Archive for the ‘Hair Loss’ category

What Causes Hair Fall

November 4th, 2009

It is firstly important to note that hair fall may be of two broad types, i.e. natural and excessive or unnatural. Within the natural cycle of hair growth and fall, at any given point, approximately ten percent of the hair present on ones scalp is in ‘telogen’ or resting phase which means that this hair is about to shed naturally and give way to others in its place (in about a two to three month period). The remaining ninety percent of hair is in different stages of growth phases and remains intact. Hence, if some of your hair seems to be falling daily you have nothing to worry about, all you are undergoing is an absolutely healthy cycle and natural loss of telogen hair.

Nevertheless, some, in fact many individuals suffer from hair fall which exceeds these normal natural levels and such a scenario may be attributed to varied causes. ‘What causes hair fall?’ is a common query with a number of common as well as uncommon answers. Some such causes of hair fall are as follows :-

Illness : About a quarter post a period of illness or a hefty operation one may experience excessive hair fall which is stress related and of a short-term nature.

Hormone Imbalances : Over of under secretion of hormones of the thyroid gland, imbalanced production or androgens (male reproductive hormones) or estrogens (female reproductive hormones) may also lead to hair fall which can be controlled by treating the concerned hormonal imbalance at the root.

Pregnancy : This is another type of hormonal imbalance related hair fall commonly seen in women after delivery. Hormones that cause extra hair growth or rather avoid hair loss during a pregnancy return to their standard levels after delivery and this cause the excess hair which is maintained during the pregnancy to be lost on resuming the normal cycle.

Medication : Certain medication may be what causes hair fall (e.g. Anti depressants, chemotherapy, excess vitamin A, blood thinners, birth control pills etc) and such hair fall returns to normal levels when medication is withdrawn.

Infection : When the scalp is infected by fungi it may lead to hair fall which can be treated by antifungal medication.

Improper hair maintenance : Traction alopecia caused by rough handling (pulling, tying too tight) of hair and swelling or inflammation of hair follicles due to treatments with hot oil, hair perming and straightening chemicals not only cause hair fall but may also lead to scarring of the scalp in turn making the phenomenon of hair fall permanent. Hence if hair handling is improved in good time (before scalp scarring occurs) permanent hair fall can be avoided and present hair fall can be eliminated.

An innate tendency towards baldness : More commonly seen in men who start balding at an early age, common baldness, also known as male pattern baldness in men and female pattern baldness in women in essentially a hereditary phenomenon.

Male Hair Loss

November 3rd, 2009

To understand the problem of male hair loss it is necessary to explore the nature of their hair growth cycle. Hair experts claim that hair growth rate is around one-half inches each month. And each strand of hair has a growth period ranging from two to six years. At some point the strand pauses in a rest mode for some time, then sheds itself and the same hair follicle sprouts into a new hair growth. This cycle propels itself right till an individual’s old age. Hair loss in men manifests as ever decreasing coverage of the scalp.

Genetic hair loss in men is called Alopecia Androgenetica. Alopecia Androgenetica is – typical male pattern boldness and progresses at a very gradual pace. It usually appears in the form of a bold spot on the top of the scalp and thinning on the temple areas. The usual age at which Alopecia shows itself is thirty in men. However it can occur at any age. Racial differences also play a huge part in male pattern baldness.

The highest rate of male pattern baldness is seen is Caucasians and then, Afro-Caribbean’s. Chinese and Japanese men have the lowest rate of balding. Native Americans are somehow least effected by male pattern baldness. Typical male baldness is mostly genetic in nature. The tendency is generally more manifest if baldness runs on the mother’s side. It is believed that the male hormone testosterone does play a pattern is causing baldness, but its relationship with the given malady is not fully understood till date. Smoking is also one of the reasons of male hair loss.

It is almost impossible to eliminate male pattern baldness. However after the problem is diagnosed, measures can be taken to slow the process of hair loss. Balding men should first visit a general medical practitioner or a certified trichologist. More and more doctors are now sensitive to the psychological impact of hair loss in terms of life quality of individuals. Younger men can lose their self esteem and zest for life due to this cosmetic calamity.

Minoxidil is sold by the name of Regaine as an ointment to be rubbed on the scalp to counter male baldness. However the results are not instantaneous and miraculous and vary with individuals. Finesteride or Propecia is also prescribed by doctors for hair loss in men. Some endocrinologists try to block the action of DHT by using hormonal medicines to tackle male baldness. This is called anti-androgen therapy.

