HAIR LOSS : How To Prevent It ?

What causes hair loss

Hair loss causes a person to appear much older than he / she really is. Although majority of the patients are men, many women do suffer from this condition as well. In this series of post, I would like to discuss the causes of hair loss, treatment options as well as prevention strategies.

Common causes of hair loss are:

Hereditary. This is by far the commonest cause of hair loss. It usually occurs with aging and in predictable patterns. Very likely, you have a hair pattern similar to your parents or grandparents. So if you close relative has hair loss, you are at risk.

Hormonal. Hormonal inbalance due to dietary changes, estrogen excess or testosterone excess may result in hair loss. That is why, women during pregnancy and menopause will see their hair dropping easily.

Stress. Often emotional stress and work stress lead to hair loss. While removal of stress often lead to cessation of hair loss, how easy it is for us to remove stress completely?

Others. Chemotherapy, medication, radiotherapy and constant pulling (tying of hair) or overzealous hair styling (frequent perming of hair or hot oil treatment) are some of the less common causes of hair loss.

What can we do to prevent hair loss?     

While there are things that we cannot change e.g. family history, we can play our part in preventing hair loss.

Overzealous hair styling. While it is cool to keep up with the newest hair style trends overzealous hair styling e.g. perming, hot oil treatment, dying of hair, tight braids or pony tails, are bad for the hair. Overzealous is this types of hair styling encourages hair loss.

Nutrition. Good nutrition helps to keep body strong and healthy. Our hair follicles are part of our body and should be well nourished. Food which is rich in vitamins A,C,D and E, zinc, biotin, and protein are essential in maintaining good hair health.

High insulin may destroy our hair follicles. It is important that we reduce sugar intake and eat food that is lower in glycemic index to reduce the circulating insulin in the body. Fat reduction also reduces the excess estrogen, which is responsible in hair loss. 

Stop smoking. Smoking has been associated with hair loss and is it a no brainer that stops smoking helps.

What are the treatment options available for hair loss?

Medications. There are different medications that are used to treat hair loss. Some of them reduce inflammation while others suppress excessive hormonal effect onto the hair follicles. Speak to your doctor. Your doctor will decide on the best treatment that suits you most.

Hair transplant. Hair transplant is a procedure in which hair is removed from the back or side of your scalp to be transplanted onto the target area. As you can see, it is a tedious procedure and hence, occasionally, the procedure s broken in a few stages.

Injections. Growth factors or peptides that stimulate the growth of hair follicles are injected at the target sites to stimulate the growth of hair follicles. This is performed via fine needles and the discomfort is minimal.

Different treatment modalities confer different effectiveness and often, a combination of therapy is used to treat patients. Treatment should also be individualized as the causes hair loss and the quality of the hair follicles differs from one person to another. Do speak to your doctor about it if you have any concerns.