Hair loss is a generalised term characterising loss of hair in excess of the normal 50-100 hair strands, per day.In certain cases even though the hair loss is within normal limits, for various reasons, the body stops growing new hair, leading to a gradual state of baldness.
Anyone can experience hair loss – men, women and children though it is generally seen to worsen with advancing age. Certain statistics state that almost 30% of people experience hair loss by 30 years of age and almost 50% get hair loss by the time they turn 50.
Women develop hair loss almost as frequently as men do but they don't lose much of the volume due to hormonal differences. The patterns of hair loss also differ in both the sexes and this has been discussed at a later stage.
The response of people to hair loss varies from leaving the condition to run its own course to covering it up with hats, wigs, hair pieces, toupees, etc. Many rush to acquire lotions, pills, shampoos to curb the hair loss. And then there are even those who would take up the surgical option for freedom from progressing baldness. Whatever the options available, do consult your doctor before you opt for any of these.
TYPES OF HAIR LOSS
There are more than 40 different types of hair loss known till date – some of them very common, others quite rare. It is not at all mandatory to know about each of these; however, knowing your type can help you to understand how well your hair loss can respond to treatment. Few of the common varieties of hair loss are discussed here:
Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA)
This type of hair loss can affect both men and women and is caused by the hormone DHT (Dihydrotestosterone) which is a male hormone. It accounts for almost 95% of the cases of hair loss. Androgenetic alopecia is genetically determined and can be classified as:
Male Pattern Baldness (MPB)
This is typically characterised by a receding hairline at the temples and balding at the top of the head.
Female Pattern Baldness (FPB)
Also known as Alopecia Diffusa, this is characterised by thinning of hair at the front, sides and crown of the scalp
With advancing age, more and more hair follicles go into the resting phase. This leads to gradual thinning of hair and is called involution alopecia.
Severe stress may lead to noticeable shedding of hair – a large number of hair strands prematurely enter into the resting (telogen) phase and are thereafter shed. This may sometimes occur even 3 to 6 months after the initial stressor. The stressor could be anything like a heart attack, severe illness, high fever, sudden weight change, major surgical procedure, childbirth, termination of pregnancy, etc.
This is the pathologic loss of hair in the anagen (growth) phase, classically caused by radiation therapy to the head and systemic chemotherapy. It tends to be sudden in nature.
Some of the drugs that can lead to loss of hair are Allopurinol (used for the treatment of Gout), Heparin, Coumarin (blood thinners), Clofibrate, Gemfibrozil (Cholesterol lowering drugs) and most of the chemotherapy medications.
It is patchy loss of hair, especially from the scalp.
Traction alopecia - Regularly wear pigtails, braids or tight hairstyles causes loss of hair from the part where hair is pulled tightly leading to traction alopecia.
This is a psychological disorder seen more frequently in children where they tend to pull out one's own hair leading to hair loss.
Other types of Hair loss
Due to presence of Infections: Syphilitic Alopecia (caused by systemic syphilis), Tinea Capitis (a localised fungal infection of the scalp).
Generalised Atrichia: Caused by the presence of a recessive hairless gene, this is an extremely rare form of hair loss.
"A hair in the head is worth two in the brush" thus said Oliver Herford and he surely realised the worth of every strand. But do we stop to think as to what has resulted in all those extra hair in our hair brush, on the pillow or on the floor of our house? If we know what has caused the hair loss, we can surely take the next step to control the same.
We have already seen that DHT (Dihydrotestosterone) - the male sex hormone - is the primary trigger of male and female pattern baldness. Besides this, more and more hair follicles go into the resting phase with advancing age leading to gradual thinning of hair. Heredity is also known to determine hair loss problems.
Discussed here are some of the other general causes of hair loss commonly seen:
- Poor Nutrition: This is one of the commonest reasons for hair loss, especially in India. Iron deficiency (anemia) tops the list and is followed by protein deficiency. Improper absorption of the nutrients can also lead to poor nutrition.
- Crash dieting: Excessive dieting especially mono dieting, which involves completely avoiding a particular type of food group, causes a disturbance in the balance of protein, carbohydrates and fat, leading to hair loss, which sometimes does not reverse even after the patient gets back to a normal diet.
- Oral contraceptives: Certain oral contraceptives using synthetic progesterone can lead to female pattern baldness. Then again, stopping oral contraceptives is also known to be associated with generalised hair loss for sometime.
- Poor circulation: A study of young men diagnosed with male pattern baldness showed that the blood flow to their scalps was on average 2.6 times lower than in a control group. Follicles that are constantly deprived of blood, and therefore nutrients, cannot produce hair properly.
- Smoking: Nicotine (tobacco) negatively influences the micro-circulation of the scalp leading to increased hair loss.
- Mental stress: There is increased hair loss when an individual is highly stressed - the exact mechanism of this is not known.
- Dandruff: This is inflamed flaky skin on the scalp and it hinders proper circulation and nutrition to the hair thereby causing increased hair loss.
