to physical or emotional shock.
• Full body hair loss due to some medical conditions or treatment such as chemotherapy for cancer.
• Patches of scaling that spread over the scalp due to ringworm like infections.
• Family history –
Hairloss due to family history cause is known as Androgenic Alopecia that happens with ageing process. It usually occurs gradually and in predictable patterns – a receding hairline and bald spots in men and thinning hair along the crown of the scalp in the women.
• Hormonal changes and medical conditions –
A variety of conditions can cause permanent or temporary hairloss , including hormonal changes due to pregnancy , childbirth , menopause and thyroid problems . Medical conditions includes Alopecia arreata where hairloss occurs in patches ,scalp infection such as ringworm and a hairpulling disorder called Trichotillomania.
• Medications and supplements –
• Radiation therapy to the head –
The hair may not grow back the same as it was before.
• Stressful event –
A temporary hairloss may occur due to several months after a physical or emotional shock.
• Hairstyles & treatments –
Excessive hairstyling that pulls your hair tight ,can cause a type of hairloss called Traction Alopecia.
Risk Factors –
• Family history
• Significant weightloss
• Poor nutrition
Mostly baldness is caused by genetics. This type of hairloss is not preventable.
Following tips may help you avoid preventable types of hairloss –
• Protein rich diet to be preferred.
• Avoid junk food and extra calories.
• Manage stress and Anxiety.
• Take sound sleep.
• Stop smoking.
• Protect your hair from sunlight.
• Ask your doctor for medications and suppliments.
• Be gentle with your hair. Use widetoothed comb , avoid harsh treatments such as hot rollers ,curling irons ,hot oil treatments.
• Blood test
• Pull test
• Scalp Biopsy
• Light microscopy
Medications are available to treat pattern baldness .Most common options are –
• Minoxidil (Rogaine) –
It comes in liquid ,foam and shampoo forms. To be the most effective apply the product to the scalp skin once daily for women and twice daily for men.
• Finasteride (Propecia) –
This is a prescription drug for men .You can take it as pill.
• Other medications-
e.g. spironlactone ,oral dutasteride.
• Hair transplant surgery –
When medications fail ..hair transplant can be done.
Ayurvedic Perspective –
Hair loss | Alopecia is termed as Khalitya in Ayurveda.
In terms of Doshas involvement , vitiation of pitta Doshas in the body is the main cause of hairloss but in some conditions other doshas may also be involved. Ayurveda believes hair to originate from asthi or bone tissue and therefore to treat hair loss , medicines to strengthen bones are given orally on a long term basis.
Treatment procedures –
• Shiroabhyang –
e.g. Bhringraj oil ,amla oil , coconut oil etc.
• Shirodhara –
• Nasya karma –
• Dhumpana –
• Rasayan Therapy –
Formulations meant for rejuvenation of asthi dhatu are used here.
• Bhringraj –
• Henna –
• Hibiscus –
• Aloevera –
• Amla –
Yoga and meditation –
• Pranayam –
• Amalki Rasayan
• Saptamrit lauh
• Praval panchamrit
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