Expert Opinion by Trichologist, Dr Riffat H Lucy | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, May 30, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, May 30, 2017

Expert Opinion by Trichologist, Dr Riffat H Lucy

Dr Riffat is a certified trichologist from the International Association of Trichologists. After rigorous training at IAT, Singapore Centre and 101 Hair Care Malaysia, she currently practices as an established Trichologist in Dhaka, where she provides all types of hair care services for the scalp, eyebrows and beard. Star Lifestyle engaged in a heart-to-heart conversation with the hair expert, unearthing secrets and busting myths related to our long favoured tresses.

What are the top five reasons for hair fall?

Hair shedding is a normal and natural process to our everyday lives with a detachment of around 50 to 70 strands daily. The danger level befalls when the daily hair loss exceeds the rate of new hair growth.

Major reasons behind the unanticipated condition are as follows -

General medical conditions: Thyroid disease like hypothyroidism can contribute to hair loss due to the underactive thyroid glands. Scalp infections like exfoliative dermatitis and contact dermatitis can also cause hair fall and significantly reduce new hair growth.

Malnutrition- Protein deficiency in one's diet may shut down hair growth completely. Deficiency of essential amino acids, minerals and vitamins further contribute to hair fall.

Anaemia due to an iron deficiency is an easily fixable reason for hair loss. A low level of vitamin B is another correctible cause.

Hormones play a major role in losing scalp hair. Hormone changes during pregnancy can cause major hair loss. The change in the hormonal balance that occurs during menopause may also have the same result.

Stress, both physical and emotional, has an influence on hair loss.  For instance, in the case of divorce, death of a loved one, or while caring for an ageing parent one might experience increased hair fall.

Few drugs meant for cancer patients may unfortunately also cause hair to fall out. Chemotherapy usually destroys rapidly dividing cells and ultimately has a negative effect on hair follicles.

Does shaving hair increase its thickness or density, as the elderly of our country seem to suggest?

No. Shaving can neither make the hair grow back, nor can it make the hair grow thicker, contrary to popular belief. It cannot make hair darker nor can it increase follicle numbers. These factors are largely determined by genetics, not by shaving or trimming.

Does shampooing hair everyday dry it out? 

Trichologists suggest shampooing hair every alternate day. After shampooing, it needs to be hydrated by proper conditioning.  This helps to reduce dryness and hair fracture.


Split end or trichoptilosis is the splitting or fraying of the hair-shaft. It usually happens due to over experimentation on hair, excessive heat, chemical damage and mechanical stress on hair.

Some steps can reduce the damage, giving hair a healthier look:

Trim the split ends about 6mm above the split.

Wash your hair upside-down with due care.

Pat your hair dry. Brush or comb it gently.

Always moisturise hair after shampooing it with hair masks or conditioners.

Protect your hair by covering it while sleeping, swimming, or going outside.

Limit heat styling and direct exposure to sun.

Take professional suggestions and scalp-hair therapy.


The early onset of graying hair is mostly genetic. Hair follicles contain pigment cells that produce melanin, which helps in the genetic hair colour process. When your body stops generating melanin, hair presents itself as grey, white, or silver.

Smoking tobacco can produce free radicals in the body resulting in oxidative stress. This results in a reduction of pigment production. Deficiency of folic acid, zinc, copper, selenium, and vitamin C can also reduce hair pigment production.

Most men suffer from an early onset of alopecia. Some women are even known to suffer from this disease. How can this condition be prevented and treated?

Basic scalp care and scalp hygiene are important. Regular and correct way of shampooing will keep the scalp clean, less oily and balanced in pH. Poor hygiene makes the scalp oily, dirty, sweaty and easily susceptible to infection and parasites. If this condition persists for a long period of time, it will contribute towards excessive shedding of hair.


Hair transplant is a permanent method to restore hair, where follicles are implanted on the balding area. The process follows certain criteria to make it successful:

Age should be 23 years or older

There should be a visible amount of hair loss

Need to rule out any underlying medical causes to hair loss

There should not be any medical contradiction to hair surgery


Each and every scalp is unique and has different types of concerns. The variations of different scalps are due to a few interesting reasons, like one's own personal hygiene, lifestyle, food preference, nutrition, scalp infection, stress management, etc. It is important to do a microscopic analysis of scalp and hair, including hair follicles, before planning an effective treatment regimen.

Sometimes, a trichologist might be able to minimise hair loss just by selecting the right shampoo and treating scalp infections.

Dr. Riffat H. Lucy sits at 'Elixir Health Beauty N Wellness', You can contact her at:

Address: Rd 5, Mohakhali DOHS

Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed

Model: Rupom

Hair Styling: Aklima Khadiza


For more on hair care and hair colour keep an eye on the next issue of Star Lifestyle.


On Page 15 of Star Lifestyle, Volume #16, Issue #48, dated May 23, 2017 the column “Recipes from Siam” by Shaheda Yesmin inadvertently stated her as the President, Women's Culinary Association. It should read Vice President instead. We sincerely regret the error.


Ice-cubes for  the skin!

Ice-cubes are life savers. It is one element that can easily befriend your skin. During the summer months, our skin gets dehydrated and stretches causing a lot of discomfort. Wrap two cubes of ice in a clean cloth and rub it all over the face or put them on the eyes. It's incredible cooling effect provides instant relief. It also reduces large pores on skin, minimising the production of oil in your face. Massaging the face regularly with ice cubes can reduce acne, swelling and can cure sunburns. Boiling rose water with cucumber juice and making it into ice cubes can reduce puffiness and get rid of the dark circles under the eyes. It increases blood flow and makes your skin look radiant.

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