'Pate' (n. the head, especially the top of the head)
We Dermatologists were a blissful and a sane lot long before ‘mane’ problems assumed an epidemic status. Years ago, even a fresh out of college MBBS doctor would not be aware (leave alone lay public) who actually treated Hair related problems. Now, Dermatologists apart (who rightly are best equipped to manage tress stress), Trichologists are emerging just everywhere (no wonder the current world record for the longest hair sprouting from the ears is held by an Indian!)
Over the last couple of months or so, for some inexplicable reason/s (excessive) hair loss has become so common, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that every other female patient walking into the clinic has some or the other form of excess falling hair – leaving us all but tearing our own hair out.
References to excessive hair on the chest (or absence of it) in Bollywood flicks, be it by big B or small R have only strengthened peoples resolve to delve deeper into the subject.
Even 'Hair today gone tomorrow' would so dearly be an acceptable fact, since that would make for about 24 hours of hair on the scalp, but what is driving patients crazy is ‘now you see them, now you don’t‘ – to such an extent has the problem progressed.
And just to reiterate, the patient would then go ahead to give a live demo (Breaking News/Hair!)
Things have come to such a pass that divine intervention is often resorted to (what do you call that? ‘Pate’ Pooja!). Maybe they would have the good fortune of a boon something like “bacche baal salamat rahen, phoole phalen“
No wonder raising hair is big business now! Young females complaining is well understood, we now even have parents carrying 4-5 months old babies, worrying their head off on seeing a small little bald patch on the infant’s scalp. And why should beauty conscious grannies be left behind (‘there’s a wedding in the family and I just can’t present myself with this‘)
It started off with simple Hair loss , but now we have school girls conscious of split ends, dry lustreless frizzy hair, thinning and volume-less hair (expanding girth and volume otherwise!), visible and exposed scalp (not to mention deliberate effort made to expose other parts of anatomy), premature greying or even these rare cases of children pulling off their hairs because of some deep rooted psychological problem (some even pluck and then eat them – umm! ultra fine noodles) and so the list goes on.
Seeing the deluge, I hived off my Hair complaints related practice to a separate clinic and what else could I call it, but 'Bal Bhavan', where any Tom, Dick and Harry (or rather, hardly hairy) could walk in for treatment.
Very early in my practice, I got this patient who smartly enough had used, and erstwhile VCR 'head cleaner' on his scalp (it did clean off all hair!)
A young college boy who was distraught with is abnormal Lipid Profile report, wondering if the raised cholesterol was all because of the daily and excess hair oil his mother used to apply during his school days! ; yet another wondering if hair dyes could not be available in an oral form so that hairs got coloured right from the root.
One day after seeing a good 20 odd patients, just as I was relaxing, having let my (own sparse) hair down – in came this young smart collegian in her early twenties who was sick and tired of trying practically all therapies. Detailed history taken I followed it up by a thorough examination, it was then, when I was penning down my prescription that she stumped me with this 'Doc, don’t you have something like an ICU for hair?'