Hair Loss is a nightmare which most of us experience at certain stage of our life. Losing about 50 to 100 hair in a day is normal phenomenon and is nothing to be worried upon. But if you are losing anything more than that on daily basis then it’s high time that you consult your dermatologist. In this blog I ll be discussing about common types, causes and treatments of hair fall.
To get a brief insight into why hair fall occurs many of us need to understand that hair fall can be of different types. These are:
1. Androgenetic Alopecia
2. Telogen Effluvium
3. Alopecia Areata
Androgenetic Alopecia is the most common type of hair fall which occurs in most male and female patients after the age of 40 years. Though many recent studies have claimed that the age has reduced gradually these days due to severe change in lifestyle and eating habits along with environmental changes. This can further be classified into male pattern hair loss and female pattern hair loss. In females it starts as thinning and slow progressive fall leading to increase in scalp visibility especially on the top. Whereas in males it starts on frontal portion causing receding hairline.
Causes: There are multiple causes leading to this problem like: genetics, males whose father has faced hair loss are more likely to suffer from same problem as compared to ones whose parents have shown no signs of hair fall. Other major cause is hormonal imbalance. This is mainly witnessed in females, where testosterone and DHT leads to increased androgen levels and decreased estrogen levels. This is a common symptom during menopause and PCOS.
Treatments: It is vital to treat cause and damage simultaneously to see effective results in this type of hair fall. It can take about 6 to 9 months to treat this. Following treatments can be combined to treat this:
1. Topical Medications: These includes the hair serums that are prescribed by your dermatologist to help increase blood supply towards scalp and push hair in anagen phase which is growing phase
2. Oral Medications: These are generally prescribed in case of hormonal imbalance or any type of vitamin deficiencies to correct the same and help in growing healthier hair.
3. Low Level Laser Therapy: This is laser treatment option which uses different laser lights to stimulate epidermal stem cells which play a vital role in regeneration of hair follicles. This is done with vasodilatation and hence accelerated blood flow around follicles. This helps in delivery of nutrients and oxygen to hair follicle making it thicker, stronger and healthier.
4. Human Growth Promoters: Human blood contains some natural growth promoters which are responsible for instigating localized growth. They help in reversal of miniaturization of hair follicle to make it healthy, robust. In our clinic we have customized and advanced options of HGP available which I will be explaining in detail in my upcoming blogs.
The next important type is telogen effluvium. This is another common type of hairfall in which we experience hair fall suddenly over 1 to 2 months time period. Hair thinning happens in this leading to reduction in density of hair fall. Usually diffuse recession occurs but some can experience temporal recession specifically. In telogen effluvium 50% hair shedding occurs which can also cause baldness and visibility of scalp.
Major causes of Telogen effluvium include the following:
1. Stress :- it could be physical or emotional. Improper diet, major surgeries, long term illness like typhoid, dengue can lead to sudden hair fall. Emotional stress is one of the causes of hormonal imbalance which can result many different skin and hair problem out of which hair loss is the major one.
2. Genetics plays an important role in this type of hair fall and can be one of the causes.
3. Pregnancy: Child birth or pregnancy is the time during which a female body witness some major hormonal changes leading to hair fall suddenly after child birth.
4. Medications: Certain medications like hypertensive drugs, birth control pills, antidepressants, blood thinners and drugs taken during chemotherapy can also lead to hair fall.
5. Long Term illness: Medical conditions or illness like diabetes, thyroid, anemia is also one of the causes of hair fall.
Treatment:- In telogen effluvium if causing factor can be detected and eliminated it can be revered back. This can be done under the guidance of expert supervision, as your dermatologist will be able to identify the cause with help of investigation and combat it with medications, oral supplements and topical serums like minoxidil along with treatments if required.
The last type of hair fall is Alopecia Areata. In this immune system attacks the hair follicles and can be lead by severe stress. In this condition hair starts falling resulting in small round and oval patches. It can occur on scalp, beard, and moustache or even on eyebrows. In certain cases even body hair can be affected. This is a medical condition that can be worked upon by anti inflammatory drugs which can suppress the immune system and corticosteroids. These can be administered in form of local injections by a dermatologist in their clinic. Hair fall treatment will vary from patient to patient depending on their medical history, their hormonal imbalance, their genetic history etc. hence a holistic approach is beneficial which includes proper diet and lifestyle, oral medications if required to eliminate the cause alongwith treatments. Food can be rich sources of vitamins, minerals and protein which will help improve the condition. These includes, paneer, soya, spinach, tomatoes, carrot, fish, eggs, banana, almonds, etc. Combination of medications and treatments will help benefit and improve the hair fall and hair thinning. Proper diet and lifestyle changes always helps in preventing further damage. Always consult a dermatologist when you experience any hair fall or thinning.
Keep Healthy, Keep Glowing!