Hair loss is a common complaint among men and women today. Hair loss is inevitable in the long run. But hair loss earlier than expected may be an annoyance.
Hair loss may be sudden, making a person fear that s/he may go bald soon. Another type is the progressive hair loss, marked by thinning of hair, where you slowly begin to see your scalp, and the hair does not grow long anymore.
If you have noticed a lot of hair fall in the last month or two, you may have non-scarring alopecia. In non-scarring alopecia, hair follicles are preserved with the potential for hair regrowth. Note that alopecia simply means hair fall or baldness.
However, in scarring alopecia, the hair follicle is irreversibly destroyed due to the destruction of stem cells in the bulge area of the outer root sheath, and replaced by fibrous scar tissue, leading to permanent hair loss.
The roots are completely damaged, probably due to skin infections, hair follicle infections, or other skin diseases at the scalp. Secondarily, it can also be due to burns or other mechanical/physical trauma.
This falls under the non-scarring type of hair fall and is the most common.
Androgenic alopecia can affect both men and women. Men with this condition, called male pattern baldness, can begin suffering hair loss right from their teens. It’s characterized by a receding hairline and gradual disappearance of hair from the crown and frontal scalp.
70-80% of men suffer from androgenic alopecia at some point in their lives. In contrast, only a fewer percentage of women are affected by it.
a) The stress that the body goes through in painful conditions can lead to hair loss. The stress-causing factors are anything as simple as lack of nutrition to as critical as major surgery. After going through an episode that kept a person in stress, hair loss begins three months after that. Thus, at Alka, we ask every recent episode in the life of our patients in the last two or three months.
b) Crash dieting is popular among men and women today. However, depriving the body of protein, a nutrient important for hair health and growth, can cause a sudden hair loss. Other nutrition deficiencies can also induce hair fall.
c) Also, if you lose too much blood during menstruation, iron deficiency can also trigger hair loss. Menstrual irregularity is also a factor.
d) Moreover, the growth of hormones during pregnancy can trigger hair to grow more. After delivery, the hormone level normalizes. But note that pregnancy-related hair loss isn’t that alarming.
e) Thyroid disorders (hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism) also cause hair loss.
f) Lack of proper sleep and insomnia (difficulty sleeping) are also one of the primary causes of hair loss.
g) Genetics also plays a vital role. Hair fall induced by genetics is called androgenic alopecia. Androgenic alopecia is symbolized by a receding hairline and gradual disappearance of hair from the crown and frontal scalp. 70-80% of men experience androgenic alopecia at some point in their life. In contrast, only a fewer percentage of women are affected by it.
h) If you have some sort of autoimmune disease or chronic illness, you are prone to hair fall problems.
i) Unexpected burns or physical stress on the hair can also start hair loss, creating a domino effect.
At any time, about 90% of our hair on the scalp is in a growing phase. The remaining 10% are in the Telogen phase or the resting phase. Basically, this phase is when the hair starts to shed and regrow. Thus, losing about 50 to 100 strands a day is normal. The strands shed, giving space for other hair strands to grow.
But in the hair fall case, more than this number of strands shed every day.
However, rapid hair loss is most probably temporary. You just lose the shaft of the hair. Since the hair follicles are intact, the hair will regrow. It is just that looking bald when the hair sheds itself might look annoying. This is a mild type of hair fall.
In the severe form of hair loss, the hair strands may fall more from one part than the other. This type of hair loss can even begin after puberty and progress from there. It starts above the temples and continues around the perimeter and the top of the head. Thus, this type of hair can leave a ring of hair along the bottom of the scalp, leaving the center area bald.
Mostly popular among men, this type of hair fall can eventually leave a man bald.
i) You can also exercise some preventive and hair-fall slowing measures yourself. For instance, if you have been coloring, straightening, or ironing your hair, you might want to put that on hold. These procedures multiply the hair loss even if they are not the primary causes.
ii) Wear a simple hairstyle that does not include any tight pulling of hair.
iii) Remember to shampoo and wash your hair at least twice a week to keep your scalp clean. Shampooing and washing the hair does not cause hair loss if you avoid any hard scrubbing or brushing.
iii) Any diet rich in protein, Vitamin B12, iron, zinc, biotin, Omega 3 fatty acids, Vitamin D, should be included in your diet. They help to prevent and treat hair loss. Protein is found in egg white, meat, soya, beans, and legumes. Similarly, salmon, fish, flax seeds, walnuts are good sources of Vitamin D. Iron is found in green leafy vegetables and cereals. Meanwhile, egg yolk is a good source of Vitamin B3 and biotin, both beneficial to the hair.
