Hair loss has been a problem for as long as humans have existed. For most of the time, humans have also tried treatments for hair loss. While the understanding of the hair loss process has progressed tremendously, human ability to stop the process or reverse its effects 100% have not progressed.
Hair loss, while not life threatening, can certainly be ego threatening. Numerous studies have illustrated the psychological impact of hair loss on adults as well as children. Societal stereotypes still exists which portray bald people as less virile and weaker than those with a full head of hair.
Hair loss affects 35 million men and 21 million women in the United States alone. It is estimated that 40% of men have some amount of noticeable hair loss by age 35 and 65% of men have some amount of hair loss by age 60.
Psychology of hair loss
Though hair loss is not a life threatening condition, studies have illustrated that hair loss can have significant effect on quality of life. Patients can experience additional stress from concern over hair loss which in turn can add to future hair loss. Many studies have been performed which reinforce the fact that hair loss can take a psychological toll on the person with the loss and carry negative stereotypes.
According to hair loss learning centre web site, a 1971 study done with a picture of the same person with different degrees of baldness drawn in was shown to 60 people. Respondents indicated that person with the balding head of hair was rated as unkind, bad, and ugly. Yet the same person with a full head was rated as handsome, virile, strong, active, and sharp.
Unfortunately adults are not the only patients affected by hair loss. Children also suffer from hair loss and the psychological impact should not be minimized.
(D.J Verret, MD; patient guide to hair loss & hair restoration 2008; 1-6)
Causes of hair loss
- Genetic predisposition – family history of hair loss increases the risk.
- Autoimmune disease – some times hair loss associated with some autoimmune disease like SLE, vitiligo etc
- Hormonal disorders – can also occur in the condition in which there is hormonal disturbances occurs in the body like hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism.
- Skin diseases – skin diseases like psoriasis, eczema, dermatitis commonly causes hair loss.
- Radiation therapy or chemotherapy – in certain diseases like cancer causes severe hair loss
- Nutritional deficiency – nutritional deficiencies like deficiency of iron, vitamins, zinc causes hair loss.
- Excessive combing – may cause hair loss from scalp.
- Burns – burns anywhere in the skin causes loss of hair.
- Menopauses – hair loss is very common in the menopausal age of women.
- Other causes – mainly include high grade fever, major surgery, hemorrhage, certain drug intake, starvation, chemical exposure, renal dysfunction etc.
Diagnosis of the cause of hair loss
It mainly include detailed medical history, full blood count, serum iron, renal function test, thyroid function test, liver function testy, microscopic examination of hair etc.
Hair loss treatment
Treatment of hair loss depends upon cause and medical condition.
Homeopathic treatment of hair loss- Homeopathy is one of the most popular holistic systems of medicine. The selection of remedy is based upon the theory of individualization and symptoms similarity by using holistic approach. This is the only way through which a state of complete health can be regained by removing all the sign and symptoms from which the patient is suffering. The aim of homeopathy is not only to treat hair loss but to address its underlying cause and individual susceptibility. As far as therapeutic medication is concerned, several well-proved remedies are available for homeopathic treatment of hair loss that can be selected on the basis of cause, location, modalities and extension of the hair loss. For individualized remedy selection and treatment, the patient should consult a qualified homeopathic doctor in person. There are following hair loss remedies are given which are much helpful in homeopathic treatment of hair loss treatment:
- Thuja – falling of hair due to white scaly dandruff.
- Phosphorous – falling of hair in bunches. Leaving patches here and there.
- Acid Phos – falling of hair from head, also from eye-brows, eye- lashes and genitals; due to grief.
- Selenium – falling of hair from whole head leaving the scalp smooth and hairless. Falling of hair from eyebrows and face giving a strange appearance.
- Alumina – extensive falling of hair of the scalp, parts become entirely denuded. Falling of hair all over the body including eye-lashes.
- Acid Flour – falling of hair due to syphilis. The hairs are dry, they mat; they split and break. Become ragged in masses and lusterless.
- Natrum Mur – falling of hair in pregnancy. Losing hair after chronic headache, grey hair due to exhausting ailments.
- Lachesis – falling of hair during pregnancy
- Borax – hair rough and horny cannot be combed smooth. Hair tangle at the tips and stick together. If these bunches are cut off, they form again.
- Pulsatilla – excellent remedy for hair fall, sensation of hair in eyes.
- Nitric acid- profuse falling of hair, especially of vertex with eruptions. It may be due to syphilis, nervous headaches, debility or emaciation. Scalp sensitive.
- Vinca minor – bald spots with itching of the skin, oozing moisture, matting hair together. Irresistible desire to scratch.
- Ammon Mur – falling of hair from eye-brows.
- Rhus Tox – falling of eye-lashes
- Mercurius – falling of hair due to syphilis
- Sulphur- very unruly hair with itching of scalp better at sea- side.
- Sepia – falling of hair during menopause and pregnancy. Losing of hair headaches. No desire for conjugal.
- Medorrhinum – falling of hair with itching of scalp. Better at sea side.
Hair loss treatment with allopathic mode – entirely depend upon cause and medical condition.
Other natural and alternative methods of treatment include – Ayurveda, Massage therapy, Acupressure, Acupuncture, Yoga, meditation, green tea, Naturotherapy.