Unlike two decades ago, when men constituted 90 percent of patients who sought treatment for hair fall, now its 60 percent females who come to dermatologists for balding and hair loss.
The primary culprit is and can be a variety of reasons, but mostly a calorie restricted diet, continuous dieting, persistent stress, frequent chemical and heat-based hair treatments like colouring, straightening and even blow dry.
There are two major patterns of hair loss in women:
Female pattern hair loss, a case where mild to moderate shedding takes place but eventually leads to thin hair, thinning hair parting and Christmas tree like pattern of balding.
Telogen Effluvium: Sudden onset, massive loss of an excess of 100 hair stands per day eventually leading to loss of hair volume.
Trigger factors are a diet which is below 1800 calories, weight loss, major illnesses like dengue, malaria, chikungunya, typhoid. Also, deficiencies of iron, vit B12, vit D and low ferritin can cause hair loss.
Hormonal imbalances like PCOS and high androgen (male hormone) levels are often responsible and should be tested. Hair loss impacts women massively both mentally and cosmetically.
In women hair loss is treated by adding minerals like zinc and iron, biotin, Amino acids.
The following home remedies may encourage hair growth:
1. Eating more protein
Eating high-protein foods, such as nuts, can help the body grow new hair.
The body needs protein to grow new hair. Hair loss can arise due to a protein deficiency.
Examples of healthful dietary protein sources include:
A person’s daily protein needs vary based on how physically active they are and how much muscle mass they have.
2. Increasing iron intake
Iron is another nutrient the body requires to grow healthy hair. Some dietary iron sources include:
Many manufacturers also fortify their foods with iron, which means that they have added iron to them.
People who do not eat meat have iron requirements as high as 1.8 times those of people who do eat meat. This is because the body does not absorb non-animal sources of iron as effectively.
3. Trying aromatherapy
According to the authors of 2011 study paper, aromatherapy can help stimulate hair growth.
Examples of herbs that aromatherapy practitioners may use to promote hair growth include:
When using essential oils on the scalp, be sure to mix only a few drops into a carrier oil, such as coconut oil or walnut oil. The researchers also state that inhaling the scent of these oils may affect hair growth.
More research is necessary to determine whether essential oils are an effective solution for hair growth.
Some people may experience topical allergic reactions when using essential oils, so it is best to try a small test patch 24 hours before applying the mixture to the whole head.
4. Massaging the scalp
Massaging the scalp helps stimulate blood flow to the scalp, which could help encourage hair growth.
A small Japanese study found that men who massaged their scalps for 4 minutes per day with a scalp massage device had thicker hair after 6 months.
People can use the pads of their fingertips to massage the scalp in gentle circles. Devices to massage the scalp are also available in drug stores and online.
5. Using pumpkin seed oil
Taking pumpkin seed oil may increase hair growth.
The authors of a 2014 study looked at whether pumpkin seed oil could help hair growth.
They discovered that men taking 400 milligrams (mg) of pumpkin seed oil for 6 months experienced a 40 percent increase in average hair count, whereas those taking a placebo only experienced a 10 percent increase.
The men all had a history of androgenic alopecia, or male pattern baldness.
They were not currently taking other supplements for hair loss and were between 20 and 65 years old.
6. Taking saw palmetto
A 2-year-long study found that supplementation with saw palmetto may increase hair growth in men with male pattern baldness.
The participants took 320 mg of saw palmetto every day for the duration of the study.
After 2 years, the participants experienced hair growth primarily in the vertex, or the top and back of the scalp. This is a common site for bald spots in men.
People can try to encourage hair growth by avoiding using blow-dryers set to a high heat.
Eating a nutritious diet and keeping stress levels low can help prevent hair loss and encourage hair growth.
In addition to these steps, other ways to encourage hair growth include:
not using hair accessories that can cause hair breakage, such as hairpins, clips, and rubber bands
avoiding styling products that can damage and break the hair, such as blow-dryers set to a high heat, straightening irons, and curling irons
limiting the use of bleach, relaxers, and hair dyes
avoiding excess shampooing or brushing
when the hair is wet, avoiding brushing it or applying plastic or rubber hair ties
Treating the hair as gently as possible can help preserve it and minimize the rate of hair loss.
Sometimes, however, hair loss is inevitable due to age.
When to see a doctor
Hair loss is not necessarily a condition that affects a person’s overall health, but it can greatly impact their mental well-being and self-esteem.
A person should see their doctor if they are concerned about hair loss, especially if they are taking supplements or have made dietary changes and are losing hair.
A doctor may recommend seeing a dermatologist, who can conduct additional testing if necessary to determine appropriate treatments.
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