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How is hair loss classified?
Depending on the duration of hairloss, if within 6 months, it is usually temporary and self-limiting and beyond 6 months, it needs treatment. Hair loss can also occur in specific patterns such as generalised or patchy or involving only crown region.
What are the causes of hair loss?
a) Any acute stressful event such as Surgery, accident, illness,etc can cause hair loss. For example, about 3 or 4 months after an illness or major surgery, you may suddenly lose a large amount of hair. This loss is related to the stress of the illness or surgery and is temporary and recovers within 6 months.
b) Crash dieting or Aggresive diet regimens without compensating for the essential nutrients causing hairloss is a common phenomenon nowadays.
c) Hair procedures such as coloring, rebonding, perming damage the shaft of the hair and cause hair loss.
d) Many women experience hair loss about 3 months after they've had a baby. This is usually the result of a hormonal imbalance. During pregnancy certain hormones cause the body to keep hair that would normally fall out. When the hormones return to their regular levels, that hair falls out and the normal cycle of growth and loss start again.
e) Hormonal problems can contribute. An over - or under active thyroid can cause hair to fall out. Treating the thyroid disease can usually offset this. If male or female hormones, called androgens or estrogens swing out of balance, your hair can suffer. Again, correcting the imbalance can stop this loss.
f) Some medicines can cause hair loss. This improves after you stop taking the medicine. These include blood thinners (also called anticoagulants), medications for gout, chemotherapy for cancer, vitamin A (if too much is taken) birth control pills and antidepressants.
g) Sometimes an underlying disease can be the culprit. Lupus or diabetes is known to cause hair loss. Since hair loss can indicate an early sign of a disease, it's important to find the cause so it can be treated.
What is male pattern baldness?
Male pattern baldness involves a genetic susceptibility of some of the hair follicles to the hormone dihydrotestosterone, (DHT). This hormone acting over time on these susceptible follicles causes a gradual shrinking, (miniaturization), and finally death of these follicles. It commonly occurs in crown region in specific patterns. It often runs in families.
Can it happen in women?
Yes. It happens because of hypersensitivity to the hormone dihydrotestosterone or due to actual increase in the hormone. The pattern of hair loss is different in women in that it results in increased visibility of scalp in frontal region.
Can I lose my hair by shampooing too often?
Using a harsh shampoo can aggravate a existing hairloss or make it very dry. But it doesn't cause hairloss.
Are Hair procedures not good for hair?
There is no such thing as a hair strengthening color or aantihair breakage spa. Any form of hair manipulation – physical or chemical can damage the hair. So it is advisable to stay away from hair procedures if you are having active hair loss.
Is Hair Loss Inherited?
It depends on the cause of hair loss. In case of male or female pattern baldness, family history is important.
What treatments are available for hair loss?
Depending on your type of hair loss, various treatments are available. If it's caused by a medicine, your doctor may change your medication. Recognizing and treating a deficiency and correcting it may help stop hair loss. Or correcting a hormone imbalance may be an effective solution.
What about regrowth of hair?
percentage of patients report stoppage of hairloss but no regrowth. This is generally due to the hair being in the refractory stage. If the hair-follicle openings are still open, hair can be regrown by a procedure called mesotherapy. For more details, visit "Mesotherapy" in the "Skin and Hair Sevices" section.
What is the role of stem cell therapy in hair loss?
Currently a lot of centres are offering expensive treatments in the name of stem cell to regrow hair non-responding to conventional line of treatment. Most of these are plant or rat stem cells which do not affect human hair. Also stem cell mesotherapy can work if it is one's own stem cell. No treatment will work on completely bald scalp.
What is the role of Laser Comb / Infrared light?
Infrared light and laser combs are known to stimulate the bloodflow in the area and assist hair growth. There isn't enough scientific evidence on this.
Are there any Do's and Dont's to prevent Hair Loss?
1. Do not tie your hair too tight.
2. Minimise the use of clips on hair.
3. Do not use comb repeatedly on the hair.
4. Use a wide toothed comb to prevent hair breakage.
5. Use Teflon coated combs to reduce static electricity between hair and comb.
6. Minimum use of Hair dryer.
7. Avoid hot irons.
8. Avoid Chemical treatments of hair - colouring /dyeing /straightening /rebonding /perming.
9. Do not dry wet hair with rubbing the towel. Only dab hair with dry towel to absorb water.
10. Do not reverse comb.
11. Do not comb wet hair.
12. Apply virgin coconut oil on hair shaft for conditioning. Can be used before, during and after shampooing hair.
13. Avoid using hair enriching products (egg) that are difficult to rinse off, even if they are natural/herbal.
14. Keep the use of hair styling products to a minimum.
15. Hair sprays are better than hair mousses/gels.
16. Using a hair spray as a conditioner is better than gel-conditioners.
17. Use lauryl sulphate free hair shampoo.
18. Do not go for aggressive head massages.
19. Avoid hair spas.
20. Hair conditioning isn't a must after shampoo. Using a mild shampoo can evade the use of conditioner.
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