Oct 29, 2021
Hari fall concerns have been growing at an alarming rate. With more than one third of the world’s population getting affected by it, it is imperative to understand all about this life-altering phenomenon. What are the main causes? What can potentially lead to permanent baldness? And what can we do to reverse this?
To deep-dive into the conversation around hair fall, Dhani’s Senior Strategist, Prakhar Khandelwal spoke to Dr. Abhinav Wankar (MBBS, DNB, MBA), General Physician, who helped us in the deep understanding of this common complaint, its causes, and viable solutions.
PK: Hair fall is a very common complaint, Dr, could you tell us a bit about hair fall?
Dr: Hair fall is a worrisome symptom that concerns a lot of people. It is normal to lose between 50 and 100 hair a day- this is not noticeable. New hair normally replaces the lost hair, but this doesn’t always happen. Hair loss is more common in males. About 50% of men and 25% of women develop pattern of hair loss by the age of 50 years. Hair loss can develop gradually over years or happen abruptly and can be permanent or temporary.
PK: What are the causes of hair fall?
Dr: The causes of hair loss can be many.With age, hair not only greys but also becomes a reason to hair fall. Normally, hair falling out would be replaced with new hair growth, however as one ages this happens less and less. While greying can be covered with hair color, hair fall is one thing that cannot be covered. Stress is another reason. Emotional well-being is very important for our body to function properly. Stress is one of the key issues that leads to hair fall problems making it one of the biggest reasons of hair loss. However, hair fall due to stress is not permanent and is reversible. Styling of hair and use of different hair products such as heat treatments of hair such as use of irons, tongs and blow dryers can cause permanent hair damage. The heat absorbs all the moisture from the hair and excessive use can also cause damage to the hair follicles and the scalp, making it another reason of hair loss.Diet which lacks protein, iron and vitamin B also leads to hair fall. As your hair doesn’t get enough nourishment, it weakens and tends to fall. Diet plays a key role when it comes to strengthening the roots. Certain medications cause hair loss as a common side effect. Sweat and dirt can clog the follicles in the scalp and create an unpleasant environment, stagnating hair growth, thus becoming a reason of hair fall. If one doesn’t maintain a healthy scalp, hair fall problems are unavoidable.
PK: How does one avoid or reduce hair loss? Can you suggest some changes to diet and lifestyle?
Dr: It is important to have a balanced diet. Include adequate quantities of raw vegetables, fresh herbs, protein, vitamin A, multivitamins, vitamin D, biotin in your diet for healthy hair growth. Keep your hair and scalp clean; wash your hair regularly with a mild shampoo. Use of coconut oil and olive oil has been shown to prevent hair damage from grooming and ultraviolet (UV) light exposure. Lauric acid found in coconut oil helps to bind the protein in hair protecting it from breakage at the root and strand. Be gentle with your hair. Use a detangler and avoid tugging when brushing and combing, especially when your hair is wet. A wide-toothed comb might help prevent pulling out hair. Avoid harsh treatments such as hot rollers, curling irons, hot-oil treatments and permanents. Limit the tension on hair from styles that use rubber bands, barrettes and braids.
PK: Any other advice you would like to share in this regard?
Dr: It is important to understand the cause of your hair loss and treat the cause. If it is due to secondary causes like illness or medications, these must be treated. Other than this, protect your hair from sunlight and other sources of ultraviolet light. Stop smoking- studies show an association between smoking and baldness in men. Keep your body hydrated. Hair loss caused by stress may respond well to yoga. Try these stress-relieving yoga poses to prevent and slow hair loss. If you're being treated with chemotherapy, ask your doctor about a cooling cap. This cap can reduce your risk of losing hair during chemotherapy.
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