Hair Loss/ Alopecia
Hair loss (alopecia) is a disorder in which the hair falls out from the scalp. This loss interferes with the useful biologic functions of the hair such as sun protection and dispersion of sweat gland products. Because hair has psychological importance in our society, patients with hair loss also suffer with psychosomatic disorders.
Normally 50 to 100 hairs are shed in a day for most individuals. This usually doesn’t cause noticeable thinning of scalp hair because new hair is growing in at the same time. Hair loss occurs when this cycle of hair growth and shedding is disrupted or when the hair follicle is destroyed.
Complete or excessive hair loss refers to Alopecia (Balding). Hereditary hair loss with age is the most common cause of baldness.
Causes of Alopecia:
The cause of hair loss may be related to one or more of the factors which includes family history (heredity), hormonal changes, medical conditions, medications, etc.
A variety of conditions can cause hair loss which may include:
- Hormonal changes due to pregnancy, childbirth or the onset of menarch/menopause, thyroid problems, etc.
- Patchy hair loss (alopecia areata)
- Scalp infections such as ringworm leading to scaly patches and hair loss
- Other skin disorders like lichen planus, sarcoidosis, etc cause scarring alopecia may result in permanent loss at the scarred areas
- Hair-pulling disorder (trichotillomania) (an irresistible urge to pull out their hair)
- Drugs used for cancer
- Excessive uasage of drugs (painkillers, antacids, immuno modulators, steroids) arthritis, depression, heart problems, high blood pressure and birth control, intake of excessive vitamin A, etc
- Radiation/chemo therapy
- A trigger event example sudden or excessive weight loss, high grade fever, surgery
- Excessive hairstyling or hairstyles that pull your hair tight, such as pigtails or cornrows, cause traction alopecia
- Treatments such as hot oil hair treatments and permanents can cause inflammation of hair follicles that leads to hair loss. If scarring occurs, hair loss could be permanent.
- Other causes: carbonated drinks, using hair rollers and hot blow-drying on your hair, using excessive harsh hair dyes, chemical shampoos, setting jells and hair sprays, and using polluted water for hair wash
According to Ayurveda:
According to Ayurveda the causes includes:
- Excessive accumulation of toxins results in an obstruction in the flow of the food nutrients that supply nourishment to the hair cells, leading to dry scalp, dry hair, split ends, and finally, thin hair or hair loss.
- Healthy hair also depends on healthy bones as hair and nails are by-products of the process of transformation from food to bones.
- hair loss due to old age (from 60 years on)
- Other causes include smoking, consuming excess alcohol, excessive intake of sour and salty food such as vinegar, pickles, spicy foods.,etc.
Signs and symptoms of Alopecia:
Depending on the cause hair loss can appear in many different ways. It can be sudden or gradual and affect just your scalp or your whole body. Some types of hair loss are temporary, and others are permanent.
Signs of hair loss vary between men, women and children. However, people of any age or sex may notice more hair collecting in their hairbrush or in the shower drain.
Signs of hair loss in Men:
- Thinning hair on the scalp
- A receding hairline
- A horseshoe-shaped pattern that leaves the crown of the head exposed
Signs of hair loss in women:
- General hair thinning, especially at the crown of the head
Signs of hair loss in children and young adults may include:
Sudden loss of patches of hair
- Complete loss of all hair on the body
- Patches of broken hairs and incomplete hair loss on the scalp and/or eyebrows
- Excessive shedding of hair, but not complete baldness due to various illnesses(typhoid, tuberculosis) and drug treatments, rapid weight loss, anemia, stress, etc.
Ayurveda Body Cure’s treatment plan for Hairloss/Alopecia:
After a detailed consultation by our specialist Ayurvedic Consultant, treatment plan is prepared according to the severity of hair loss and considering all other related symptoms. The plan will include herbal medication, herbal massage based therapies, detoxification/Panchakarma, dietary and lifestyle changes, Yoga and exercise, etc.
Your treatment plan will be recommended after your detailed consultation by our Specialist Ayurvedic Consultant. This will include specific herbal remedies, dietary and lifestyle changes, Yoga and other exercises, subtle detoxification along with herbal massage based therapies.
A combination of specific herbs is selected according to the individuals’ body constitution, severity of the skin disorder, climatic conditions, lifestyle, etc.
Herbs like Jatamansi (Nardostachys jatamansi ), Bramhi (Bacopa monnieri), Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), Bhringaraj (Eclipta alba), etc are used which are considered as hair growth stimulators and also promotes it.
Detoxification is the most important part of your treatment plan for hair loss. It helps in the elimination of toxins rapidly from the body, thus removing the toxin barrier and enhancing the effect of herbal medications. Virechan (Detoxification through lower channels) or Vamana (through oral route), Nasya (nasal medications), Basti (enema therapy) etc will be recommended accordingly after determining the condition of the disorder. These subtle or intensive detoxifications as decided by our Ayurvedic Physician will help you in a much faster and complete relief from hair loss and related skin issues.
Herbal Massage based therapies:
These therapies may include Abhyanga (body massage), Shirodhara (neck and shoulder massage), etc. which mainly de-stress the body and mind helping to cure hair loss. These massages also improve the blood circulation all over the body help in flushing out the toxins in the form of lymphatic drainage and urination.
Local applications such as herbal masks (Lepa) are also suggested to apply on the affected area.
Diet and lifestyle recommendations:
Sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy food intake habits lead to the aggravation of hair loss. Healthy cooking habits and dietary changes are suggested accordingly to improve your health, thus gradually nullifying the effect of poor dietary habits.
Yoga / Exercise and Yogic Breathing techniques:
Yoga and specific exercise are one of the most important parts of your treatment to get relief from mental stress and other psychological issues which affects your daily routine and aggravates hair loss.
Yoga postures may include Ustrasana (Camel pose), Sarvangasana (Shoulder stand), Halasana, Pwanamuktasana, and breathing techniques like Kapalbhati, Anulom-Vilom and Brahmri will help in relieving mental stress.
Thus healthy lifestyle and good cooking habits along with the above treatment plan will help in reducing your hair loss