Sunday, 26 April 2015

Hair loss treatment not working? Losing hair or losing peace of mind

I see a lot of patients with an agonizing query- I am losing a lot of hair these days, what is wrong with me? I have tried so many things but no hair loss prevention treatment is working? I am losing my peace of mind.

What needs to be understood is that the hair is a mirror of the inner ecosystem of our body.

Q- I am losing lot of hair these days? What is wrong with me? Is it the borewell water?
Ans – Losing hair in bunches does not happen because of the wrong shampoo or using borewell water. In such cases a comprehensive blood profile and thorough physical examination to rule out deficiencies or disturbances in metabolism should be done. Hair loss of this kind is generally referred as ‘Telogen Effluvium’ and is reversible and seldom leads to baldness.

Q- Why I am getting bald at such an early age? My father started balding in late 40’s?
Ans- A rise in sedentary lifestyle and growing obesity especially around the abdomen is becoming increasingly common in the younger population. Male – pattern baldness is seen in younger age groups now. It is also seen as a risk factor for heart problems and Diabetes. Doctors sometimes do not emphasise this important fact. Simple changes in lifestyle like exercise and following with other hair a regimented diet (preferably recommended by a qualified dietician) is mandatory with other mandatory treatment for hair fall. This surely can ARREST the balding process.

Q- Which Diet would you recommend for Hair loss?
Ans- I generally recommend a qualified dietician/nutritionist but in general a diet:
  • High in protein and
  • High in essential fatty acids is very helpful.

Tuna , Sardines , olives and avocadoes are a rich source of the latter, oats, lettuce, parsnips, asparagus,  strawberry, cabbage, cucumber, celery, cauliflower and green leafy vegetables also prevent hair breakage. A nutritionist should plan these food items depending on your lifestyle ( whether sedentary or active) and metabolic status( diabetic / non diabetic) in conjunction with the Dermatologist.

Q – Are herbal or professional shampoos (the  salon ones) better than the regular shampoos to arrest hair loss?
Ans- Natural surfactants ( as claimed by herbal or organic shampoos)  come from plants such as sarsaparilla, soapwort, soap bark, and ivy agave. They have excellent lathering capabilities, but are poor cleansers thus must be present at high concentration. Usually, they are combined with other synthetic detergents. The so called ‘organic product’ hence remains as a marketing gimmick.
Then we have these special shampoos designed for use with hair coloring procedures are generally only available to licensed cosmetologists, as they are not appropriate for daily cleansing. Other than for colored hair , I do not recommend professional salon shampoos as they have  high concentration of surfactants and hence colored hair specific shampoos are inappropriate for daily use.
Your dermatologist is best placed to help you choose the best shampoo after carefully understanding what works best for you and your hair

Q- Any dos and don’ts to prevent hair loss?
Ans- Like everything else in life- prevention is better than cure.
  • ·         Start hair fall arrest early, it works best- physically (looks), emotionally and financially. See a qualified dermatologist.
  • ·         Maintain good hair hygiene
  • ·         Assess your dietary and other habits and make healthy changes.

  • ·         In general you must avoid chemical treatments to hair including the herbal ones which are designed to change the way your hair looks.
  • ·         Avoid salon treatments or alternate therapies which have no proven scientific evidence

For hairloss key is to act early and prevention. In the end remember hair is a reflection of inner ecosystem and in most cases hair loss can be arrested. 
Angeline Jolie, Vin Diesel look extremely attractive without hair
However, your physical attribute should never be a cause of stress. There are many renowned personalities including in showbiz who have excelled and look extremely handsome/beautiful without hair. Talk to your dermatologist if hairloss is bothering you.

Stay skin healthy and skin wise!!

Dr Divya Sharma is a practicing dermatologist at Bangalore. The data shared in this blog is her personal opinion based on her knowledge and experience. The author is not responsible for any adverse event that arises out of following blog opinion

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