Dr. Kuntal Deb On Hair Fall And Its Preventive Measures
Hair fall is the most common problem for both men and women. Alopecia can be of two broad types – scarring & non-scarring. The non-scarring types like Androgenetic Alopecia, Alopecia Areata, and Telogen Effluvium are far more common.
- What is the most common cause of hair loss in males?
- What is the most common cause of hair loss in females?
- Besides the common ones, what are the other noticeable causes of hair loss?
- What are the best treatment options for hair loss or alopecia areata?
- In extreme cases, what is the best treatment for hair loss?
- Do good hair care products prevent hair fall?
- Does hair transplant work effectively in case of hair loss?
In males, the most common cause of hair loss is Androgenetic Alopecia, also known as male-pattern baldness. To counter it, there are two FDA approved medications, Finasteride and Minoxidil. These medicines will prevent further hair loss by arresting the progress of Androgenetic Alopecia.
On the other hand, in females, the cause of hair fall or hair loss can be multi-factorial. Along with Female Pattern Hair Loss, there may be other underlying causes like Iron Deficiency Anemia, Hypothyroidism, PCOS, Post-Partum stage which can lead to hair loss. So, it is important to treat these underlying causes along with the treatment for hair loss.
Besides Androgenetic Alopecia, another common condition is Alopecia Areata which is an autoimmune condition. It appears in the form of coin shaped patches of hair loss on the scalp which may progress and lead to hair loss from the entire scalp or even the entire body. So, based on the extent and severity of Alopecia Areata, it can be graded as Alopecia Totalis and Alopecia Universalis. There are various other causes for diffused hair loss, which includes Telogen effluvium (TE), Anagen effluvium (AE), Hypothyroidism etc.
Unfortunately, Androgenetic Alopecia cannot be prevented, however it can be kept in control with the right medication. Depending on the extent of hair loss, the treatment options for both men and women include oral medications, topical creams or ointments, and low-level laser therapy among others. In cases where there is complete loss of hair or baldness in a particular area, hair transplant is the only option. PRP injected locally has shown good response in recent findings. Moreover, a healthy diet, proper exercise, sound sleep, stress control, and cessation of smoking too can help control hair fall.
In aggressive cases of Alopecia Areata, oral steroids may have to be started. Inj. Triamcinolone every 4-6 weeks has to be given intra-lesional. Topical steroids can be given daily, not more than 3 weeks at a stretch. For long term treatment, topical Tacrolimus is preferred.
While some might suggest that good hair care products can prevent hair fall, the real use of shampoo and conditioners is basically to cleanse and keep the hair shaft smooth and shiny. They do not have much use other than cleaning the impurities from the scalp and hair shaft. In fact, there are various home remedies which promise to improve quality of your hair. Amla, eggs, onion juice, etc. may improve density and quality of hair to an extent.
If the existing hair has entirely fallen off from an area and you are suffering from baldness then there is only one permanent solution, and that is hair transplant. The transplanted hair is usually permanent. However, the non-transplanted existing hair on the rest of your scalp will only stay for as long as the person is undergoing treatment for the same. Otherwise, they will fall due to the effect of Androgenetic Alopecia.
Sometimes hair loss can be your own doing due to a condition called as Trichotillomania which is a psychological disorder where the person has a compulsive desire to pull out one’s hair. Behavioral therapy and certain medications could help in the treatment of this disorder.
Dermatologist, Cosmetologist, Tricologist, Leprologist, Venereologist