Life style changes in terms of healthy nutrition, regular exercise, herbal shampoos and hair treatment tonics and a balanced diet should be adopted to arrest hair fall by men. Yoga and meditation also go a long way in minimizing stress and thus slowing the process of hair loss. Hair transplant therapy and hair weaving are some other cosmetic solutions for hair loss in men.

Hair Transplantation

November 3rd, 2009

Hair transplantation is a surgical process that involves shifting a bit of skin consisting of hair follicle from one site of the body to a bolding patch. The part from which the skin is taken is called the donor site and the patch where it is implanted is known as recipient site. This technique is mostly used to treat male pattern boldness.

This procedure transplants genetically resistant skin grafts which contain hair follicles to balding scalps. This technique is also utilized to regenerate eye brows, eye lashes and beard hair and to fill accident and surgery scars caused by face lifts and older hair transplants. Hair transplantations are quite different from skin grafting. These grafts encompass nearly the entire epidermis and dermis around the hair follicle, and numerous small-small grafts are transported; not just a single strip of skin.

Advanced techniques of hair transplantation target hair which grows in follicles containing one to four groups of hair. When you approach a hair transplant surgeon for help, he will first examine your scalp, ask you about your preferences and needs before advising you of what will be best for you in terms of approach, how many sessions you will have to take and what results you should expect. The patient is required to abstain from alcohol and medication that may cause intraoperative bleeding which will result in poor acceptance of the hair graft. However antibiotics are usually given before the operation to guard against infections and wounds.

Hair transplantation procedures have become less expensive in recent years. The cost of hair grafts normally ranges from 3.00$ to 7.00$ per graft. 4 to 5 dollars is the average price of hair grafts with the price of each graft dropping with increase in the size of the surgical sessions.

A typical surgical session can vary from 1.500 to over 4,000 grafts according to the needs of the patient. Mild sedation is used on patients via topically injected anesthesia. However this is optional. Hair transplantation operations usually last for about four hours.

Hair Regrowth

November 2nd, 2009

The baldness treatment industry is estimated to be around a 1$ billion industry in the US. Almost fifty percent of the male population is struck by baldness the world over. Drug therapy has emerged as an effective management technique for hair regrowth since the 1980s for both men and women.

Research and exploration has led to an understanding of the effect of dihydrotestosreone (DHT) in male and female pattern baldness. Intervention is now being done to stop DHT from acting on scalp receptors. The research on hair regrowth treatments receives a huge amount of funds from all over.

Regrowing hair in dead follicles is more difficult than the attempt to preserve falling and ageing hair. Finasteride (Propecia) and minoxidil (Rogaine in the US and Regaine outside) are two products which have met with immense success for this purpose. Another technique with prospects for success for hair regrowth is hair cloning or hair multiplication. This is done by extracting self- growing follicle stem cells and multiplying them numerous times in the laboratory. These are then micro injected into the scalp. However research is still on and successful experiments have been done on mice. Results are expected to be available between the current year and 2015.

Hair growth treatments are time consuming because of the nature of hair cycles and need lot of patience. In fact new hair grows very gradually in three to four years. Therefore, it takes a year or more to gauge if the treatment is working at all. Dutasteride (Avodart) and ketoconazole are also found to be useful for the purpose of hair growth. Black Cohosh – a non-synthetic treatment for menopausal women all over the world has been patented by Germany as an appropriate treatment for baldness.

Some natural products like green tea and Caffeine have also been declared as stimulators for hair growth. It is interesting to know that if caffeine is mixed with a shampoo formula it works very well in terms of giving caffeine to the scalp. Copper peptides are also used for application on the scalp for shortening the resting period of hair. This translates into more hair follicles emerging on the scalp in the growing period.

Hair Loss Treatment

November 1st, 2009

If you approach a doctor for hair loss treatment he may first question you about your life style, medical track record, food habits and even perform a physical examination on you. Women patients might have to give a detailed record of their menstrual cycle, pregnancies etc. Blood tests and biopsies on the scalp may also have to be performed to diagnose the type of hair loss for effective treatment. Treatments for hair fall differ according to the nature of the hair loss.

The common medicine for hair loss is Minoxidil. It is sold under the brand name of Rogaine and can be obtained without a proper prescription. It can be applied on the scalp by both the genders. Another prominent medicine Finsteride, which is sold under the brand name Propecia is only available on prescription. It comes in the form of pills and can be consumed by men only. It takes about six months to assess the workability of these medicines on an individual.

However it is advisable to diagnose the infection and cause of hair loss before proceeding with the treatment. If nothing helps one can always resort to techniques like hair transplantations, hair weaving or wear hair pieces and wigs.

