Partial or complete loss of hair is called alopecia.
Loss of hair; Alopecia; Baldness
Each individual hair survives for an average of 4 &1/2 years, during which time it grows about 1/2 inch a month. Usually in its 5th year, the hair falls out and is replaced within 6 months by a new one.
Hair loss usually develops gradually and may be patchy or all over (diffuse). Generally, patchy hair loss signifies alopecia areata. Alopecia areata typically presents with sudden hair loss causing patches to appear on the scalp or other areas of the body. If left untreated, or if the disease does not respond to treatment, complete baldness can result in the affected area, or alopecia totalis. When the entire body suffers from complete hair loss, it is alopecia universalis. It is similar to effects that occur with chemotherapy
Hair follicle growth occurs in cycles. Each cycle consists of a long growing phase (anagen), a short transitional phase (catagen) and a short resting phase (telogen). At the end of the resting phase, the hair falls out (exogen) and a new hair starts growing in the follicle beginning the cycle again. Normally about 100 hairs reach the end of their resting phase each day and fall out. When more than 100 hairs fall out per day, clinical hair loss (telogen effluvium) may occur. A disruption of the growing phase causes abnormal loss of anagen hairs (anagen effluvium).
Common Causes of Hair fall:
- High fever or severe infection
- Major surgery, major illness, sudden blood loss
- Severe emotional stress
- Crash diets, especially those that do not contain enough protein
- A number of medications, including retinoids, birth control pills, beta-blockers, certain antidepressants, NSAIDs (including iburpofen) and calcium channel blockers
Other possible causes of hair loss, especially if it is in an unusual pattern, include:
- Alopecia areata- bald patches that develop on the scalp, beard, and, possibly, eyebrows. Eyelashes may fall out as well.
- Autoimmune conditions such as lupus
- Certain infectious diseases such as syphilis
- Excessive shampooing and blow-drying
- Thyroid diseases
- Nervous habits such as continual hair pulling or scalp rubbing
- Radiation therapy
- Ringworm of the scalp
- Tumor of the ovary or adrenal glands
Evaluation for causative disorders should be done based on clinical symptoms. Because they are not usually associated with an increased loss rate, male-pattern and female-pattern hair loss don’t generally require testing. If hair loss occurs in a young man with no family history, the physician should question the patient on drug and illicit drug use.
The pull test: this test helps to evaluate diffuse scalp hair loss. Gentle traction is exerted on a group of hair (about 40–60) on three different areas of the scalp. The number of extracted hairs is counted and examined under a microscope. Normally, <3 hairs per area should come out with each pull. If >10 hairs are obtained, the pull test is considered positive.
The pluck test: In this test, the individual pulls hair out “by the roots.” The root of the plucked hair is examined under a microscope to determine the phase of growth and used to diagnose a defect of telogen, anagen, or systemic disease. Telogen hairs are hairs that have tiny bulbs without sheaths at their roots. Telogen effluvium shows an increased percentage of hairs upon examination. Anagen hairs are hairs that have sheaths attached to their roots. Anagen effluvium shows a decrease in telogen-phase hairs and an increased number of broken hairs.
Scalp biopsy: This test is done when alopecia is present, but the diagnosis is unsure. The biopsy allows for differing between scarring and nonscarring forms. Hair samples are taken from areas of inflammation, usually around the border of the bald patch.
Daily Hair Counts: This is normally done when the pull test is negative. It is done by counting the number of hairs lost. The hair that should be counted are the hairs from the first morning combing or during washing. The hair is collected in a clear plastic bag for 14 days. The strands are recorded. If the hair count is >100/day, it is considered abnormal except after shampooing, where hair counts will be up to 250 and be normal.
Trichoscopy: Trichoscopy is a non-invasive method of hair and scalp. The test may be performed with the use of a handheld dermoscope or a video dermoscope. It allows differential diagnosis of hair loss in most cases.
- Hair loss from menopause or childbirth often returns to normal 6 months to 2 years later.
- For hair loss due to illness (such as fever), radiation therapy, medication use, or other causes, no treatment is necessary. The hair will usually grow back when the illness has ended or the therapy is finished. You may want to wear a wig, hat, or other covering until the hair grows back.
