Our hair has been a great part of defining our beauty. So taking care of our hair ought to be a big part of our daily routine. Hair loss and baldness can both be very traumatic for the patient, especially psychologically. Hair loss can be an indication of inadequate diets, dirty hair, dandruff, oily scalp or some medical conditions. Hair fall is one of the most common problems among young people. When they come to consult with me, I find most of them don't take proper care of their hair and also they don't maintain a proper diet. We should remember that proper nutrition is important for a good health and that includes good skin, nails and hair. Without a balanced diet, hair growth begins to slow as the hair loses its luster and strength, the scalp becomes unhealthy and as a result there is hair fall. Keeping the hair and scalp clean is also a part of hair care.
There is a myth that using shampoo causes hair fall. This is wrong. Not cleaning your hair properly causes hair fall. Hair has to be washed regularly with a good non-medicated shampoo at least twice a week. For those who go out everyday and are exposed to dust, this can be increased to 3 to 4 times a week. After shampooing, properly rinsing and then applying a good conditioner will make your hair healthy and also make it look good.
People with dandruff should use an antidandruff shampoo; if the problem persists an expert should be consulted. Having dandruff for a long time causes damage to the scalp and the result is permanent hair loss.
Oily scalp or oily hair is another cause of hair fall and has to be dealt with immediately. Washing the hair with shampoo everyday reduces the problem a lot. But if it persists for a long time, an expert should be consulted. For those who work in the media and have to use a lot of hairstyling products, extra care needs to be taken. It's best to use products which are mild and have less chemicals; also try to wash off hair gels, sprays etc after having them on for a while. Start everyday by using a mild gentle shampoo. Use oil to detangle hair and wash it off immediately. Remember, oil should not be left for more than two hours on the scalp. After shampooing, everybody should use a good conditioner at least twice a week. If we maintain these basic hair care rules, I am sure we will have good, healthy hair.
There are some patients who suffer from hair loss due to medical reasons. For them, the cause needs to be identified and then treated. These include prolonged illness, thyroid problems, diabetes, premenopausal syndrome in women etc. Proper investigation needs to be done to find the cause.
Also sometimes, we get patients who have developed baldness in some small spots on the scalp, this is known as Alopecia arietta. All of these conditions can be treated once identified. Usually some medicines along with hair care and diet are advised. For some patients, laser hair combing is also advised. In this procedure, the hair follicles and scalp are stimulated by a low dose laser light, which increases the blood supply and makes the hair grow stronger. This will only work if hair follicles are present and not in places which are totally bald.
So what about people who have developed baldness? Well in this modern day and age treatment is available for everyone. Hair Transplant is a very popular procedure done worldwide to treat baldness. This is a surgery done to transplant hair into the bald area. Hair follicles from the patient are extracted and then implanted into the bald area. The patient needs to have a donor area from where the follicles can be taken.
The scalp is divided into two areas; the part on the front is the temporary zone and the back part is the permanent zone. This division is done on the basis of the presence of DHT receptors on the follicles of the frontal area and the absence in the back area. Stimulation of excess hormone causes the hair to fall. That is why hair loss or baldness in adult males on the frontal and crown area is very common. This is also known as male pattern baldness. These patients are candidates for hair transplant surgery.
After examining the patient, we find that along with baldness there are hairs that are small and have stopped growing. After talking to the patient, we sometimes find there is a family history of baldness. As the area on the back is devoid of DHT receptors, we hardly find patients who become bald at the back. A strip of hair is taken from the back and follicles are separated under magnification. Each follicle can contain 1, 2, or upto 3 hairs. These are then implanted into the bald area. The implanted hair starts growing 4 to 6 months later like the patient's own natural hair. These hairs can be cut and styled like the rest of the patients' hair. As these hairs are taken from the permanent zone, these hairs do not fall off.
Hair transplant is a very popular and recognised procedure. It is very safe and takes 5-6 hours to complete. The procedure is done under local anesthesia and can be done at any age as needed. Women who suffer from reduced density due to hair fall at pre menopause can also opt for this procedure. Also, patients who have lost hairs in accidents can get hair transplanted. Patients, who have inadequate eyebrows eyelashes or moustache, can also choose this surgery for hair replacement.
As you can see, many options are now available for the treatment of hair loss and baldness, so we don't need to suffer the pschychological stress of not having adequate hair. Just taking proper nutrition and keeping the hair clean helps a lot and if not, consulting an expert will definitely solve the problem.
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed
Make-up: Farzana Shakil’s Makeover Salon
Styling: Isha Yeasmi