When confronted with hair loss, you are faced with two options. You could accept the situation and turn to Google to learn how to style thinning hair. Or you could take the smarter route and seek consultation to determine the cause of the issue. More often than not, hair loss is more than just a cosmetic dilemma; it is primarily a medical problem with causative underpinnings. What is little known and often overlooked is that hair loss could, in fact, be a sign of a latent illness.
While it is customary to shed about 50-100 strands of hair a day, it could be a worrying symptom when the hair appears to fall in ‘clumps.’ There can be various triggers for hair loss. A bout of flu or fever, or illnesses like jaundice, typhoid, and malaria can cause hair loss. Other medical triggers for hair loss include thyroid disorders, skin conditions of the scalp such as psoriasis and dermatitis (eczema), hereditary causes or hormonal imbalances, ovarian cysts, and anaemia, among other health concerns. Diabetes can also cause hair loss, much before it is clinically diagnosed. That’s not all, though. Hair fall can also be the result of an emotional upheaval – say, if one is upset or stressed about losing one’s job.
Hair loss can predict a more serious underlying disease.
Consider this: Studies suggest that hair starts thinning several weeks before diabetes mellitus is detected. Hair loss, likewise, can imply a three-fold increased risk of heart diseases, especially in men. A study published at Harvard Medical School (USA) found that hair loss concentrated on the crown (vertex; top) of the head rather than the front, especially in men, was linked with a greater risk of heart diseases. This was further corroborated with another study of 40,000 men. This study concluded that individuals with male pattern baldness (losing hair from the crown of their head) had up to a 70% increased risk of heart diseases. The alarming fact is — the younger they were when they lost their hair, the greater the extent of their baldness and the higher their risk of heart diseases.
In India, hair loss affects about 85% men and 45% women. While marginal hair loss and thinning on the crown affects about 25% women by the age of 45, it grossly affects 65% men at a much earlier age.
It is critical to recognise and acknowledge hair loss as a medical condition, rather than thinking about it as a cosmetic, superficial symptom. Research also suggests that an early visual cue, such as hair loss, for heart diseases is important because it can serve as an early-warning signal, both for individuals to change their lifestyles and doctors to help prevent the disease from developing further — before it triggers a possible heart attack. The sooner we’re able to diagnose the underlying cause of hair-loss, the faster and more effectively we are able to address the real and potential medical conditions that are causing hair loss.
In order to do this, it is important to study a person’s individual medical history, evaluate chronic and previous conditions, and the tendency to contract certain diseases based on lifestyle or genetics. An individual and personalised approach to investigating hair loss will lead to accurate diagnosis and treatment of the underlying causes.
Such an in-depth level of personal investigation is taken up by homeopathy. An in-house study conducted at our clinics on 190,000 patients taking homeopathic treatment for hair loss showed ‘good improvement’ in 94.1% cases. The figures are in agreement with authenticated survey results published by reputed external sources, such as A C Nielsen and American Quality Assessors.
Can hair loss be reversed? Yes, hair can certainly regrow if the medical reasons for it are effectively treated. So, the next time you are faced with hair loss, don’t stress. Instead, get to the root of it.