Ayurvedic treatment for hair fall | Ayurvedic treatment for loss of hair :
Ayurvedic practitioners believe that hair fall control is very much associated to the body type and also the stability of your mind-body structure.
Hair loss may start earlier having person of ‘Pitta’ prakriti(constitution).
In Ayurveda, Hair is considered as a byproduct of Bone. So the tissues which are responsible for formation of bones are also responsible for your hair growth.
Ayurvedic treatment for hair loss is usually a combination of herbs, diet, meditation, yoga, breathing, panchkarma treatment (especially Nasya) and oil massage.
One should follow the ‘Ayurvedic lifestyle’ which includes Diet Plan, Daily Routine & Seasonal Regimen (Given on the homepage of this website) to overcome from hair fall. It will stop your hair fall and even help to grow your hair.
Nasya (Nasal oleation) can suddenly stop the hair fall. One who administered Nasya therapy (Application of Ayurvedic herbs into the nostrils, in the form of oil and powder) in time according to the prescribed method, he/she will never experiences of hair fall, rather than that hairs grow luxuriously and become thick and smooth from the base.
Tips for Hair Care:
Massage of Ayurvedic hair oils greatly improves the blood circulation, thus increasing the health of the hair and also scalp. Daily massaging the scalp for 5-10 minutes greatly stimulates the circulation. This is very essential for hair fall control. It will greatly improve your hair growth.
Minoxidil (Rogaine): This is a non-prescription medication approved for androgenetic alopecia and alopecia areata. Minoxidil comes in a liquid or foam that is rubbed into your scalp twice a day. This is the most effective method to treat male-pattern and female-pattern hair loss. However, only 30–40% of patients experience hair growth. Minoxidil is not effective for other causes of hair loss except alopecia areata. Hair regrowth can take 8 to 12 months. Treatment is continued indefinitely because if the treatment is stopped, hair loss resumes again. Most frequent side effects are mild scalp irritation, allergic contact dermatitis, and increased facial hair.
Finasteride (Propecia): Is used in male-pattern hair loss in a pill form taken on a daily basis. Finasteride is not indicated for women and is not recommended in pregnant women. Treatment is effective within 6 to 8 months of treatment. Side effects include decreasedlibido, erectile dysfunction, ejaculatory dysfunction, gynecomastia, and myopathy. Treatment should be continued as long as positive results occur. Once treatment is stopped, hair loss resumes again.
Corticosteroids: Injections of cortisone into the scalp can be used to treat alopecia areata. This type of treatment is repeated on a monthly basis. Physician may prescribe oral pills for extensive hair loss due to alopecia areata. Results may take up to a month to be seen.
Anthralin (Dritho-Scalp): Available as a cream or ointment that is applied to the scalp and washed off daily. More commonly is used to treat psoriasis. Results may take up to 12 weeks to be seen.
Hormonal Modulators: Oral contraceptives or spironolactone can be used for female-pattern hair loss associated withhyperandrogenemia.
Surgical Options: Treatment options such as follicle transplant, scalp flaps, and alopecia reduction are available. These procedures are generally chosen by those who are self-conscious about their hair loss. These options are expensive and painful. There is a risk of infection and scarring. Once surgery has occurred, it takes 6 to 8 months before the quality of new hair can be assessed.
Hair transplant: A dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon takes tiny plugs of skin, each which contains a few hairs, and implants the plugs into bald sections. The plugs are generally taken from the back or sides of your scalp. Several transplant sessions may be necessary.
Scalp Reduction: This process is the decreasing of the area of bald skin on your head. As time goes, the skin on our head becomes flexible and stretched enough that some of it can be surgically removed. After the hairless scalp is removed, the space is closed with hair-covered scalp. Scalp reduction is generally done in combination with hair transplantation to provide a natural-looking hairline, especially those with extensive hair loss.
Wigs: As an alternative to medical and surgical treatment, some patients wear a wig or hairpiece. They can be used permanently or temporarily to cover the hair loss. Quality, and natural looking wigs and hairpieces are available.