Hair fall can be a distressing concern for many individuals, impacting both their appearance and self-confidence. Whether you’re experiencing mild or severe hair loss, finding effective ways to address this issue is crucial. In this TH Cosmetic‘s guide, we will explore various strategies and tips on how to cure hair fall, offering insights into potential solutions to help you regain healthier, thicker, and more resilient hair.
Identifying the Root Causes
Genetics and Hormones
Hair loss due to genetics and hormones is often called Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA) or male/female pattern baldness. It is the most common cause of hair loss in both men and women. Here’s a detailed explanation of how genetics and hormones contribute to hair fall:
- Genetics play a significant role in determining your susceptibility to hair loss. If your parents or grandparents experienced hair loss, you are also more likely to.
- Specific genes can make hair follicles more sensitive to the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT), leading to hair thinning and eventual miniaturisation of follicles.
- Hormonal changes can disrupt the natural hair growth cycle. Hormones like androgens, estrogens, and thyroid hormones play crucial roles.
- DHT is a byproduct of testosterone in males and can bind to hair follicles, causing them to shrink over time.
- In females, hormonal imbalances such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or menopause can contribute to hair loss.
Stress and Lifestyle Factors
- High stress levels trigger the release of stress hormones like cortisol, which can disrupt the hair growth cycle.
- Stress-induced hair loss, known as telogen effluvium, can result in sudden hair shedding.
- Poor sleep patterns, smoking, and excessive alcohol consumption can negatively impact hair health.
- Overusing hairstyling tools and products can weaken hair shafts, making them more prone to breakage.
- Rapid weight loss or gain can affect hormone levels, leading to hair loss.
- Extreme dieting or nutritional deficiencies can deprive the body of essential nutrients for healthy hair growth.
- Hair is primarily composed of a protein called keratin. Inadequate protein intake can result in weak and brittle hair.
- Deficiencies in vitamins such as Biotin (B7), and Vitamin D, and minerals like iron and zinc can impair hair growth.
- A balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains is essential for hair health.
- These conditions cause itching and flaking of the scalp, leading to hair breakage and thinning. The inflammation associated with seborrheic dermatitis can also affect hair follicles.
- Psoriasis on the scalp can result in red, scaly patches that can cause hair loss in affected areas.
- Fungal infections like ringworm can damage the hair shaft and scalp, leading to hair loss.
Creating a Personalized Hair Care Routine
Scalp Massage Techniques
- Frequency: Regular scalp massages can improve blood circulation to the hair follicles and promote healthy growth. Aim for at least a weekly massage or as often as you like.
- Technique: Use your fingertips to massage your scalp in circular motions gently. Start at the forehead and work towards the nape of your neck. Apply mild pressure to avoid damaging the hair or irritating the scalp.
- Oil Massage: Use natural oils like coconut, almond, or jojoba oil for added benefits. Warm the oil slightly and massage it into your scalp for a soothing and nourishing experience.
- Relaxation: Scalp massages benefit your hair, help relax your mind, and reduce stress. Take your time during the massage to enjoy the calming effects.
Proper Hair Washing Habits
- Water Temperature: Use lukewarm water to wash your hair, as hot water can strip away natural oils and lead to dryness. Rinse with cool water to seal the hair cuticles and add shine.
- Shampoo Application: Apply a small amount of shampoo to your palm and lather it by rubbing your hands together. Gently massage the shampoo into your scalp, focusing on the roots, and let it run down the length of your hair as you rinse.
- Conditioner Application: Apply conditioner mainly to the lengths and ends of your hair. Avoid the scalp to prevent product buildup. Leave the conditioner on for a few minutes before rinsing thoroughly.
- Washing Frequency: The frequency of hair washing depends on your hair type and lifestyle. Generally, washing every 2-3 days is suitable for most people. Overwashing can strip away natural oils, while underwashing can lead to an oily scalp.
