Hair Loss

Struggling with hair fall? Here’s everything you can do to prevent and treat it

Struggling-with-hair-fall-Heres-everything-you-can-do-to-prevent-and-treat-it

Short, long or buzzed, your hairdo can make you feel happy, beautiful and powerful, it can help you make a statement (feminists traditionally shaved their heads to challenge archaic concepts of femininity) and an impact. You can choose how your mane makes you feel but for people who suffer from hair loss and thinning, it’s a helpless feeling—debilitating and disheartening. So, we called in the cavalry to give you the three-point guide to prevent and remedy hair loss so your tresses can no longer be the cause of your stresses.

The clinical course

By Dr Geetika Mittal Gupta, medical director, ISAAC

Dr Gupta highlights everything from hereditary factors; mechanical causes, like traction alopecia, caused by tight hairstyles; hormonal issues (factors range from PCOD to thyroid imbalances); stress; deficiencies (iron, Vitamin D, protein); illnesses (dengue, scalp infections and the like) and certain medications as the reasons behind unexplained hair loss. Your first move? Don’t panic (because, stress) and find a dermatologist/ trichologist for a diagnosis.

How much is too much?

“Fifty-100 strands falling per day is normal. Noticing more hair on your brush or leaving a hair trail is cause for concern. Women tend to lose hair post-pregnancy, and it’s problematic only if it doesn’t return to normal levels in three to four months.”

Doctor’s orders

“Follow a multi-pronged system of topical applications, supplements and treatments. Opt for phthalates and sulphate-free, mild shampoos. Turn to a diet of biotin, and Omega 3-6-9-rich foods and gooseberries with a combination of biotin, amino acids (like lysine), vitamins and natural-extract supplements. Topical applications, like Minoxidil, help on a temporary basis.”

The Minoxidil myth

“Minoxidil is a topical application used in a variety of concentrations in hair products—it opens potassium channels and widens blood vessels and helps better transport and supply of nutrients to the hair follicles, stimulating hair growth. Hair growth occurs after long-term use, and stops when usage ends. Collagen supplements can improve hair and skin texture.”

Silent treatment(s)

“Olaplex treatments help strengthen hair bonds from within. For thinning hair, mesotherapy or hair PRP is recommended. Mesotherapy is a painless, non-invasive and non-surgical cosmetic hair restoration procedure. PRP also works as fertiliser for hair growth and has to be done once a month for four months, at least. If you’re a viable candidate for a hair transplant, there are two types of procedures you can opt for: FUE (follicular unit extraction) or FUT (follicular unit transplantation).

The Ayurvedic approach

By Ipsita Chatterjee, Ayurvedic scientist, trainer and researcher

“According to Ayurveda, hair fall is mostly caused due to the aggravation and imbalance of the Vata dosha, which is the air and space element in our body, and manifests in brittle hair, while an unbalanced Pitta dosha causes premature greying and hair loss. To balance the Vata dosha, Shiroabhyanga or head oil massage is recommended. Oiling takes care of dryness, increases scalp circulation and stimulates hair follicles—choose from brahmi, castor, lavender, rosemary, bhringraj and gotu kola oil. The most common mistake that people make is applying oil on a dirty scalp. Can you imagine applying facial oil without cleansing first?”

Star players

Ayurveda lays emphasis on four major hair-care ingredients that can be used in a variety of ways: coconut, black sesame, bhringraj and indigo. Iron, Vitamin C and B12-rich foods stimulate hair follicles for hair growth—choose from sweet potatoes, Indian gooseberry and strawberry, spinach, fish, nuts, seeds, oats, pink lentils and black sesame.

Magic potion

If you’d rather stick to the jadi-butti method of healing, Chatterjee gives us a three-point plan.

Eat: Triphala, a popular fruit-based remedy (with amla, maritaki, baheda), which increases the absorption of iron and helps restore hair density and texture.

Apply: Whip up a mustard oil and yoghurt scalp masque into a buttery crème and apply on the scalp, massage well. Leave on for 20 minutes. Use a natural shampoo to rinse it off and follow with a hair conditioner.

Try: Gandusha (oil-pulling) with black sesame oil; jal neti-water nasal yogic cleansing every alternate morning; Pratimarsha Nasya with gingelly oil.

The salon solution

By Michel Baltazar, creative director, Jean-Claude Biguine India

Evil hair colour, cruel excessive heat and painful hairstyles. The cosmetic approach has always gotten the step-daughterly treatment but Baltazar busts every myth: “It’s been more than a century since permanent peroxide colours have been invented, and over 70 years since it’s been accessible to the public. If the colours were causing hair fall, we would know! Colouring products are applied only to the length of the hair without letting them penetrate the scalp, where the reproductive cells are present. It’s only if the colour mix is wrong that hair can become brittle. When it comes to hairstyles, if you’re losing hair I would recommend staying away from tight up-dos and buns as they create a high level of tension at the roots.”

Heat wave

“The repeated use of high temperatures causes dehydration by damaging the keratin and protective layer, making it thinner. Heat is not bad if used at the right temperature as per your hair type. Always use a heat protector.”

Cut and colour

“For an illusion of thicker hair, opt for shorter cuts, with full bases, like a bob, or a very subtle layered bob to bring volume on top of the head. For colour, lighter shades will always give an optical illusion of volume. The balayage plays the role of trompe l’oeil, giving it a more contoured appearance.”

All goods

Baltazar prescribes a range of products to battle every blue, “The Olaplex range is a great anti-breakage solution that rebuilds the hair bonds, making hair stronger than natural. To prevent hair loss choose L’Oréal Professionnel Expert Density Advanced Shampoo to restore hair vitality, and System Professional’s Balance range for nourishing the scalp. If hair loss has already begun, start using scalp nourishing serums and turn to in-clinic botanical solutions like those available at Trica Hair Clinic.”

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