Everything you need to know about hair loss

  • What is Hair loss?

    Hair loss is also known as alopecia or baldness. It is nothing but loss of hair from the part of the body or head. Most commonly the head is involved. One loses hundreds of hair every day. Loss of hundreds of hair is not a cause of concern but the bald patches that you see on your head or thinner hair indicated hair loss.

    Symptoms of hair loss

    There are numerous types of hair loss. The symptoms of hair loss may differ depending on the type of hair loss. Hair loss is observed on top of the head in women and in men it is mostly observed around the forehead or on the top of the head.

    As the hair enhances one’s beauty and overall appearance, persons suffering from hair loss have low self-esteem. This is a major cause of concern in women and teenage girls as they are more concerned about their looks than men and boys of the same age.

    Causes of Hair loss

    • The major reason behind hair loss is a family history. If any of your parents is suffering from hair loss you are more likely to inherit it. This is termed male-pattern or female-pattern hair loss.
    • Both psychological and physical stress from surgery and disease or disorder.
    • Chemotherapy, the most widely used cancer treatment has hair loss as the major side effect.
    • Combing your hair too hard, wearing tight braids or ponytails or using curling irons, dyes and harsh shampoos can result in hair loss.
    • As you age, hair gets thinner and tends to break more easily.
    • If you are not eating a well-balanced diet or you are not getting enough vital nutrients such as protein or iron in your diet.
    • Thyroid diseases, such as hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.
    • Fungal infections of the scalp, which are more common in children.

     

    Treatment

    Medications are useful for treating hair loss. Minoxidil and finasteride are commonly prescribed medications for the treatment of hair loss. Minoxidil stimulates hair growth both in male and female. Finasteride is used only for managing male pattern baldness. It reduces the rate of hair fall. Hair loss caused by thyroid disorders can be treated by taking anti-thyroid medications.

    The hair loss inherited from either of parents can be treated with hair transplant surgery. Hair transplant surgery is a long-lasting form of hair replacement in which the existing hair on the scalp are transferred to the bald area or area where the hair is thinned out.  Hair transplant surgery is primarily used for treating male pattern baldness. It can also be used in women with thin hair or in people who have lost some hair from burns or other injuries to the scalp, eyebrows or eyelashes.

    People who do not want to undergo surgery can use wigs.  Various ways of styling or combing your hair can also help treat hair loss. Hormonal treatment can also be helpful in certain cases.