Hair fall – Causes and remedies

It is perfectly normal to lose 100 strands of hair every day. But if you notice way too many of them, watch out! You might need help.

Hair truths!

Understand the basic science behind hair growth and fall. Like everything else in life, hair too has a growth cycle. Our hair grows for almost five years after which they stop growing and enter a resting phase. After a while, that ‘resting hair strand’ falls out and another growth cycle starts from the same follicle.

At any given time, 90% of hair is in the growing phase. Although the exact number of hair shed per day varies from person to person, studies show that shedding approximately 50-100 strands a day is normal. Anything beyond that is abnormal and most surely is indicative of the undesirable condition of hair fall.

Causes of hair fall:

  • Heredity
  • Illnesses like high fever, severe infection, severe flu
  • Thyroid diseases
  • Inadequate protein in diet and low serum iron
  • Certain medications
  • Cancer treatments – chemotherapy
  • Hormonal changes – pregnancy, childbirth, and usage of birth control pills
  • Major surgery/chronic Illness
  • Fungus infection (ringworm) of the scalp
  • Nervous habits such as trichotillomania (hair pulling)
  • Age and stress
  • Abuse with excessive styling and improper use of chemicals during bleaching and colouring

How to fix hair fall!

First figure the cause of hair fall, then treating it is easier.

Start with the basics: Keep your hair clean and tangle free with regular brushing, washing and conditioning.

Pay attention to the food you eat:

  • Eat a balanced diet, which has sufficient amounts of protein, iron and vitamins that are essential for healthy hair.
  • Make sure you have sufficient zinc intake (found in all types of whole grains) as it facilitates hair growth and checks premature greying.
  • Copper too is an essential nutrient; so have nuts, seeds, beans and milk – all of which are rich in copper.

Medication: Try medicines like finasteride and minoxidilcan slow down the process temporarily, but doesn’t stop hair fall permanently. Check with your doctor, before popping these pills.

Hair transplant: Finally, if nothing works you can try follicular unit hair transplantation.

Home remedies for hair fall:

  • Increase blood circulation around the hair follicles with an oil massage, at least once a week.
  • Apply a hair mask of ground fenugreek seeds (methi dana).
  • Make a homemade shampoo by mixing equal amounts of gooseberry (amla) and lime juice.
  • Applying lettuce juice, coriander and amaranth (a type of grain) on the scalp is also known to help.

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