Here are natural remedies for hair fall using Aloe Vera, Coconut Oil, Onion Juice, and Amla (Indian Gooseberry), with detailed information for each:
Aloe Vera for Hair Growth
Aloe Vera is a popular natural remedy for promoting hair growth and reducing hair fall. It contains enzymes that repair dead skin cells on the scalp and promote hair growth.
How to use:
- Take an Aloe Vera leaf and extract the gel from it.
- Apply the gel directly to your scalp and massage gently.
- Leave it on for about 30 minutes to an hour.
- Rinse it off with lukewarm water.
- Aloe Vera moisturises the scalp, preventing dryness and itching.
- It helps balance the pH level of the scalp, promoting healthy hair growth.
- Aloe Vera contains proteolytic enzymes that repair damaged hair cells.
- Regular use can make your hair shinier and more manageable.
Coconut Oil Treatments
Coconut oil is known for its nourishing and moisturising properties, making it an excellent choice for preventing hair fall and promoting hair health.
How to use:
- Warm a few tablespoons of coconut oil until it becomes lukewarm.
- Apply the oil to your scalp and gently massage for a few minutes.
- Leave it on for at least an hour or overnight for deep conditioning.
- Shampoo and rinse thoroughly to remove the oil.
- Coconut oil contains lauric acid, which has antimicrobial properties, protecting the scalp from infections.
- It penetrates the hair shaft, reducing protein loss and strengthening the hair.
- Coconut oil prevents dryness and reduces breakage, promoting hair growth.
- It adds shine and softness to the hair.
Onion Juice Benefits
Onion juice is also rich in sulphur, which can improve hair growth by increasing collagen production in the hair follicles.
How to use:
- Grate an onion and extract its juice.
- Apply the juice to your scalp using a cotton ball or your fingertips.
- Leave it on for 15-30 minutes.
- Rinse it off with a mild shampoo to get rid of the smell.
- Sulfur in onion juice boosts collagen production, promoting hair growth.
- It improves blood circulation to the hair follicles, nourishing them.
- Onion juice can reduce hair thinning and hair fall.
- Regular use may lead to thicker and healthier hair.
Amla (Indian Gooseberry) Hair Masks
Amla is a rich source of Vitamin C and antioxidants, strengthening hair follicles and promoting hair growth.
How to use:
- Mix Amla powder with water to make a paste.
- Apply the paste to your scalp and hair.
- Leave it on for 30-45 minutes.
- Rinse it off with water and a mild shampoo.
- Amla strengthens hair follicles, reducing hair fall.
- It adds shine and lustre to the hair.
- Amla’s antioxidant properties protect hair from damage.
- Regular use can prevent premature greying of hair.
How To Cure Hair Fall: Medical Treatments
Finasteride is an oral prescription medication for male pattern baldness (androgenetic alopecia). It works differently from minoxidil and has a more specific mechanism of action:
- DHT Inhibition: The primary cause of male pattern baldness is the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Finasteride works by inhibiting the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase, which converts testosterone into DHT. By reducing DHT levels in the scalp, finasteride helps slow down hair loss and, in some cases, promote hair regrowth.
- Maintenance of Hair Follicles: Finasteride is particularly effective at maintaining existing hair follicles. It may not necessarily stimulate new hair growth, but it can significantly slow down the progression of hair loss and prevent further thinning.
- Long-Term Treatment: Finasteride is taken orally daily, unlike minoxidil, which requires topical application. It is generally considered safe and effective when used as prescribed by a healthcare provider.
Minoxidil is a popular over-the-counter topical medication for hair loss, particularly in androgenetic alopecia (male and female pattern baldness). Here’s how it works:
- Vasodilation: Minoxidil primarily functions by dilating the blood vessels in the scalp. This dilation increases blood flow to the hair follicles, enhancing their function and stimulating hair growth.
