Hair loss, which is known as alopecia, is a chronic dermatological disorder in which people lose some or all of the hair on their head and sometimes on their body as well. It is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the hair follicles.
How to reduce hair loss and to fasten hair growth?
What are the causes of hair loss?
- Physical stress: A type of hair loss which caused by physical or emotional stress is telogen effluvium. Some of the physical traumas such as surgery, a car accident, or a severe illness, even the flu can cause this type of temporary hair loss. However, the three stages of hair growth are the anagen, catagen, and telogen phases. A stressful event can shock the hair cycle which increases the shedding phase. But the hair will start growing back when your body recovers.
- Emotional stress: as well as the physical stress, emotional stress can also impact your hair. But the good news is that hair loss causing by stress is not permanent.
- Pregnancy: Pregnancy is one example of the type of physical stress that can cause hair loss. The hormonal change during pregnancy keeps you from losing your hair. After delivery, the hormones will return to normal levels, which allow the hair to fall out and return to the normal cycle.
- Lack of protein: According to the American Academy of Dermatology, if you lack protein in your diet, your body may ration protein by shutting down hair growth. This problem can happen about two to three months after a drop in protein intake.
- Cosmetic procedures: such as shampooing too often, perms, bleaching, and dyeing hair can lead to overall hair thinning by making hair weak and brittle. Moreover, tight braiding, using rollers or hot curlers, and running hair picks through tight curls can also cause hair to damage and break.
- Medical conditions: Thyroid disease, lupus, diabetes, iron deficiency, and anemia also cause hair loss. Yet, when the condition is treated, the hair will return unless there is scarring as in some forms of lupus, lichen planus or follicular disorders.
- Chemotherapy: Some of the drugs that are used to fight against cancer can also cause your hair to fall out.
How many types of hair loss?
According to the WebMD, there are several types of hair loss, which also called alopecia:
- Involutional alopecia is a condition in which the hair gradually thins with age, while more hair follicles go into the resting phase, and the remaining hairs become shorter and fewer.
- Androgenic alopecia: is a genetically determined disorder manifested by the gradual conversion of terminal hairs into indeterminate, and finally into vellus, hairs.
- Alopecia areata is a recurrent non-scarring type of hair loss which can affect any hair-bearing area and also manifest in many different patterns. Even though it is a benign condition and most patients are asymptomatic, it can cause emotional and psychosocial distress too.
- Alopecia Universalis: it causes all body hair to fall out, including the eyebrows, eyelashes, and pubic hair.
- Trichotillomania: it is seen most frequently in children. It is a psychological disorder in which a person pulls out one’s own hair.
- Telogen effluvium is a form of non-scarring alopecia which manifested by diffuse hair shedding, often with an acute onset. Anyway, telogen effluvium is a reactive process caused by a metabolic or hormonal stress or by medications. In common, it spontaneously recovers and occurs within 6 months, unless a background of pattern alopecia is present.
Symptoms of hair loss/alopecia
- Gradual thinning on top of head: it is the most common type of hair loss, which affects both men and women as they age.
- Circular or patchy bald spots: this type of hair loss usually affects just the scalp, but sometimes it also happens in beards or eyebrows.
- Sudden loosening of hair: physical or emotional shock can cause your hair loss. This type of hair loss generally causes overall hair thinning and not bald patches.
- Full-body hair loss: occurs in some conditions and medical treatments, such as chemotherapy for cancer. It can result in the loss of hair all over your body, but your hair will grow back.
- Patches of scaling that spread over the scalp: is a sign of ringworm. It may be also accompanied by the broken hair, redness, swelling and, at times, oozing.
Tests and diagnosis of hair loss
Your physician or doctor will give you a physical exam and such the following tests will be performed before making a diagnosis.
This may help uncover medical conditions related to hair loss, such as thyroid disease.
Your doctor scrapes samples from the skin or from a few hairs plucked from the scalp to examine the hair roots. This can help determine whether an infection is causing hair loss .Microscopy helps uncover possible disorders of the hair shaft.
Boost your hair growth with natural remedies
Onion is also a powerful natural remedy. It is a rich source of sulfur, and it helps boost your hair grow. The sulfur present in onion boosts the formation of collagen tissues that promotes hair growth. However the strong smell of onion makes it repulsive to many people, but you have to try it if you want to have long and gorgeous tresses. For the remedy, you need to finely chop onion and extract out its juice. Just massage the scalp well with this juice and rinse off with a mild shampoo. You can also use red onions or shallots for this natural remedy. Just follow the same method and apply this juice on your scalp and leave it on for about 20-30 minutes. Then rinse your hair with a mild shampoo. Do it once a week. Moreover, onion can also be used with honey as a hair mask.
It is known for its strong flavors using in the kitchen and many health benefits. It is one of the fast hair growth home remedies and is well known for controlling hair fall. It is one of the best natural home remedies for scalp fungus. The high level of compound allicin that found in garlic is very important in curing hair loss. Selenium present in garlic also works with the vitamin E to improve your hair growth. It helps boost the circulation in the scalp and increase hair growth. Boil 7 to 8 cloves of crushed garlic with olive oil and apply it to the roots of the hair -follicles. Repeat this thrice a week to notice the difference. Furthermore, it can be applied on the scalp by boiling it with coconut oil. Massage the scalp with this potion, two to three times a week, for best results.
