Hair Care :: Hairfall, Baldness, Hair loss, Alopecia and Dandruff
Today, in the fast moving world of competition, it has become extremely important to be presentable so as to get noticed or one gets swayed away in the world. As we know beauty is skin deep but an appealing outer persona can give an extra boost to one?s confidence.
Hair also contributes in adding points to our personality. The hair grows from the hair follicle, the number of which varies from individual to individual. Each hair follicle has its own cycle. From each follicle, a strand of hair grows for about 3-4 years, after which it then rests for few months, after which it is shed. The follicle then rests for few months after which a new strand of hair grows from it. Thus, to keep your hair healthy, you have to keep the follicles healthy.
But, now a day, hairfall and dandruff have become a common problem. Basically, the fall of 50-100 hair per day is a normal procedure but more than that is really troublesome. Hairfall may be due to some medical causes e.g. hormonal diseases like hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. Infact, strong antibiotics may also cause hairfall as its after-effects and even the chemotherapy given in carcinoma cases may also result in hairfall in the later consequences. But infections of the scalp e.g. lice, ringworms etc. emerge out as a cause in the majority of cases.
In most of the cases, hairfall is due to some non-medical causes. The major factor in these is the diet i.e. improper nutrition. Due to the fast moving pace of life today, people are resorting to junk food like burgers, colas, fries etc. which have no nutritive value. People now a days, don?t concentrate on their quality of diet, which results in deficiency of different essential nutrients in their body and effects the body as a whole. This deficiency is also manifested on the hairs, their strength, nature, texture and glossiness. Stress also seems to play an important role in hairfall. Stress sp. emotional stress is a major factor. Even sudden acute stress also causes hairfall. Even in the normal physiological state i.e. pregnancy, the hormonal imbalance occurs to such an extent that the hairfall becomes common.
Other factors include lack of scalp hygiene due to insufficent washing of hair or even excessive washing of the hair. Similarly, regular blow drying, overuse of harmful chemicals example hair dyes, shampooes or overexposure to sun, affects the strength of hair. Vigorous combing also contribute to hairfall.
Hair fall (Alopecia) is of different types, which actually defines the reasoning behind hairfall-
ALOPECIA AREATA- It is an autoimmune disease resulting in loss of hair on scalp and if worsen may lead to the loss of hair on whole body. In this, the affected hair follicles are attacked by the cells of the body, thus resulting in the arrest of hair growth stage. It starts as one or more small, round, smooth bald patches on the scalp. It usually begins in the childhood but may occur in all ages and races.
ANDROGENIC ALOPECIA- This type of alopecia usually run in the families. It usually starts after the age of 20 and then the hairloss slowly progresses over years. In females, the hair slowly thinned out and bald spots usually do not occur. Men first develop hairloss at the temples, followed by an enlarging bald spot on the top of head. These are usually associated with aging or genetic predisposition.
TRACTION ALOPECIA- This type of alopecia arises due to different hair styles i.e. tying the hair tightly or in a same style for a long time weakens the hair. Vigorous combing can also lead to hairfall.
Alongwith hairfall, dandruff is another major problem now a day. It appears as dry, white in small, uncysightly flakes sp. on scalp. But from where the dandruff arises? Actually, scalp cells replenish themselves after every day. The dead scalp cells are constantly being pushed from the deepest layer of the epidermis to the skin surface, where they gradually die. But, when these dead epidermal scalp cells are shed in large clumps, they appear as dandruff. People mostly associate dandruff with insufficient hair care. But there are other several reasons for it. These can be categorised as-
EXTENAL/SEASONAL CAUSES- Winters, Excessive use of hair sprays and gels, improper use of hair colouring agents, excessive use of electric hair curlers, dry indoor heating, infrequent washing of hair, inadequate rinsing hair after washing, stress or anxiety.
INTERNAL CAUSES-Hormonal imbalance, poor hygine, allergic hypersensitivity, lack of rest, excessive consumption of sugar, fat, starch, improper nutrition, hereditary predisposition, excessive perspiration, overactie oil glands.
Now with dandruff and hair fall being so common, you even need some option for them. And in today’s world of glamour, a lot of options are available which include various health centers, health clinics etc. These health centres claim to make people look 20 years younger and people out of no choice and frustration fall into the trap. But the fact lies in their expensive charges because of which people think twice before entering. The major troubling point is that you are to pay the whole amount prior to use of the facilities. Now you are at no choice left but to attend all their sessions, whether you like it or not. And even in some cases the results are not so promising as they seem to be in their advertisements. In some cases even recurrence of the complaint is also seen. Now even after paying a good amount of money to these centres if the problem recrrs again, then what will be the state of mind of the individual who is already a sufferer? What is to be done next for him? Is he to live with state throught his life?