- Prolonged Anagen Phase: Hair growth occurs in cycles, with the anagen (growth) phase being the most crucial. Minoxidil is believed to prolong the anagen phase, allowing hair to grow longer before entering the telogen (rest) phase.
- Miniaturised Hair: In some cases of androgenetic alopecia, hair follicles become miniaturised over time, producing thinner and weaker hair strands. Minoxidil may help reverse this process by promoting the growth of thicker and healthier hair.
- Stimulating Hair Follicles: While the exact mechanism isn’t fully understood, minoxidil appears to stimulate the hair follicles at a cellular level, encouraging them to produce new hair and preventing further hair loss.
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP)
PRP therapy is a non-surgical procedure that has gained popularity as a treatment for hair loss. It involves the following steps:
- Blood Collection: A small amount of the patient’s blood is drawn, usually from their arm. This blood is then processed in a centrifuge to separate the platelet-rich plasma from the other components.
- PRP Activation: The platelet-rich plasma contains growth factors and proteins that stimulate hair follicles. Before application, the PRP is typically activated to release these growth factors.
- Injection or Topical Application: The activated PRP is injected directly into the scalp in areas of hair loss or applied topically. The growth factors in PRP are believed to promote hair follicle health and stimulate hair growth.
- Multiple Sessions: PRP therapy often requires multiple sessions, usually spaced a few weeks apart, to achieve noticeable results. Maintenance sessions may also be needed to sustain the benefits.
Hair Transplant Surgery
Hair transplant surgery is performed by a trained surgeon to restore hair in areas of significant hair loss permanently. There are two primary techniques:
- Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT): In FUT, a strip of hair-bearing scalp is surgically removed from a donor area (usually the back of the head) and dissected into individual follicular units. These units are then transplanted into the recipient area, where hair loss is evident.
- Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE): FUE involves the extraction of individual hair follicles directly from the donor area using small, circular punches. These follicles are then transplanted into the recipient area. FUE leaves minimal scarring and offers a quicker recovery compared to FUT.
Supplements and Vitamins To Cure Hair Fall
Here’s detailed information about supplements and vitamins that can help with hair fall:
Biotin and Hair Growth
What is Biotin? Biotin, also known as vitamin B7 or H, is a water-soluble B vitamin that plays a crucial role in various bodily functions, including the health of your hair, skin, and nails.
- How Biotin Helps Hair Growth: Biotin is often associated with promoting hair growth and reducing hair fall. It helps produce keratin, a protein that forms the structure of hair. Biotin also improves the overall health of hair follicles, making them less prone to damage and breakage.
- Dosage: The recommended daily intake of biotin for adults is typically around 30 micrograms (mcg). However, higher doses (up to 5,000 mcg) are often used in supplements to support hair health.
- Food Sources: Biotin can be found in foods like eggs, nuts, seeds, salmon, and sweet potatoes. Including these in your diet can help ensure you get enough biotin naturally.
Iron and Ferritin Levels
- Why Iron Matters: Iron is a vital mineral that helps transport oxygen to cells, including those that stimulate hair growth. Low iron levels can lead to anemia, contributing to hair loss.
- Ferritin Levels: Ferritin is a protein that stores iron in your body. Low ferritin levels can indicate an iron deficiency, even if your overall iron levels are within the normal range. Ensuring your ferritin levels are adequate is crucial for healthy hair.
- Dosage: The recommended daily iron intake varies based on age and sex. If you have low iron levels, your healthcare provider may recommend iron supplements to correct the deficiency.
- Food Sources: Iron-rich foods include red meat, poultry, fish, lentils, spinach, and fortified cereals. Consuming these foods can help maintain healthy iron levels.
Zinc and Hair Health
What is Zinc? Zinc is an essential mineral that plays a role in many bodily functions, including hair health.
- How Zinc Helps: Zinc produces hair proteins and helps maintain the oil glands surrounding hair follicles. A zinc deficiency can lead to hair thinning and increased hair shedding.
