Also called alopecia.
Everyone loses hair. Losing up to 100 hair strands per day is normal! If you have hair fall in excess of 100 strands per day, or are seeing some bald patches, severe thinning, and decreasing hair density, you may be experiencing hair loss
The reasons for hair loss are many.
A sudden severe hair loss may be due to some medical illness like high fever or severe infection, crash dieting, certain medications, and childbirth. If you are experiencing a slow and gradual hair loss, which is becoming worse and more noticeable with each passing year, you are most likely suffering from hereditary hair loss called androgenetic alopecia. Few incorrect hair care practices may also cause significant hair loss.
Androgenetic alopecia, also known as hereditary hair loss, is one of the commonest reasons of hair loss affecting both men and women.In men, it usually manifests as receding hair line, significant thinning of hair, increased visibility of the scalp, and sometimes even as a round bald patch on the top of the scalp.
In cases of women, on the other side, there is more prominent hair thinning seen as widening of the central parting, hairline is however intact. Completely bald patches are also rare in women.
It is an autoimmune condition. Autoimmune means the body’s own immune
cells (white blood cells) attack body’s other cells. In this case, the immune
cells attack its own hair.
It is seen as smooth, round patches of hair loss on the scalp. The number of patches may be single or multiple. The bald patches most commonly occur on scalp, but may also affect other hair bearing areas of the body, like the beard and moustache in males, or even eyebrows and eyelashes.
In rare cases, it can cause complete hair loss in otherwise healthy people, where is known as alopecia totals or alopecia universalis.
Scarring (cicatricial) alopecia is a condition when the hair follicles are
destroyed completely and permanently, and a scar tissue forms in the area
where the follicles were once present. The hair can not grow back if scarring
It usually occurs following some inflammatory diseases of the scalp like fungal infection, DLE, SLE, LPP.
Treatment for scarring alopecia is aimed at inhibiting the inflammation, which is responsible for permanent destruction of hair follicles.
Telogen effluvium is a condition in which the balance between the various
stages of the hair cycle is disturbed. Majority of hair go into the falling phase
(telogen phase), which clinically manifests as sudden severe diffuse hair loss.
People can lose more than 300-400 hair strands in a day and it is really a
very alarming situation!
Telogen effluvium occurs most commonly because of nutritional deficiencies in the body, especially iron, vitamin D3 and vitamin B12. It can also occur due to hormonal imbalances like PCOS and thyroid hormone dysfunction. Other reasons of telogen effluvium include any medical illness, high fever, severe infection, hospitalisation, surgery, accident, child birth, sudden severe weight loss, or emotional stress.
Good news is telogen effluvium is a reversible condition! Whatever hair you lose, tend to grow back!
Trichotillomania is a psychiatric disorder in which the person has an
irresistible urge to pull out their own hair, and after pulling out their hair, they
get a great sense of satisfaction and gratification.
The common areas affected in this condition are the ones which are easily accessible like the scalp, eyebrows, eyelashes, and even the nose and body hair.
Yes. There are some medications that can precipitate hair fall. These include blood thinners, high dose vitamin A, medicines that treat arthritis, depression, gout, heart problems, and high blood pressure. Birth control pills and anabolic steroids may also cause hair loss.
It is very important to have good haircare practices to maintain the hair in
The hairstyle you wear and some of the products you use can cause hair loss. These include:
Frequent blow dryers, irons and curlers
Too many hair clips, hair pins and tight rubber bands.
Tight hair styles like braids, ponytails (cause traction alopecia)
Excessive shampooing, combing and brushing
Rubbing, brushing or combing wet hair
The treatment for hair loss depends on the reason for hair loss.
So before jumping on the treatment, it is very important to consult an
experienced dermatologist to get a proper diagnosis and then start with the
One should be prompt and proactive in taking anti hair loss treatment, as sooner the treatment is started, higher are the chances to restore a good hair volume.
Following are the different treatment modalities. Usually a combination of different treatments give the best results.
Minoxidil : This medicine is applied to the scalp. It is vasodilator, that means it increases the blood supply to the hair follicles, increased blood supply means increased nutrients and oxygen reaching the actively dividing hair follicle cells, which clinically helps in reducing the hair fall and stimulating the hair growth.
DHT Blocker: The FDA approved this medicine to treat men with androgenetic alopecia. It works by inhibiting the conversion of testosterone (male hormone) to its more active form DIY (DHT). DHT is the main factor implicated in causing male pattern hair loss.
PRP Therapy : PRP therapy is very effective in cases of androgenetic alopecia and telogen effluvium. It helps in improving the excessive hair shedding, thickness of hair and also promotes new hair growth.
Mesotherapy : It employs multiple injections of pharmaceutical medications, growth factors, vitamins, and other ingredients into the scalp which enhances the metabolism of cell and speeds-up the growth of existing hair follicles and promotes the new hair growth.
Corticosteroid : It is most commonly used in the treatment of alopecia aerata.
Laser devices : Laser and light devices based on LLLT have been shown to stimulate hair growth. These are available as cap/ helmet/ combs.
Hair Transplant : Hair transplantation is transfer of healthy hair follicles from the occipital area (donor area) to the frontal area (recipient area) of the scalp. It is advised for patients with higher grade of hair loss due to androgenetic alopecia. After getting a hair transplant, it takes 9-12 months for the hair to grow and see the final results.
A well balanced diet as per the age and body weight containing all the
nutrients is essential to have healthy hair.
Protein forms the structure of hair. Eating more protein will stop the hair loss. Some of the rich sources of proteins are meats, eggs, fish, nuts, seeds, and beans.
Iron is again very important for hair growth. Iron deficiency is one of the most common reason of diffuse hair fall in both men and women. Iron rich foods include iron-fortified cereals, soybeans, pumpkin seeds, white beans, lentils, spinach, clams and oysters.
In case you have some specific nutritional deficiencies, you should seek help of a qualified doctor to take the necessary supplements to fulfil the deficiencies.
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