Some people try to use home remedies for such problems. Infact many of these should be regularly followed even by the healthy person as regular washing of hair and combing gently. Regular washing of the hair will keep them clean and decreases the risk of scalp infection and thus hair fair and dandruff. Combing softly will also help reducing hairfall. Home remedies also include the regular use of henna, amla and lemon, which provide strenght and softness the hair. Regular oiling with massaging also help in reducing the chance of dandruff and hairfall.
Home management tips-
* For dandruff, apply yogurt to hair and rub through, then wash out.
* Wash hair with neem leaves in boiling water or weak salt water to check fall and dandruff.
* To prevent dandruff: Massage 2 limes directly on scalp (burning sensation) or apply curd to scalp or white vinegar. Wash with anti-dandruff shampoo. Also a paste of fresh spinach (methi type) before bath.
* To prevent hair loss: rigorous daily hairs massage, eat 3-5 almonds a day and 2 dates with breakfast. Massage hair with oil. Eat coconut.
* Braid your hair if long enough. Include sesame/oil, B complex, calcium pantothenate (great for prevention of hair fall) in diet. Get a quick trim. Keep hair loose tied.
* Wash hair with neem leaves in boiling water or weak salt water to prevent and stop hair fall
* Don?t overcondition. it makes hair brittle.
* Don’t overbrush hair, and don’t comb or pull hair when wet.
* Take your B’s. B vitamins help prevent graying and keep hair strong and healthy.
* Hair conditioner: lemon juice concentrate diluted 50% with water is the best hair conditioner. It even eliminates dandruff.
* Use warm compresses on the skin.
* Add 1 teaspoon of camphor to half a cup of coconut or neem oil. Store it in glass container. Dosage: Massage this oil into the scalp before bed.
* Mix 1 teaspoon of castor, mustard and coconut oil each and massage into the scalp.
* Mix one part of lemon juice with two parts of coconut oil. Massage into the roots of the hair regularly.
* Massage the scalp gently with coconut or almond oil daily for 10 to 15 minutes.
* Increase green leafy vegetables, salads, milk, fruits and sprouts in the diet. Take more proteins, milk, buttermilk, yeast, wheat germ, soya beans, whole grains and nuts.
Homoeopathic management is thought to be best in cases of hairfall and dandruff. Through this scince, you can work over the cause and thus destroy the causative factor which will help the patient in receiving back. The constitutional remedy will help the patient in overcoming all of his compliant. Along with the constitutional remedy some specific medicine can be used which will help in further nurturing and strengthening of hair.
Wherever stress is the causative factor, medicines help to reduce the stress and thus hair fall. The medicines help to strengthen the immune system thus preventing the chance of alopecia areata. The medicines can be used externally to strenght the hair follicle from outside and also internally to prevent hair fall and strenghten the roots.
Some of the specific homoeopathic medicines include:
*Arsenic- touching the hair is painful. Bald patch at or near the forehead. Scalp covered with dry scabs and scales, looking rough and dirty, extending to forehead, face and ears.
*Calc. Carb.- Hairs fall out especially when combing especially during confinement. Dryness of hair, great sensitiveness of scalp with yellow or white scabs on scalp, sensation of coldness of outer head.
*Lyco- Hair become grey early, hair falls of after abdominal diseases, after parturition with burning and scalding, itching of the scalp, specially on getting warm from exercise during the day.
*Flour. Acid- Large patches entirly denuded of hair, new hair dry and breaks off. Often hair matts at the ends. Baldness.
*Car. Veg.- Falling out of hair after severe diseases or abuse of mercury with great sensitiveness of scalp to pressure, Hair falls out more on back of head, after severe illness or parturition.
*Nat. Mur.- Hair falls out if touched. Mostly on forepart of head, Temples and beard, scalp very sensitive and greasy.
*Phos.- Round patches on scalp completely deprived of hair. Falling of hair in large bumdles on the forehead and on the sides above the ears. The root of the hair seem to be dry, the denuded scalp look clear, white and smooth, dandruff copious, falls out in clouds.
*Staph.- Hair falls out mostly from occiput and around the ears, with humid, fetid eruptions or dandruff on the scalp. Hair pulls out without pain after the slight effort.
*Arnica – Improves the blood circulation to hair roots. This in turn prevents hair fall and promotes hair growth. It enriches the scalp with nutrients which helps to cure and control dandruff. It is a natural scalp coolent and hence prevents scalp diseases.
Homoeopathic medicines are a good solution for these problems, if they are taken with proper guidance and supervision of the physician. Thus, do CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN before starting any medication.
(Hair Care :: Hairfall, Baldness, Hair loss, Alopecia and Dandruff published at SpiritIndia on Wednesday, August 18, 2004)
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