What is Baldness?
What are the Symptoms of Baldness?
- Gradual Thinning: Gradual thinning is the predominant type of hair loss generally occurring as people age. It is common for men to notice that the hairline at their forehead may recede. Women typically experience a widening in the part of the scalp. Recently, it has become increasingly common for older women to notice their hairline is receding, like men
- Bald Spots: For some, hair loss occurs as a patchy bald spot or as a circular pattern on the scalp, eyebrows, or beard. Another symptom that suggests balding is that your skin starts to become painful and itchy, which means it may start to thin or gradually fall out.
- Sudden Hair Loss: If you have recently experienced an emotional or physical shock, be gentle with your hair. The quick change may cause your hair to come out or be loosely attached to your scalp. If your hair does start to come out, remember that hair loss is temporary, so your hair will likely grow back over time.
- Full-body Hair Loss: Full-body hair loss occurs because of certain diseases or certain treatments like chemotherapy.
What are the Causes of Baldness?
In general, people lose somewhere between 50 to 100 strands of hair a day, which is approximately the same rate at which your body replenishes it. However, hair loss occurs when your body’s ability to replenish hair falls below the amount of hair being lost. In Ayurveda, hair loss is a result of body type and improper balance of dosha. Those that are Pitta or have excess Pitta in their system are more likely to experience balding or find that their hair becomes grey before their peers. Here are some causes for baldness:
- Genetic: Hair loss occurs most commonly in those that have received the gene that causes hair loss as a person ages, scientifically known as androgenic alopecia. Hair loss in the form usually occurs in predictable patterns and gradually. In women, it means widening of the part on the scalp. For men, that means bald spots and a receding hairline.
- Medical Conditions and Hormonal Changes: A variety of medical conditions and hormonal changes can cause temporary or permanent hair loss, such as hormonal changes in menopause, thyroid problems, childbirth, or pregnancy. Health conditions such as Alopecia areata occur when the body’s immune system attacks hair follicles. Other health conditions include trichotillomania (hair-pulling disorder), ringworm, and scalp infections.
- Medication Side-Effect: Hair loss can be a side-effect of various medications used to treat conditions like high blood pressure, cancer, depression, arthritis, heart problems, and gout pressure. Consult your healthcare provider if any of your current supplements or medications may lead to hair loss.
- Radiation From Chemotherapy: When enrolled in treatment programs like chemotherapy for cancer, the hair may not grow back because chemotherapy targets rapidly dividing cells. The hair follicles are one of the most quickly dividing cells within the body, so it’s very common for chemotherapy patients to lose their hair. If you’re undergoing chemotherapy, consider using a cooling cap, which can reduce your risk of losing hair during chemotherapy. After treatment, the hair typically grows back with no significant repercussions.
- Stressful or Traumatic Events: After an extremely emotional or physical shock, the body may show signs of general thinning or hair loss; however, this type of hair loss is almost always temporary.
- Hairstyles and Treatment: Predominantly in women, those that try hairstyles that pull their hair tight, such as tight pigtails or cornrows, may cause a type of hair loss known as traction alopecia. In addition, hot-oil hair treatments or permanent ones can also cause hair loss. While brushing and combing, use a hair detangler and avoid tugging. Try a wide-toothed comb to get the knots out. Try to limit hair tension from braids, barrettes, and rubber bands. Lastly, avoid permanents, hot-oil treatments, curling irons, or hot rollers because these treatments can be harsh.
- Avoiding Smoking and Ultraviolet Light: While outside, protect your scalp from direct sunlight and ultraviolet light. Avoid smoking because new studies have shown a correlation between smoking tobacco products and damaged hair follicles.
When to see a Doctor?
Generally, balding is a gradual process that occurs over time and comes with age. If you notice constant hair loss, see your doctor and voice your concerns because they will likely be able to help. Like any health condition, it’s essential to seek help early rather than waiting. For women who struggle with their hairline receding, consult a trusted physician. If you seek help earlier, you are more likely to avoid permanent baldness.
Lifestyle Changes to Prevent Baldness
- Aloe Vera: Try drinking ⅓ cup of Aloe Vera Juice or a (1) tablespoon Aloe Vera Gel with a pinch of Cumin about three times a day for about three months.
- Anti-stress Tea: Eliminating stress will help to reduce the chances of balding. Make a tea with ½ teaspoon of Jatamansi and ½ teaspoon of Brahmi in 1 cup of hot water. Drink 2 or 3 times per day.
- Food For Your Hair: Your diet dictates the healthiness and strength of your hair. Consider adding dairy products like yogurt, milk, and cheese to your diet. Other foods like daikon, white radish, coconut, cabbage, and cooked apples are all great for you and your hair. Try a handful of white sesame seeds in the morning because it’s rich with 1,200mg of Calcium and Magnesium, which is excellent for your hair.
- Herbs For Your Hair: Certain herbs can be used to help maintain healthy hair. Try this formula: five parts Dashamoola, four parts Bhringaraj, and three parts Jatamansi. At bedtime, add ½ teaspoon of this mixture to 1 cup of goat’s milk, let it boil, and drink. This formulation will help to maintain your bone health and support your hair health.
- Massage: Stiffness in your neck and whiplash from a car accident or rollercoaster ride may also contribute to your hair loss. To relieve pain and relax your neck muscles, massage your shoulder and neck muscles before showering.
- Meditate for Relaxation: Meditation is a great way to reduce tension and stress. Try sitting quietly, taking deep breaths in and out, and observing your breathing. If your mind wanders, gently bring it back to focus on your breath.
- Mineral Supplements: Mineral supplements like calcium, magnesium, and zinc will help to improve your hair health. Try taking supplements with these specifications: Calcium 1,200 mg. Magnesium 600 mg. Zinc 60 mg. (take at bedtime).
- Oil Massage: Another effective way to pacify pitta is to rub some coconut oil on your scalp and the soles of your feet at bedtime. Wear some old socks to keep the coconut oil from getting all over your sheets. As for the pillow, cover it with a towel so it won’t get damaged by the oil. Try to massage your scalp with Brahmi oil, vitamin E oil, or Bhringraj oil when you’re getting ready for bed to prevent unnecessary hair loss. The massage will aid scalp circulation by targeting the follicle. The combination of the oil and the massage will bring the minerals necessary for healthy hair.
- Yoga Postures: Yoga postures such as the Cow pose, Cobra pose, Camel pose, and Shoulder stand may help relax any tension in your neck and indirectly support your hair healthy.