It is perfectly normal to shed fifty to hundred hair in a day. However, an average hair follicle is very fragile and becomes week by the onslaught of old age, illnesses, inadequate diet, poor nutrition, environmental pollution, tension, stress, bad hygiene and excessive use of chemicals. Certain medicines can also result in hair loss. Many herbal and ayurvedic products have been developed to arrest hair loss.

Proper diet and nutrition along with some vitamins also help keep hair in place. Hair styling mechanics like straightening, pressing, dying, coloring, bleaching, tinting etc, which involve the use of chemicals is against nature and ends in calamitous hair loss.

Therefore natural treatments like regular oil massages, meditation, exercise and yoga is recommended to prevent hair loss by many doctors and hair therapists now. However, slow thinning of hair with age is a natural process and must be accepted with a smiling dignity.

Hair Loss Remedy

October 31st, 2009

Although hair is a dead organ in terms of life preservation, it carries a lot of weight when translated into a component of beauty. Men and women get extremely anxious at the sight of disappearing and thinning hair. It is important to understand how hair grows before exploring the chapter of hair loss remedy.

Hair is initially formed in a small pocket of the skin. This is called the hair follicle. When a specific group of amino acids convert to keratin, papilla (an outgrowth at the root of the follicle) produces hair. Keratin is a type of protein. The rate at which these protein building blocks are produced determines the nature of the hair growth. The average rate of hair growth is around 1.2 cm per month. However the speed varies with age and gender.

Many remedies for hair loss are being used all over the world. Inadequate nutrition causes vitamin deficiency which causes hair fall. It has been observed that people who are diagnosed with vitamin B 6 deficiency often have severe hair fall and paucity of folic acid translates into baldness. A liberal and prolonged intake of vitamin B6 and folic acid restores hair growth. Reducing stress and anxiety by altering mind sets and life style is another way of countering hair fall as they are the primary causes of hair related problems. Treating diseases and illness on time also helps preserve hair as illness can also be the cause of hair loss.

Another easy remedy to arrest hair loss is a scrupulous follow up of hygiene rules. Keep hair clean by washing it twice a week in warm water with a mild shampoo. Avoid use of heavy chemicals on your hair. Avoid combing hair backwards and use quality combs and brushes.

Excessive brushing is also bad for your hair. Massage the hair vigorously for ten to fifteen minutes after a hair wash till the skin starts feeling warm. This stimulates blood circulation and promotes hair growth. Castor and coconut oil are both excellent for hair. You can also try boiling dry pieces of gooseberry (Indian ‘avla’) in coconut oil for hair application. Aloe Vera if rubbed on the scalp thoroughly and left for about half hour before washing yields excellent results for hair growth and retention.

There are numerous remedies to arrest hair loss and stimulate hair growth in the world to suit people of all countries which can be adapted to individual needs.

Hair Loss Prevention Tips

October 30th, 2009

Healthy and full hair is an essential component of beauty. However, hair loss is a very common problem in the life of men and women making it imperative that they take timely measures to prevent the same.

Listed below are some common hair loss prevention tips for those who are struck by this problem :

1) Chemicals are notorious for destroying the health of hair. Therefore, it is desirable to restrict their use under a licensed beautician only. It is also highly advisable to minimize or completely eliminate the use of chemicals by substituting them with natural herbal products.

2) A balanced diet and intake of healthy and nutritious food ensures that one’s body gets the right vitamins and minerals required for healthy hair growth and retention. Excess intake of certain vitamins like A and E can also lead to excessive hair loss.

3) Illness and diseases should be treated by a doctor immediately. Negligence in terms of taking medication and ignorance of dietary precautions can lead to premature and permanent hair loss in some.

4) Be gentle with your hair by using friendly hair accessories which do not require hair to be pulled tightly and bound for prolonged periods of time. Comb and brush your hair regularly. Oil massages once or twice in a week also do wonders for hair.

5) Increasing blood flow in the scalp stimulates the hair follicle, thereby promoting growth. This can be done by various methods like regular massaging and proper combing of hair.

6) Adapt a life style that minimizes stress as tension is disastrous for your hair. This can be done by following a healthy routine which includes proper diet, exercise, meditation, holistic living, etc. Excessive materialism and bad relationships are also said to create a lot of trauma manifesting in hair loss.

7) Keeping hair clean and well groomed with natural products also helps preserve hair. It is also recommended that the head be kept covered in polluted environments.