3. Coconut milk
It is rich in vitamin E and fats that help to hydrate your hair and keep it healthy and strong. In addition, coconut milk is rich in proteins, essential fats, minerals such as potassium and other vital ingredients for your hair growth. Therefore, washing your hair with coconut milk can help reduce breakage of hair. Anyway, you can also use coconut oil as it also contains the same nutrients and hence, it strengthens your hair right from the root through the shaft to the tip. Massaging your scalp regularly with this oil provides a protective action against hair loss. You can grate coconut and squeeze out the milk by mixing in a little water. Most importantly, it also has antibacterial properties that protect the hair from damage.
It is an excellent remedy for hair growth, especially when it is combined with olive oil. Eggs are a rich source of sulfur, iron, protein, phosphorus, iodine and zinc. Healing properties of the egg whites work really well to replenish and restore the softness of your hair. The high levels of proteins, zinc, sulfur, iron, phosphorus and iodine contain in eggs is the most amazing mask you can apply to your hair for thick hair growth. You just crack open two eggs, separate the yolk and apply the egg white mask to your hair. Leave it on for about 15 minutes. It will look shinier and healthier instantly. If used regularly it will help in growing your hair fast.
5. Egg, Honey and Olive Oil mask
You can also use these three ingredients for helping boost your hair growth. The combination of egg, honey, and olive oil makes this remedy one of the best natural hair conditioners for dry hair. Honey is an amazing home remedy for hair growth which helps rejuvenate dry, damaged and brittle hair. As it is a natural humectant, it attracts and stores moisture in the hair strands and the antioxidants and nutrients present in honey supply the hair follicles with the essential nutrients that promote hair growth. Olive oil is important natural oil that provokes hair growth. Olive oil prevents the production of DTH hormone that causes narrowing of the follicle shafts. The antioxidant in the oil improves the health of the scalp and neutralizes the damage caused by styling products. It also fights dandruff, fungi, and bacteria and keeps the scalp clean and healthy. Add one teaspoon of honey and olive oil to an egg white in a bowl. Mix it together and form a smooth paste. Apply this paste over your hair and leave it on for 20 minutes. Rinse it off with cool water and apply shampoo. Rinse it off thoroughly and see the difference.
What should you add to your diet to fasten your hair growth?
Since hair is made of protein, it is very important to add enough protein to your diet for making hair healthy and strong. When you don’t have enough protein in your diet, your hair will become dry, brittle and weak. Very low protein diets may result in hair loss. You can add chicken, turkey, fish, dairy products and eggs as excellent sources of protein along with vegetarian sources such as legumes and nuts to your diet.
Iron is a necessary mineral for hair and too little iron (anemia) can cause hair loss. The hair follicle and root are fed by a nutrient-rich blood supply. When iron levels fall under a certain point, you may experience anemia. This disturbs the nutrient supply to the follicle, which affects the hair growth cycle and may result in shedding. You can find iron in animal products such as red meat, chicken and fish provide iron with a high bioavailability. To help your body absorb iron, what you need is enough vitamin C.
3. Vitamin C
Vitamin C aids the absorption of iron so foods high in vitamin C are good to eat in relation to iron-rich foods. It is also an antioxidant which is used by the body. You can vitamin C in blueberries, broccoli, guava, kiwi fruits, oranges, lemon, strawberries and sweet potatoes. Also, vitamin C helps in the production of collagen that helps strengthen the capillaries which supply the hair shafts. 250 mg of vitamin C per day can help boost collagen production which has the added bonus of reducing wrinkling.
4. Vitamin A
our body really needs vitamin A to make sebum. Sebum is an oily substance which is made by our hairs sebaceous glands. It offers a natural conditioner for a healthy scalp. Without sebum, you may experience an itchy scalp and dry hair. Include animal products and orange or yellow colored vegetables which are high in beta-carotene (which makes vitamin A) such as carrots, pumpkins, and sweet potatoes in your diet.
5. Vitamin E
The sun can damage our hair just like it can damage our skin so ensure you eat foods rich in vitamin E to provide protection for your hair. Notably, it aids the body’s ability to manufacture keratin within hair strands to reduce breakage. Supplementing with 400 IU of vitamin E can be helpful to restore locks.
are the important fats that the body cannot make itself, and so must be obtained through our diet. It is found in the cells that line the scalp and provide the oils that keep your scalp and hair hydrated as well. You can find omega-3 in some oily fishes such as salmon, herring, sardines, trout, and mackerel. Also, it is found some plants including avocado, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts.
7. Zinc and selenium
zinc and selenium are the important minerals that help protect our scalp. A lack of zinc can contribute to hair loss and a dry, flaky scalp.
is a type of water-soluble B vitamin. Very low biotin can cause brittle hair and may lead to hair loss. Include biotin rich foods such as whole grains, liver, egg yolk, soy flour and yeast in your diet.
What are the tips for preventing hair loss?
- Include enough supplements such as vitamin A, B, C, E, protein, iron and other useful ingredients in your diet.
- Don’t wash your hair with hot or warm water.
- Do not shampoo your hair too often.
- Use a natural conditioner like coconut milk or coconut oil to help your hair moisturized and prevent damage.
- Drink adequate water.
- Keep the scalp clean and avoid dirt and dust.
- Hair trimming is again a good option for preventing loss of hair.
- Don’t tie your hair tightly.
- Do not comb your hair when they are wet.
- Avoid blow drying of hair on the daily basis.
Additional sources: MayoClinic, WebMD, Medscape, health.com