As someone rightly said, our hair is our crowning glory and one of the most important attributes of our appearance. One of the greatest worries which literally everyone faces at some point is hair fall. This is no longer a source of worry for women alone, but plagues men too. Earlier, hair fall in men was regarded as a natural process of aging, something which one had to accept and live with. Today, hair fall occurs to nearly one third of population and the age and rate at which hair loss occurs, seems to be occurring at a much younger age with each generation. Hair fall over due course of time can lead to balding in men which can not only affect their self confidence, but also become a source of constant worry as luscious and beautiful hair is associated with beauty and youth.
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Hair fall is a normal phenomenon and about 100 hair are lost daily as part of the natural hair growth cycle. About 50 percent will be affected by male pattern baldness, also known as androgenetic alopecia. These both aren’t cause for concern. The normal cycle of each hair shaft consists of anagen, catagen and telogen phases which are the growth, resting and shedding periods of the hair follicle respectively. Usually, a hair shaft and follicle grows for 2-6 years with resting periods of few months in between and eventually falls out getting replaced by a new hair follicle. In male pattern baldness, not only does the growth phase get interrupted early, but even the hair gets thinner and ultimately stops growing altogether. This leads to a characteristic balding pattern over time. The most common cause of male pattern baldness is hereditary , though other causes which need to be investigated are cancers, hormonal, dietary hormonal imbalances, and stress. Another important factor in hair loss, especially in men, is constant usage of helmet or a cap.
Hair fall though painless is a major cosmetic concern but since hair loss is mainly related to genetic makeup, no treatment can bring back the lost hair. Yet, a number of easy and simple ways exist to prevent early hair loss. Here is a low down on the top tricks to cut down hairloss:
- Dietary modifications
- Include adequate protein in diet such as meat, eggs soy and fish. Hair is nothing but a protein called keratin, so with adequate protein, the hair remains healthy and shiny.
- Vitamins such as vitamin A and E are important for hair growth by improving blood circulation and sebum production. Sebum is the natural oil present on the scalp that helps prevent hair loss.
- Water keeps you hydrated and keeps the hair shaft healthy. So at least 6-8 glasses of water a day is a must.
- Quit smoking and drinking as both seem to reduce hair growth and affect the process of hair production. Both adversely affect and reduce blood circulation to the scalp, worsening hair loss.
- Eating a balanced diet can work wonders for your hair, certain nutritional deficiencies can lead to hair loss. Eat fresh fruits and veggies to improve your health. Eat a zinc-rich diet i.e. nuts and cereals along with a magnesium rich diet i.e. green leafy vegetables and nuts.
Exercise should become an integral part of your daily routine and should be followed religiously. Physical activity helps to reduce stress levels which are an important trigger in hair fall. Consult with your medical practitioner and confirm that no other underlying cause exists for hair loss.
- External applications for your hair
- Regular hair washes with a mild shampoo keeps your hair not only clean, but also reduces dandruff and sweat which can accelerate hair fall.
- Avoid using too much heat or appliances to style your hair. Harsh chemicals especially hair colours and dyes negatively affect hair quality and growth. Constant usage of such applications affects the fragility of the hair adding to your hair woes.
- Refrain from combing your hair when wet, as hair is more brittle at that time and tends to break faster.
- Avoid excessive sweating in scalp and head, especially during summers increase dandruff and aggravates hair loss.
- Massage and de-stress therapies
- Regular massaging with essential oils such as lavender, almond and other exotic oils helps in keeping your hair follicles healthy and active. In addition, they also work great as a stress buster and improve circulation of blood.
- Applying green tea on your scalp also improves hair quality and growth. Brew two green tea bags and apply on the scalp after it cools. Rinse after an hour and continue this regularly over a period of two weeks.
- Juice of onion, ginger or garlic applied on scalp and left overnight, produces excellent results in controlling hair fall.
- Apply aloe Vera gel regularly on hair for reducing hair fall.
- A combination of Amla and coconut oil along with a teaspoon of lemon applied in the scalp and left overnight is useful in reducing hairfall as well as dandruff.
- Yoga and meditation also help in reducing stress levels and keeping you healthy not only from outside but also inside thus which keeps you alert happy and active.
- Stárka, L. et al.Hormonal Profile of Men with Premature Balding. Experimental and Clinical Endocrinology & Diabetes. 2004;112(1), 24-28.
- McElwee, K.J. & Shapiro, J.Promising Therapies for Treating and/or Preventing Androgenic Alopecia. Skin Therapy Letter,.2012;17(6).
- Nyholt, D.R. et al. Letter to the Editor: Genetic Basis of Male Pattern Baldness. Journal of Investigative Dermatology. 2003;121, 1561-1564.
- Kaliyadan F, Nambiar A, Vijayaraghavan S; Androgenetic alopecia: an update. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. 2013 Sep-Oct;79(5):613-25.
- Khandpur, S.; Suman, M.; Reddy, B. S. “Comparative efficacy of various treatment regimens for androgenetic alopecia in men”. The Journal of dermatology .2009;29 (8): 489–498
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