Let’s understand Hair Fall and then Hair Fall Treatment.
Hair fall or hair loss is a very generic term. The medical term used for hair fall is alopecia. It includes:
- Androgenetic Alopecia (Male pattern baldness and Female pattern baldness)
- Alopecia Areata
- Telogen Effluvium.
Male pattern baldness is a very common thing seen in many men nowadays. It is affected in the crown and lateral sides characterized by a receding hairline. Female pattern baldness is a chronic progressive condition seen more in the frontal and parietal region. The triggering factors for both are genetic and increased levels of male hormones (that is dihydrotestosterone.)
The various forms of alopecia (an autoimmune disorder) are:
- Alopecia Areata – Hair loss from a particular patch or a part of head or body.
- Alopecia Universalis – Loss of hair from head and body.
- Alopecia Totalis – Loss of hair from all over the body.
Telogen effluvium is the second most common cause of hair loss which appears as diffuse thinning of hair on the scalp. Various causes for it are:
- Nutrition– Poornutrition, excessive starvation in forms of dieting and deficiencies in certain nutrients can cause thinning of hair. Deficiencies of biotin, protein, zinc and poor human iron metabolism are the commonly known factors.
- Infection– Infections like folliculitis, tinea capitis.
- Drugs– Temporary or permanent hair loss can be caused by several medications. Medicines for blood pressure, diabetes, heart diseaseand cholesterol, contraceptive pills, hormone replacement therapy, steroids and acne medications, chemotherapy can cause hair fall.
- Trauma– Childbirth, major surgeries, poisoning, and severe stress may cause hair loss may occur.
- Pregnancy– After the baby is born, the oestrogenlevels fall back to normal pre-pregnancy levels leading to loss of hair.
- Pollution: Air and water pollutants, as well as minerals in water and the phototoxic effects of sunlight, can damage hair.
Traction Alopecia is most commonly found in people with tight ponytails who pull their hair with excessive force. Rigourous brushing, heat styling, rough scalp massage can also damage the cuticle causing individual strands to break off and reducing overall volume.
Trichotillomania is the loss of hair caused by compulsive pulling and bending of the hair. Onset of this disorder tends to begin around the onset of puberty and usually continues through adulthood. Due to the constant extraction of the hair roots, permanent hair loss can occur.
Hair Fall Treatment:
Treating the cause of hairfall helps in improvement and hair gain. The various modalities for hair gain are:
Oral Medications – pills containing biotin, iron and zinc help in nourishing the hair roots. In case of hormonal imbalances finasteride, dutasteride, saw palmetto is used to decrease the excess of dihydrotestosterone levels.
Immunosuppresants like corticosteroids and immuno-modulatory medicines are used in the treatment of alopecia areata.
Topical Lotions containing minoxidal (2%, 5% or 10%) , aminexil can be used.
Laser comb/helmet – These instruments contain LED lights (light emitting diode) which improve blood circulation of the scalp. It penetrates the soft tissues of the scalp and helps increase cell growth of hair.
Mesotherapy is a non invasive technique based on superficial micro injections of hair growth solutions.
PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) – Here the patient’s own blood is used for obtaining the plasma rich in platelets and growth factors for hair growth.