Baldness is on the rise and experts say the likely cause is stress.
Indian men and women are going bald in increasing numbers - and experts are blaming today’s fast paced ‘work hard party hard’ lifestyle. Homoeopathy centre Dr. Renge’s Total Allergy skin & Hair clinic has around 50 % more clients seeking hair treatment now compared with last 2 years. The number of women seeking hair loss treatment has also been particularly noticeable, with making nearly 40 % clients. TOTAL clinic’s Dr Sangita Renge (BHMS, MD, DCR,PGDCC) said she thought that the increase in number of people seeking treatment for hair loss was due to growth in baldness rather than increase in vanity. Women’s lifestyle had become increasingly stressful as they juggled work & home commitment, she said.
Stress stimulates the release of the hormone testosterone which causes the hair follicle to collapse in people genetically redisposed to baldness. Similarly, men are more stressed at work than their grandparents’ were. As well, she said men and women are spending more time pumping iron in the gym, releasing even more testosterone. Men usually started showing sign of baldness in their 20s, whereas, women do not usually start losing hair till their 30s, said Dr Renge, a qualified Homoeopath.
By 40s, around 40% of men starts going bald while women do not suffer hair loss in such numbers till they reached their 50s. Hair loss was less dramatic in women as their frontal hairlines usually stayed intact, but psychologically impact is more severe.
“For women, hair is a crowning glory, whereas men tends to be able to shrug it off a bit more”, said Dr Renge. Also hair loss does not affect you just cosmetically but emotionally and socially. Research reveals how deeply hair loss can impact your life. Emotionally, a high percentage of people experiencing hair loss are known to suffer from low self-esteem and depression as a result of this problem, be it men or women. However, the most important aspect of hair loss is its medical implication. Loss of hair is almost always a sign of an internal disorder. It is often first warning signal of many deep rooted ailments including thyroid, diabetes and anaemia. Mrs. Priti Sharma started noticing her hair was falling out 1 year ago. Her scalp became itchy, then her hair started falling out in clumps. A number of doctors & dozens of different option later, she had lost so much hair that she began wearing scarves and no longer wanted to go out or go to work. “it was just horrendous” said the 39-year-old bank manager. Making matter worse, there was no decent explanation for her sudden hair loss, as none of her close relatives were bald and there was no stress in her life at the time. The shock of losing her hair was most stressful ordeal of her life. Mrs. Sharma’s hair finally started growing back three month after she started a treatment course at Dr Renge’s TOTAL clinic, and now she has a full head of glorious black hair.
There has been a rise in the number of people seeking treatments that delay baldness, such as the one undergone by Mrs Priti, but fewer people are consulting trained professional and opts for cheap beauty parlour treatment, which adversely effects in long run. Men losing their hair often opted to shave their heads entirely these days, she said.
TOTAL clinic provided hair treatment to between 4500-5000 men & women each year & 90-95% are very happy with the way clinic treats their patients.
Causes of Hair loss & Thinning
1. Androgenetic Alopecia – male or female pattern baldness
2. Auto immune diseases – an immune reaction that attacks the hair follicles, producing antibodies which attack these tissues as if they were foreign invaders.
- Androgenic Alopecia – the body’s immune system is sensitized to increased levels of DHT in the scalp causing hair loss in these high concentrated DHT areas
- Alopecia Totalis, universalis – immune sensitivity to a substance other than DHT
3. Connective tissue disease – causes scarring of skin, loss of circulation to hair follicles and an autoimmune reaction leading to temporary or permanent loss of hair.
Lupus, Rheumatoid arthritis, Scleroderma, MCTD, Scarring alopecia
4. Radiation exposure – Irradiation therapy or exposure to radiation from any source can cause localized or total hair loss, which may be permanent if the dose is high enough.
5. Iron deficiency anemia – very common with women but can also affect men.
6. Hormonal changes – due to pregnancy, birth control pills, other medications, and menopause.
7. Thyroid disease – either hypothyroid or hyperthyroid disease causes hair to become brittle and break resulting in localized or generalized loss. Correction of the thyroid condition usually causes hair to re-grow.
8. Stress – usually temporary and transient. Hair may re-grow when stress levels decrease
9. Drug interactions – certain vitamins, many prescriptions and over the counter (OTC) supplements may have individual and non-specific side effects of hair loss. Excessive Vitamin A has been linked to some hair loss scenarios.
Exposure to toxic chemicals, tobacco smoking active or passive, individual reaction to illness or a personal sensitivity to the environment, chemotherapy, fungal and bacterial infections, cosmetic procedures like perming, crimping, straightening and colouring are enormously contributory factors, and should be avoided as far as possible.