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Hair Fall - Symptoms cause diagnosis & treatment

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Hair Fall - Symptoms cause diagnosis & treatment

Dermatology | by Dr. Poonam Jalan | Published on 31/03/2023



Hair fall has become synonymous with stress and ageing. Little do people know that hair fall is prevalent in all age groups and is not necessarily associated with ageing or excessive stress. We all shed hair at some point during the day which may not necessarily indicate hair loss. If an individual sheds more than 125 hair per day, which are not replaced by new hair, then he or she is likely to experience hair loss.

Adolescence is the age of experimentation where girls and boys intend to stand out with their outfits, hairstyles, etc. Most boys in their initial stages of puberty use excessive hair products like hair wax, hair gels, etc. which can have a harmful effect on their hair in the long run. 

This blog provides relevant information about hair loss and the reasons for it. Read along to know about the early warning signs and ways to tackle the problem of hair fall. However, we would recommend consulting a doctor in case of severe hair fall for effective solutions and long-term benefits.

Overview About Hair Loss :

Hair loss, also known as alopecia, is a common condition that affects millions of people around the world. It is also referred to as baldness which refers to excessive hair loss from the scalp. While most people prefer several solutions like using a wig, makeup, hats, etc. to hide the receding hairline, it is best to embrace it or consult a doctor. It can occur in both men and women and can be caused by a variety of factors. 

What Are The Early Signs Of Hairfall?

Early signs of hair fall vary in both men and women. Hair fall can appear in different ways depending on the severity and primary cause of the condition. Sometimes the symptoms can appear gradually whereas other people may experience rapid hair loss. Here are some early signs of hair loss in both men and women -

  • Gradual thinning of hair on the scalp
  • Receding hairline
  • Circular or patchy bald spots
  • Sudden loss of hair
  • Full-body hair loss
  • Patches of scaling that spreads over the scalp

What Are The Reasons For Hair Fall?

One of the common notions around hair loss is stress. So you need to ask yourself, “Is stress causing your hair fall or is hair fall causing you stress?” Several factors influence abrupt or gradual hair loss such as age, gender, certain medical condition, significant weight loss, etc. Here are some common causes that can lead to hair fall in men -

  • Family history (heredity)
  • Hormonal changes and medical conditions
  • Medications and supplements
  • Radiation therapy to the head
  • Chronic stress

On the other hand, hair loss in women is categorized into three types - anagen effluvium, telogen effluvium, and female pattern hair loss (FPHL). Certain toxic substances like medications, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, etc. influence anagen effluvium hair loss whereas extreme physical exertion, emotional stress, hormone changes, etc. can trigger telogen effluvium hair loss. FPHL is usually a result of aging, gene mutation, or menopause. To sum it up, hair loss in women is usually caused due to -

  • Hairstyles and hair treatment therapies
  • Vitamin deficiency
  • Dieting
  • Poor nutrition intake
  • Over-processed scalp hair (breakage)

Relationship Between Hair loss in Women & Menopause

Menopause and hair loss in women are related due to the effects of hormonal changes on hair growth during menopause. A woman's body produces less estrogen, which can lead to an increase in androgens, or male hormones, like testosterone during menopause. Increased androgens can shrink hair follicles, causing the hair to become thinner and finer.

Additionally, menopause can also lead to a decreased production of progesterone (another hormone that affects hair growth). Progesterone helps to counterbalance the effects of androgens on the hair follicles and decreased amounts can exacerbate hair loss.

While hair loss during menopause is common, it's not necessarily permanent. Several treatments are available, including hormone replacement therapy, which can help reduce the effects of hormonal changes on the hair. Additionally, there are several lifestyle changes and home remedies, such as a healthy diet, stress reduction, and gentle hair care practices, that may also help to improve hair growth and prevent further hair loss.

Hair Loss Treatment For Men & Women: What’s The Way Forward?

Before hair loss treatment, the dermatologist examines will ask you about your medical history, diet, and hair care routine, and perform a physical examination of your scalp. If needed, the dermatologist may also perform blood tests, hair pull tests ( where they gently pull on your hair to see how much comes out), scalp biopsy, and light microscopy to determine the cause of your hair loss. 

Hair fall solutions depend on the primary cause of the condition. Effective treatments aim to reverse hair loss or slow its progression. People often rely on several hair serums, hair care kits, etc. which claim to repair the damaged scalp and restore hair growth. However, these products mostly propagate false claims in the hope of attracting large numbers of customers. While hair growth products may show promising results, they may not benefit in the long run. 

Effective hair loss treatment methods include medications, hair transplant surgery, and laser therapies depending on the primary cause of hair loss. Certain medications which can cause irritation in the scalp or promote hair damage should be avoided at all costs if the doctors insist. Also, your doctor may prescribe some medications to treat pattern baldness, some of which may include - 

  • Minoxidil
  • Finasteride
  • Spironolactone
  • Oral dutasteride

Hair transplant surgery is a long-term health solution for hair fall. Depending on the severity of hair loss, the doctor may recommend surgery to make the most of the hair that’s left. Hair transplant surgery involves removing hair from a part of the head and transplanting them to a bald spot. Each patch of hair has micrografts and mini grafts. The procedure is done under the effect of general anesthesia to reduce any pain or discomfort during the process. 

Several alternate methods for hair loss treatment in men and women involve micro needling and PRP. PRP or protein-rich plasma is done to encourage hair growth using PRP made from the blood which is drawn from the patient’s body. The platelets are removed, concentrated, and then added back to the blood for injection. 

Conclusion:

Hair loss is a common condition that can be caused by various factors. If you are experiencing hair loss, you should see a dermatologist to determine the underlying cause and discuss treatment options. While there are a variety of hair care products that offer promising results, it is always recommended that you consult a dermatologist first rather than experimenting with the products. With the right treatment, you can manage hair loss and maintain healthy hair.

FAQs

How to stop hair fall immediately?

Effective hair fall solutions involve treating the root cause of the problem. Generally, lifestyle modifications and dietary restrictions can be beneficial. However, surgical procedures like PRP (protein-rich plasma) and laser therapies can show immediate results.

What to eat to stop hair fall immediately?

Here are certain foods which can promote hair growth - 

  • Eggs
  • Carrot
  • Oats
  • Spinach
  • Dairy products (low fat)
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Seeds
  • Beans
  • Avocados
  • Rajma
  • Kiwi

How much hair fall is normal?

It is normal to shed 50 to 100 hairs per day. However, shedding more than 125 hair follicles per day can be a risk factor for hair fall.

Does dandruff cause hair fall?

Dandruff itself does not directly cause hair loss. However, it can result in an itchy scalp which can lead to irritation and eventually hair loss.

How to reduce hair fall naturally?

There are several ways to tackle the problems of hair fall naturally. However, it is best to consult a doctor to know the primary reason for your hair fall for effective treatment. Natural hair fall treatments for women and men include - 

  • Massage
  • Onion juice
  • Coconut oil
  • Viviscal
  • Aloe vera
  • Rosemary oil
  • Geranium oil
  • Fish oil
  • Lemon