- Medications: Drugs used in the treatment of gout, depression, arthritis, high blood pressure and heart problems can lead to increased hair loss. Chemotherapy drugs, radiation treatment are other common causes.
- Presence of other systemic illnesses such as Diabetes, Lupus, Scleroderma
- Hormonal changes: Pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, etc. can lead to significant hair loss.
- Hair treatments: Chemical treatment of hair especially with ammonia based products, perming, straightening, ironing, etc can lead to loss of hair
- Infection of the scalp - especially ringworm of the scalp can lead to hair loss.
- Local diseases of the scalp such as Psoriasis, lichen planus, etc.
- While recuperating from a serious illness such as high fever, sudden or excessive weight loss, after a surgery or from metabolic disturbances
The symptoms will depend on the types of hair loss you have. If your hair is thinning, it happens slowly and over a period of time. You may lose hair all over your scalp, which is called general hair loss or you may lose hair only in one area, which is called focal hair loss.
With inherited hair loss, men usually get receding hairline at the temples and balding at the top of the head, while women get thinning of hair at the front, sides and crown of the scalp.
Since your hair has a lot to do with your appearance, losing it may cause you to have lower self-esteem. This is especially true in women and teens.
Safe and sure way to strong, healthy hair.
At Dr. Batra's you can be assured of effective, gentle and safe solution provided by experts for your hair loss problems. After successfully treating more than 75,000 cases of successful hair loss treatment for men and women over 35 years, we are in possession of expertise to detect your hair problems at an early stage as well as provide you with the best options of treatment.
Our three-pronged approach of homeopathy, Trichology and Technology is a winning combination that has brought a smile to many suffering patients. International studies have also clearly shown that homeopathic medicines counteract the effects of DHT (Dihydrotestosterone) thereby controlling the progression of hair loss without any side effects. Isn't it time you took your step to control your hair loss?
Use of homeopathy:
At Dr. Batra's we have successfully used some rare and uncommon homeopathic remedies in hair loss cases and have got excellent results from the same. The fruitful use of these remedies comes from our vast experience and in-depth knowledge of this science. Clinical research on the homeopathic remedy Thuja has been conducted only recently and has shown its beneficial effects in hair loss cases as a DHT inhibitor; but at Dr. Batra's we have been using this remedy for more than last 25 years in hair loss treatment. This clearly demonstrates our experience and expertise in homeopathy.
The unbeatable advantage of homeopathy combined with the expertise of our London-trained trichologists is now made easily available to you at Dr. Batra's. The head of Trichology department at Dr. Batra's - Dr. Akshay Batra is India's first Trichologist from The Trichological Society of London. Dr. Akshay Batra is the first ever Asian Trichologist to get the honor of being the President of The Trichological Society, London. With such experienced doctors to care for our patients, we leave no stone unturned in providing paramount service to all of them.
Additionally, each of our doctors providing hair treatment is personally trained by Dr. Akshay Batra so that only the best services are rendered to our patients. Our physicians closely assess your case using advanced diagnostic technique like Folliscope (video microscopy) and thereafter provide you with customized treatment options. The treatment goes beyond eliminating disease ï¿½ it restores equilibrium, builds your defenses against illness and promotes lasting good health.
Advantage of Technology:
Technology has also been put to its best use at Dr. Batra's where we offer Swiss Polarised Rays (SPR) therapy (based on the Nobel Prize winning Piler Light Therapy) for cases of hair loss. A Swiss technology to start with, this is proven to have a beneficial effect on hair and scalp disorders. In addition, Low level Laser Comb is also made available for the patients to establish better circulation in the scalp thus controlling the loss of hair and augmenting hair growth.
At Dr. Batra's our nutritionists from London also lend their expertise by carefully charting out dietary dos and don'ts for our hair loss patients. These dietary tips have been clinically verified time and again and are derived from the vast experience of treating a large number of patients over more than 35 years.
Special formulations for our patients:
Our specially formulated Dr. Batra's shampoos have the right pH of 6.5 recommended by the New Zealand Dermatology Society. Many of our existing patients report good results with continued use of the same. Derived from natural products, these are very gentle on the scalp and yet very effective in treating hair disorders. For healthy hair in general, we suggest regular use of Dr. Batra' Shampoo (based on your hair type) and Dr. Batra's Conditioner.
Summarising the aim of treatment at Dr. Batra's
- To control hair loss and bring it within normal limits
- To reduce the pace of deterioration
- To stabilise the thinning of hair
What does treatment at Dr. Batra's consists of?
- Detailed case taking
- Use of advanced diagnostic technique - Folliscope
- Determining the constitutional homeopathic treatment
- External homeopathic application wherever required
- Providing detailed nutritional guidelines
- Administering Swiss Polarised Rays (SPR) therapy (based on the Nobel Prize winning principle of Piler light therapy)
- Providing expert advice on hair management after examining the type of hair and the condition of scalp
Our concluding message to all hair loss patients - Treat Early and Control hair loss before it gets too late!