Alopecia stands for hair loss that can be caused by different reasons, including damage to hair shaft or follicles and fungal infection. Nowadays, hair loss is most commonly present in all types of age groups.
THERE ARE TWO TYPES OF ALOPECIA
- Alopecia areata
- Androgenetic alopecia
Alopecia areata is stated for a baldness disorder where there is hair loss due to a mistaken attack of the immune system of hair follicles. The damage that hair follicles face is not permanent. However, the reason why the immune system attacks the hair follicle is still unknown. Although this occurs mainly below the age of 20 years, even adults and children are also suffering from this. Both Male and female are equally victims.
Androgenetic alopecia, on the other hand, is the commonest cause of the hair loss in both males and females. It is commonly known as male pattern baldness. It is caused by a combination of 3 factors: testosterone (male hormones), age and hereditary. It usually affects women in advanced stages of life than men.
Hair loss caused by androgenetic alopecia is permanent according to modern medicine. The ayurvedic system of medicine offers effective treatment which can improve the situation.
Hair fall and thinning of hair are common in women. About 20 -50 % of women face hair fall and hair thinning at the same stage of their life.
CAUSES OF ALOPECIA
It’s yet not perfectly understood what lead to baldness. For some reason, follicles stop producing visible hair which results in smooth bald patches that can appear overnight. There is no diagnostic test available which can predict the onset of the alopecia.
However, there may be hereditary factors which play role in hair loss in about 20% of the population. Some other trigger factors that cause alopecia are:
- Genetic factors
- Environmental factors
- Long term illness
- Nutritional deficiency
- Thyroid dysfunction
- Extreme stress
- Exposure to chemicals
- Local skin disease
- Fungal infections
SYMPTOMS OF ALOPECIA
- Male pattern hair loss: Thinning or complete hair loss at the hairline and top of the head.
- Female diffuse hair loss: Gradually hair loss especially on the top of the head. The hairline usually stays the same.
- Alopecia areata: Broken hair or hair easily removed; one or more round or oval patch.
Increased hair fall in Ayurvedic terms is known as khalitya and is classified under shiroraga.
Romakupagata / keshamulagata vitated pitta (bhrajaka pitta) with vitated vata leads to dislodgement or withering of hair from the hair roots. Further to this, vitiated sleshma kapha along with rakta cause the obstruction of the hair roots, which leads to no hair growth on that place.
A FEW AYURVEDIC WAY OF TREATMENTS TO REDUCE HAIR LOSS AND STIMULATE HAIR GROWTHS
1. Pitta Pacification: This type of treatment is an effective Ayurvedic treatment to enhance digestive system including pitta pacification diet charts and pitta decreasing Ayurvedic medication. This therapy removes the toxins from the biological system through effective herbs.
2. Ayurvedic Oil Application: Jasminum grandifium induced medicated herbal hair oil is highly effective for baldness.
3. Panchkarma Therapy: Panchkarma therapy is defined as five methods that involve ayurvedic measures to cleanse the body. Specific suggestions of panchakarma therapy are Shirodhara (head massage with medicated oil) and ksheera basti, which includes medicated enema.
4. Nasya: This therapy is characterized by the intake of Ayurvedic medications through your nasal cavity which then eliminates the impurities from there. It is a very effective therapy for treating the sign of alopecia.
5. Ayurvedic Diet: Diet is considered as an essential for treating alopecia. Certain food items must be included in the diet. These are:
- Food with astringent properties
- Lentils, leafy green vegetables, and pulses
- Herbal teas like licorice tea and peppermint tea
- Seeds and nuts like soaked almonds, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds
- Egg white, turkey, chicken, and fish, cow's ghee
- Soyabeans, milk, buttermilk , fresh juices
6. Yoga And Medications: Inverted asana helps in stimulation of blood flow to the head. Additionally, practicing deep breathing exercises leads to control anxiety, stress and keeping mind balanced is also advisable.
- Vajrasana is useful for the hair fall.
- Sarvangasana (shoulder stand pose): This pose is quite effective for increasing blood supply to scalp regions and reduce hair fall.
- Bhujangasana (cobra pose)
- Kapalabhati ( frontal lobe cleaning technique )
- Pranayama has benefits for hair care and prevent baldness. It also helps in reducing hair loss.
7. Ayurvedic Herbs And Medicated Oil: Bhringaraaja, Brahmi, amla, neem, reetha, and ashwagandha are some ayurvedic herbs which are rich in essential nutrients that help in reducing stress and enhance hair growth. Different types of hair oils include coconut oil, Brahmi oil, mustard oil, amla oil are useful to control hair fall.
DOS AND DON'TS OF ALOPECIA AND HAIR LOSS
Pitta dosha is vitiated by excessive consumption of tea, coffee, alcohol, and excessive smoking. Oily, spicy and acidic food also tend to increase pitta. So the first step is to change diet and lifestyle.
- Take sound sleep.
- Manage stress and anxiety.
- A protein-rich diet should be preferred.
- Do meditation and exercise.
- Gently scalp massage improves blood circulation and stimulates hair growth.
- Fresh vegetables, sprouts, legumes, and soya should be preferred.
- Take more and more quantity of water as it flushes out toxins from the body.
- Rub the head after washing hair so as it stimulates the sebaceous gland thereby improves blood circulation.
- Consumption of Fruits, leafy vegetables and milk make hair strong and shining.
- Aloe vera is good for hair loss treatment as it heals the scalp and cleans the pores.
- Eating white sesame seeds is beneficial and used as natural hair loss treatment.
- Hair dyes, hair dryer, and curling should not be used extremely.
- Don't rub your hair strongly.
- Reduce junk food and extra calories.
- Consumption of Alcohol and beverages should be restricted.
- Avoid harsh shampoo and conditioner.
- Avoid spicy food and bakery products.