The best way to think about the manner in which hair grows is to picture a garden. How well the trees and plants grow in a garden is completely a result of what happens ‘underground’. Several factors play an important role in keeping hair in their best possible form. Likewise, there are several things that trigger hair loss. This includes our genetic make-up, diet, hormonal changes within the body, medication, illness, infection or chemicals. All these things have the potential to stop hair from being formed properly.
Hair, especially for women, is beyond just a bunch of fibre. It depicts style and personality in women. However, unfortunately, 40% people who go through temporary or long-term hair loss are women.
Female pattern hair loss (FPHL) is the most common cause of hair loss in women. It is characterised by decrease in hair density over the frontal scalp and crown while retaining the frontal hairline.
The chances of having this pattern of hair loss increase with age. The prevalence rises with age from around 12% for women aged between 20-29 years to above 50% women over the age of 80.
DID YOU KNOW?
Hair loss is most commonly encountered post menopause, but it may begin as early as puberty.
Only 43% women aged 80 years and over fail to show any sign of hair loss.
Hair loss can ensue post pregnancy or after the stoppage of birth control pills.
It has a larger effect on women as compared to men, as it’s less socially acceptable.
Hair loss can lead to low self-esteem and depression among women.
CAUSES OF HAIR LOSS IN WOMEN
The cause for female pattern baldness is not well understood, but it is thought to be related to ageing, hormones and genetics. It can be a result of strong genetic predisposition. Another factor that contributes to this is hormones. With changes in the androgens (male hormones) after menopause, many women feel that the hair on their head is thinning.
Scalp hair is also sometimes damaged by cosmetic procedures like prolonged traction, permanent weaving, colouring, shampoo, soap, as well as faulty scalp massage, iron-deficiency anaemia, thyroid problems and polycystic ovarian disorders.
Certain conventional medications — e.g., steroids and anti-cancer drugs — may also cause diffused hair loss. Short-term hair loss may occur in women taking oral contraceptive pills.
SYMPTOMS OF FEMALE PATTERN BALDNESS
Hair thinning is different from that of male pattern baldness. In female pattern baldness:
Hair primarily on the top and crown of the scalp thins, which generally begins with a widening through the centre hair part.
The front hairline remains intact besides normal recession.
The hair loss seldom advances to complete baldness.
Diffuse thinning of the crown region with conservation of the frontal hairline.
Frontal midline recession with thinning and widening of the central part of the scalp without diffuse hair loss; this pattern is known as the 'Christmas tree pattern'.
Thinning associated with bitemporal recession, which looks similar to male pattern baldness.
Thinning occurs on the side and top of the scalp.
An early diagnosis and treatment is essential to control hair loss.
HOMEOPATHIC TREATMENT FOR HAIR LOSS IN WOMEN
Homeopathy is safe and has proven efficacy in treating hair loss, and other hair and scalp problems in women. It is different from conventional medicine, where individuals are diagnosed on the basis of the illness or disease and the same medicine is given for each condition. Homeopathy aims to treat the whole person, depending on a multitude of factors, such as the personality of the individual, their state of mind and lifestyle rather than just the physical or apparent symptoms.
Research papers have demonstrated that homeopathic medicines counteract the effects of DHT (Dihydrotestosterone), thereby controlling the progression of hair loss without any side effects. It has also shown that the homeopathic remedy Thuja is effective in controlling hair loss.
Homeopathic remedies may help in hair loss cases for women that occur in certain stages of life. For example, Pulsatilla works in cases of hair loss during puberty. Likewise, Sepia works in post-delivery hair loss and Baryta Carb works well in childhood hair loss.
These tips may help control or prevent hair loss:
Wash hair regularly with lukewarm to cold water to keep the scalp clean and healthy, but avoid doing it too frequently.
Condition hair regularly to prevent hair loss due to breakage.
Avoid rubbing wet hair vigorously with a towel - just gently pat them dry.
Opt for a nutritious balanced diet.
Avoid tight hairdos.
Avoid red meat since it's a DHT (Dihydrotestosterone) activator and therefore aggravates hair loss.
Avoid extreme dieting.
Add iron-rich food in your diet like poultry, seafood, beans, dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, and dried fruit such as raisins and apricots.
Avoid impulsive twisting, rubbing or pulling your hair.
Treat hair gently while washing and brushing.
A wide-toothed comb can help prevent pulling out hair.
Avoid harsh treatments such as hot rollers, curling irons, hot oil treatments and permanents.