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Get to the root of hair fall problem

by Arun Shirishkar

Hair fall has multiple causes and has long standing effect on a person’s psyche. Dr Viral Desai, celebrity cosmetic surgeon, DHI India and CPLSS, answers some vital questions about hair fall concern.

Why is hair fall a cause for concern?

In a recent study conducted by the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS), hair loss was voted as the most disturbing physical attribute, ahead of obesity, bad complexion and crooked teeth. The same study concluded that 62% of participants agreed that that hair is important for career growth. These are only a few of the popular perceptions that people have about hair. These underline the importance of hair in the society today. Hair fall is, therefore, a cause of concern for most.

What are the general causes of hair fall?

Genetic baldness is the biggest cause of hair fall. In addition, the rate of hair loss is aggravated by lack of proper nutrition, excessive use of cosmetic hair products, irregular lifestyle, unhealthy environment, etc.

How is it affected by environment, hair products or tools, hormones, diet etc?

The rate and pattern of hair loss is determined by the genetic make-up of an individual. This factor is largely unmanageable. Fortunately, the other factors are more within your control. As with the other tissues of the body, hair too needs regular nourishment and hygienic upkeep.

How to tackle hair fall problem?

A regular balanced diet, judicious use of haircare products and maintaining a clean scalp can slow down the rate of hair loss. Practicing stress-free lifestyle would also help.

What are the different types of hair fall?

Hair life cycle comprises the growth phase (anagen), the cessation phase (catagen) and the rest phase (telogen). Every day, we tend to lose about 50-100 strands of hair. It’s a result of these hair advancing into the telogen phase. This is normal and should not be a cause of concern. However, hair fall, which is more severe than normal may indicate an onset of alopecia – the condition in which you lose more hair than your body could replace.

Name a few good shampoos and conditioners.

A shampoo with balanced Ph is generally recommended. Do note that mere use of any product without a corresponding regulation of the other ‘controllable factors may not be beneficial at all. Hair care is a holistic process.

What are the home remedies that benefit? List a few home care remedies.

Caution should be exercised when considering home care remedies. For example, contrary to popular belief, it is not advisable to use hair oil. Hair oil could result in stickiness of the scalp, retaining dust and grime, which could contribute to hair fall. As a general rule, a clean scalp and proper nutrition would be helpful. You may also need added nutrition, for which you should consult your doctor.

What measures can be taken on an individual level to prevent hair fall?

A regular schedule, which includes exercise and nutrition is recommended. Avoid procedures such as blow drying and hair re-bonding. Also, products such as hair-dyes and colours may contain chemicals, which may damage the hair structure. Also, speak with your doctor about your hair fall for diagnosis and treatment.

How to deal with aggravated hair fall? Does it call for consulting specialist doctors?

Yes. In cases of aggravated hair fall, a visit to your dermatologist is in order. It may be possible to arrest hair fall in early stages of loss. Also, hair fall could be a symptom of an underlying greater malaise. It is recommended you discuss your hair loss problem with a dermatologist or plastic surgeon without delay.

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