Hair is that crown you wear on your head, as a symbol of beauty and youth. And alopecia is the medical term for hair loss. Hair loss are one of the biggest cosmetic woes and billions are spent on hair growth treatments worldwide. There is swarming upheaval of hair related products in allopathic and ayurvedic medicine alike.
In Nepal, awareness and demand of cosmetic procedures have just risen recently. But first, we have to understand that hair loss can have diverse causes. Not all hair growth treatments and hair loss control shampoos work for everyone. Friends referring treatment to each other can infact harm, instead of giving relief.
Lets first list out the causes of Hair fall.
1) NATURAL PROCESS: Hair fall is a natural process when it occurs in limited amount, without altering your appearance significantly. Normally 100-150 hairs can fall in a day, depending on your age, hair density, season of the year, etc.
2) DANDRUFF: Its probably the commonest cause in both men and women. Dandruff usually occurs in teenage and then reappears once we are over 30 yrs. It is more severe in overweight and obese people, in people with diabetes, thyroid, cholesterol abnormalities. It can be controlled by regular use of antidandruff shampoos prescribed by a dermatologist. These shampoos can be rough and make your hair dull. In such situations, use a good condition on the hair, and not on the roots. Besides antidandruff shampoos, you will find medical grade hair revitalizers in the market, which might work to a limited extent.
3) GENETIC BALDNESS IN MEN: Androgenetic alopecia or baldness due to familial cause is the commonest cause of hair loss leading to baldness in men. It occurs in all men at different ages and different severity. Baldness is both PREVENTABLE and TREATABLE. There are different grades of baldness according to severity. Mild baldness can be treated with medicines and PRP Therapy. Extensive baldness needs hair transplant.
PRP Therapy is injectable treatment, made from your own blood. Blood is processed to separate growth factors, which stops hair fall and promotes hair growth.
LED Light therapy is another upcoming non invasive medical avenue. These lights are available as helmets or combs. LED lights emitted through these devices improve hair loss as effectively as PRP Therapy.
Hair transplant is the only permanent solution. One's own hair from back of the head (donor area) is taken out, and put in the area of baldness(recepient area). Hair transplant is a minor operative procedure and patients are awake and painfree during the procedure. Hair transplant usually takes one day. Patient goes home the same day. Special care is needed for upto 5-7 days. Daily normal activities can be done day after the procedure. One can wear cap after one week, and can join the gym in a month. Hair will first shed(fall), and start regrowing in 1-3 months. By 9 months, final results will be seen.
4) FEMALE HAIR LOSS: Hair loss in women is a double edged sword. Why? Because women dont go bald unlike men, but the causes are many. A good hair expert will be able to find the cause after detail evaluation and blood tests. Hair loss in women could be due to dandruff, hormones, pills, lactation, stress, familial, nutritional, etc. Female pattern hair loss is more difficult to treat than in men. But PRP therapy and medical lotions help both men and women with hair loss. Keep thyroid disorder and autoimmunity in mind. These entities need to be checked before saying its familial. Another common cause these days is Vitamin D deficiency. I have had patients who did not respond to any medical treatment, but recovered beautifully after Vitamin D supplementation. However, I do not suggest random consumption of Vitamin D tablets without doing blood tests.
5) POLLUTION: Pollution is grave hazard all over the world, more so in Kathmandu. Particulate matters, hydrocarbons and gaseous particles worsen dandruff and hair health.
6) OTHERS: Other less common causes are exam, stress, medicines, tumours, surgery, infections, fever, weight loss, cancer, etc.
Please do not use random shampoos or hair care products recommended by a friend or Youtube DIY hacks. Every one is unique. So is our hair.
Please consult a dermatologist and trichologist (Dermatologist with expertise in Hair)