Five ways to avoid hair loss

November 16, 2018 | By Dr. Sangay Bhutia (Hair Transplant Specialist in Delhi)

Five ways to avoid hair loss

There are a startling number of men around the world that suffer male pattern baldness, almost two-thirds of them. And unfortunately, it can hit them at any age. Some men, in fact, start losing their hair as early as in their twenties.

Certain types of hair loss are stimulated by unhealthy lifestyles, excessive smoking, high alcohol consumption, a bad diet, lack of exercise and crash dieting, but these are mostly reversible. However, hair loss caused by androgenic alopecia or male pattern baldness is permanent.

So what should people do? Here are some ways to prevent hair loss:

1. Get rid of harmful products, and step out of the hot shower

Some kinds of hair products laden with chemicals, and their regular usage is known to damage hair follicles and make hair fall. Products also cause build-up on the scalp that can cause dandruff and in turn the hair will become weak and shed. It is important to keep hair clean and product-free if it is falling. You can also try using more natural products like olive or coconut oil to style your hair.

Even for healthy hair, any residue of products should be washed off in a timely manner. Secondly, hot water for the hair is not good news either. It ruinshairin various ways: it strips the hair off essential oils, causing dry and flaky skin and dandruff, which makes hair weak. It is best to use lukewarm water to wash hair, which will clean the hair gently. Over shampooing and heat products are not good either.

2. Eat right

This is perhaps the oldest advice from the book, but it is also one of the most effective. Our skin and hair reflects what we put inside our body. Here are some things to keep in mind while planning a nutritious and wholesome diet.

a. Include a variety of seasonal fruits and vegetable in your meals. In general foods rich in zinc, iron, protein, and vitamin B12 are good for hair. These can be found eggs, nuts, leafy vegetables, fish etc.

b. Protein makes good hair: Often protein deficiency, especially in vegetarians, can cause hair fall. They can get their daily protein intake through nuts, eggs, beans and dairy products. Hair is essentially made of protein so getting enough of it in your diet can determine both the quality and quantity of hair.

c. If you have nutritional deficiencies, consult a specialist and they can help you build a daily diet chart. This should take you height, weight, age, and general health into consideration and specify the number of calories you need in a day, the place that you live in, the kind of work you do etc. The kind of foods that you should be consuming should be based to these parameters.

3. Medication and more

To understand how medication helps let’s first understand what causes hair fall in cases of pattern baldness. DHT, or dihydrotestosterone, a male hormone causes the hair follicle to shrink, become weak, and die or become incapable of producing any hair. The process, referred to as miniaturisation, causes permanent hair fall. The human body produces DHT as a byproduct of testosterone.

There are drugs available in the market thatessentially stop the conversion of testosterone to DHT, stopping hair loss.One such drug is Finasteride. A daily prescribed dose of Finasteride helps stop hair loss by blocking DHT production. Sometimes it is also helpful in bringing back dead follicles destroyed by miniaturization. Although, that does not happen in all cases.

Minoxidil is another drug used to slow hair loss. It is especially helpful in early stages of hair growth and usually starts showing results within 3-4 months of usage.

There are also DHT-blocking shampoos available in the market which use zinc and vitamin B12 to help with hair fall.

4. Good health is good hair

There are various health problems like those related to thyroid, stress, diabetes etc that cause hair loss. Stress is one of the major reasons of hair loss. Patients who have chronic stress, anxiety or depression should see a specialist and seek professional help.

They can also participate in stress-relieving activities like playing a sport, working out, yoga, or meditation. Stress related hair loss can be cured by curing the stress itself first. In the case of medical issues like diabetes, patients will have to follow the medical treatment they are getting, and hair fall can be arrested.

5. See a doctor

Losing up to a 100 strands of hair in a day is quite normal, but if your hair consistently falls in clumps, it is a cause of concern. It could happen because of various reasons, but it cannot be controlled if you don’t know the reason. A diagnosis can help identify the specific cause of hair fall, which can help a doctor determine the seriousness of the issue and suggest appropriate treatment. Patients should not avoid getting blood work, scalp biopsy or any other diagnostic test that the doctor might suggest to determine the cause. Study of the patient’s family history and their own medical history is key to understanding the reason for hair loss as well.

Hair loss is inevitable for some people but that should not affect their regular work and personal lives. People can try and avoid hair fall to an extent but for those who can’t hair restoration is always a very viable, affordable and accessible option.

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