8) It is believed that green tea contains catechins which blocks DHT and stimulates the hair follicle. DHT is a hormone that causes hair loss .So go for three to four cups of hot piping green tea every day and it should do your hair a world or good.

9) Last but not the least one should visit a doctor and a qualified beauty practitioner when hair starts falling beyond normal, which is fifty to hundred strands a day. This is important to diagnose the exact nature of your problem, without which right treatment cannot be given.

Female Hair Loss

October 29th, 2009

Most women panic at the sight of hair loss, as a head full of luscious hair spells beauty and youth since times immemorial. Housewives, career women and socialites of all ages spend considerable time in nurturing and preserving the beauty and health of their hair. Attractive, well cut and set hair is the defining point in personal style for women world over.

Humorously speaking no woman remains untouched by the fall of her hair. For this reason hair loss can emerge as a great crisis in an average woman’s life. Bald men are more acceptable than bald women. Yet more and more women are facing the ghastly fact of hair loss with the passage of time.

Hair loss is becoming a serious calamity all over the world. The American Academy of Dermatology has been quoted as claiming that “hair loss is a growing problem affecting some thirty million women in the United States; with some forms of loss occurring at earlier ages”. Women at the age of sixteen and seventeen are developing serious problems of hair loss in modern times.

But what exactly causes a woman to lose her hair? To understand that, it’s important to know a little something about how hair grows. However this varies with people and genders in accordance with a type of hormones known as androgen; which are famous for interfering with this process of nature. Dermatology says that androgens consist of hormones like androsteinedione, testosterone and dihydrotestosterone commonly called DHT. These hormones are manufactured in huge amounts in male bodies and in small amounts in female bodies. The pattern of balding is different in men and women for this reason. Menstrual cycle, pregnancies, nature of delivery also go a long way in determining the nature of hair fall in a woman.

It is imperative that one gets the proper diagnosis before starting hair loss treatment in a woman. The underlying medical problem has to be first corrected which can be tested by a qualified doctor through blood tests and scalp biopsy in severe cases. Clinically speaking androgenic alopecia is the main reason for female hair loss. It is also desirable that fe-males substitute the use of chemicals with ayurvedic, herbal and home products for their beauty needs to preserve their hair. Living in natural unpolluted surroundings, a healthy and stress free life style and proper nourishment is also equally important for this.

Hair Loss

October 7th, 2009

Many Indian men experience natural hair loss and for many it starts very early. It is not uncommon for an Indian man to start losing his hair in his early twenties even. However though this subject was once very worrisome for the average Indian, with modern techniques, hair loss treatments and a variety of vitamins for hair loss now available, hair loss can be tackled without much difficulty. The range of hair loss products available in the Indian market today include herbal massage oils for hair loss treatment, shampoos and tonics to curb hair fall as well as medicines and vitamin supplements that prevent hair loss.

Women, fortunately, are less likely to go bald. So much so, in fact, that up until modern times, medical specialists held that women never go bald naturally. However, this theory has now been proven to be wrong and with genetics playing a big role in human life, it is rare but not impossible for women to naturally lose their hair.

In most cases of female hair loss though, there is an underlying medical condition which causes the hair loss and naturally in such cases, tackling the main illness may result in a hair loss cure. For instance female hair loss may be indicative of a low iron or calcium level and hence this can be treated by changing one’s diet and taking vitamin supplements to make up for the deficiency.

Some possible causes hair loss in women include the following problems : • Genetics play an important role in hair loss in women as well as men. Because of the hormonal imbalance within the body, certain women may experience hair loss.

• Polycystic ovaries syndrome may also cause hormonal imbalances and lead to hair loss in women.

• Some autoimmune disorders lead to a hair loss problem which is also known as ‘Alopecia Areata’. In such cases hair tends to grow in clumps or patches rather than uniformly over the head.
However whether people experience thinning of the hair or hair loss, there are also a variety of technological advancements that can offer them an option against baldness. Many movie stars, for instance, use hair extensions or plugs to create the illusion of glorious thick hair.

Hair extensions are available in a wide price range so they are not unaffordable for the average person. In addition, these are very easy to use and one does not need to go to a hairdresser to fix these hair extensions in place.

There are also methods that involve fusing individual hair extensions to one’s natural hair. This process carried with small sections of the hair at a time. Hair-weaving or fusing with heat are two methods to do this. However, the disadvantage of opting for such a process is that it involves the use of strong chemicals which can be very damaging for the natural hair or scalp.

One technique of hair-weaving is called ‘Invisible hair weaving’, and in this case the wefts of hair are braided into the individual’s own hair. This technique requires frequent touch-ups though.