We all lose hair everyday. This is part of the natural hair growth cycle. While 90% of hair is in a growing stage, 10% is in a resting stage and falls out every 2 to 3 months. However it is when hair loss is in excess of this normal hair shedding that people tend to notice hair thinning.
Excessive hair loss can be due to several reasons including:
- Alopecia areata - Affects both males and females. Hair loss is rapid and most common pattern is one or more spots of hair loss on the scalp. Generally caused due to immunity disorder where the body's own white blood cells attack the hair follicles. Alopecia Totalis occurs when all of the scalp hair is lost. Infrequently a condition called alopecia universalis occurs where hair is lost from the entire body.
- Genetic conditions - Male pattern baldness afflicts about 25% of men by age 30. It is primarily genetic but is also due to the male hormone testosterone. Testosterone is converted to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) which slows down or stops hair growth and produces weaker, shorter hair. Men who do not have testosterone do not get male pattern baldness.
- Skin diseases - Skin diseases can affect the scalp and cause hair loss. Such conditions include dandruff or seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis, scalp fungus such as ringworm and tinea captis
- Sudden illness or fever - Sometimes after an illness or fever, large clumps of hair can come out. This is a temporary condition.
- Radiation therapy
Hair loss can often be treated successfully. Not only can you stop hair from falling but you can regrow hair as well.
Some natural hair loss treatments are:
1. Incorporating Vitamins A, B, C and E is essential for good hair growth. These vitamins help to provide sebum, good blood circulation to the scalp by increasing oxygen absorption and collagen.
2. Scalp care - Massage your scalp with herbal oils such as olive oil, jojoba oil, amla oil. Essential oils of thyme, rosemary, lavender, and cedarwood have also been known to be effective in conditions of alopecia areata.
3. Avoid scalp abuse - Avoid daily use of chemical shampoos and blow drying. Hair and scalp get damaged by chemical treatments such as coloring and straightening. Even washing your hair daily with hot water will cause it to get stripped of natural oils and make it dry and brittle.
4. Herbal care - Use herbal powders such as amla, shikakai, henna
and ritha to shampoo and condition hair. Amla powder is a powerful natural anti-oxidant that prevents graying and hair loss. It is the richest known source of vitamin C in natural form. Shikakai also known as Fruit for the hair has a natural low pH and is great as a shampoo because it cleanses without removing natural hair oils. Henna acts as a natural conditioner.
5. Lifestyle - Stress is a very important factor in hair loss. Try and reduce stress by meditating and exercising. Quit smoking. The nicotine in cigarettes constricts blood vessels and decreases blood flow to the scalp. Avoid excessive sun exposure as UV rays can burn and damage the scalp.
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