So, the conclusion is that sudden hair loss isn’t a concerning problem for most since the hair will grow back after the episodes of stress are over in your life. Thus, the patients only need reassurance that their hair will return to normal in most cases. Nevertheless, if your case is critical, your dermatologist might prescribe the required lotion and necessary oral medications.
Hair fall problems can sometimes have severe impacts on psychological health and self-perception. Thus, this is not just a cosmetic problem.
Self-care is very important for a human being. Modern science has made it possible to slow down, reverse, and treat the hair loss problems. These are the treatment methods available:
i) A 2% solution of Minoxidil is used to treat hair fall in females and a 5% solution is used to treat hair fall in males. This is a medicine that is applied to the hair scalp (not taken orally). Moreover, the absorption of Minoxidil is further enhanced by the microneedling procedure. (More on Microneedling in the latter part of this article).
ii) Finasteride medication is also used. However, this medication can only be used for adult males. This medication is used to treat male pattern baldness (androgenetic alopecia) at the crown and in the middle of the scalp.
iii) Your dermatologist might also prescribe iron or zinc supplements if deficiency of iron and zinc are the causes of your hair fall.
Our dermatologist at Alka might run a few blood tests to better diagnose the type and cause of your hair loss. Many information can be received from a blood test, like hormone levels, the effect of medication, or iron and protein levels. All these factors influence hair fall (and growth) in some way.
Basically, platelets are separated from your own blood sample and injected into your scalp. Since platelets have growth-inducing properties, platelet injection will make your hair regrow with vitality and strength in no time.
For an in-depth review of this procedure, please read this detailed blog post guide:
Furthermore, PRP therapy has proved to be exponentially more beneficial when used with other procedures.
For example, it is not uncommon for our dermatologist at Alka to do PRP injection therapy with microneedling. The benefits add up and multiply to cure your hair loss problem as effectively as possible.
This is done either by a device called derma roller or another device called derma pen.
This procedure improves blood flow in the scalp area, hence strengthening the hair. Microneedling also induces collagen production, a substance that promotes hair and skin vitality and health.
At Alka, we prefer to use derma pen over derma rollers for numerous reasons.
There are multiple reasons why microneedling is a recommended procedure for patients struggling with hair loss. The first reason is obvious: microneedling stimulates the production of collagen that keeps the hair follicles strong and better-supplied with nutrients. The second, less obvious reason is that microneedling enhances the absorption of medications of hair loss. For instance, microneedling accelerates and enhances the absorption of Minoxidil, thus increasing its effectiveness.
Growth factors are placed near the hair follicles. This improves the strength, length, and volume of hair. Thus, problems like brittle hair, excessive hair loss can be cured with mesotherapy.
However, mesotherapy is a less common procedure at Alka Cosmetic and Dermatology. For most of our clients, PRP with microneedling, or the procedures separately has proven to be the best.
We can always opt for a hair transplant procedure for patients who have gone bald or have very little hair on their scalp.
This is suitable for clients who have come to the clinic too late in their hair fall phase. Basically, a hair transplant is a type of surgery that moves hair you already have to fill an area with thin or no hair.
These procedures are what the title suggests they are. Basically, procedures of last resort are when your hair loss problem can’t be treated with any other procedure. Also, these procedures can also be used when you are on a treatment procedure but you need to have a head full of hair for special events like parties.
These are the treatment procedures available:
a) Hair spray can be used to grow hair-like fibers on the hair. This solution is temporary.
b) Hair wig can be used for parts of your scalp or the entire hair (Hair wig/ Hairpiece )
c) Har pigmentation can also be used to camouflage (hide) the bare scalp seen after hair loss.