- Dosage: The recommended daily zinc intake varies by age and sex but is generally around 8-11 mg for adults.
- Food Sources: Foods high in zinc include beef, lamb, pumpkin seeds, nuts, and whole grains. Including these in your diet can help meet your zinc requirements.
- Considerations: Like other supplements, it’s essential not to overdo zinc intake. Excessive zinc can interfere with the absorption of other minerals and lead to health problems.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids for Stronger Hair
Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats beneficial for various aspects of health, including hair strength and scalp health.
- How Omega-3s Help: Omega-3 fatty acids, particularly EPA and DHA found in fish oil, can help reduce inflammation in the scalp and promote hair strength. They also support overall hair and scalp health.
- Dosage: There is no specific recommended dosage for omega-3 fatty acids for hair health, but general dietary guidelines recommend consuming fatty fish (e.g., salmon, mackerel, sardines) two times a week.
- Food Sources: Besides fatty fish, you can find omega-3s in flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, and algae-based supplements.
Hair Care Dos and Don’ts To Cure Hair Fall
- Use Heat Protectant Products: Before using any heat styling tools like flat irons, curling irons, or blow dryers, apply a heat protectant spray or serum to your hair. This will create a barrier that minimises heat damage.
- Limit Heat Exposure: Reduce the frequency of heat styling. Try to air-dry your hair whenever possible to minimise exposure to high temperatures.
- Use Lower Heat Settings: Opt for lower heat settings when using heat styling tools. High temperatures can damage your hair’s cuticle and lead to breakage and hair fall.
- Invest in Quality Tools: High-quality heat styling tools are designed to distribute heat more evenly, reducing the potential for hot spots that can damage your hair.
- Maintain Distance: Keep the heat styling tool safe from your hair to prevent overheating and damage. Leave it in one spot for a short time.
- Excessive Heat Exposure: Avoid daily use of heat styling tools, which can cause significant damage and contribute to hair fall.
- Using Heat on Wet Hair: Never use heat styling tools on wet hair, as this can cause the hair shaft to weaken and become more susceptible to breakage.
- High Heat Settings: Avoid using the highest heat settings on your styling tools unless necessary. High heat can lead to severe hair damage and loss.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can stress cause hair fall?
Yes, stress can indeed contribute to hair fall. High stress levels can disrupt the hair growth cycle, pushing more hair into the shedding phase resulting in increased hair fall. This condition is often referred to as telogen effluvium. Managing stress through relaxation techniques and lifestyle changes can help reduce its impact on hair health.
How long does it take to see results with natural remedies?
The time it takes to see results with natural remedies for hair fall can vary widely depending on the individual and the specific remedy being used. In some cases, you may notice improvements within a few weeks; in others, it may take several months of consistent use to see significant changes. Patience and consistency are key when using natural remedies.
Are there any side effects of medical treatments?
Medical treatments for hair loss, such as medications and procedures like hair transplants, can have potential side effects. These side effects vary depending on the treatment. For example, some medications may have side effects like sexual dysfunction or skin irritation, while hair transplant procedures can lead to scarring or infection.
Can hair fall be reversed completely?
Whether hair fall can be completely reversed depends on the underlying cause. Sometimes, hair loss may be temporary and can be reversed with appropriate treatment or lifestyle changes. However, complete reversal may not be possible for conditions like genetic pattern baldness. The goal is often to slow down or manage hair loss rather than achieving full reversal.
Is hair fall the same as hair thinning?
Hair fall and hair thinning are related but not the same. Hair fall refers to the shedding or loss of hair from the scalp. It can be a normal part of the hair growth cycle, but excessive hair fall can lead to thinning hair. Hair thinning specifically refers to reducing the density and thickness of individual hair strands on the scalp.
In the pursuit of curing hair fall, it’s essential to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. The key lies in understanding the underlying causes of your hair loss and adopting a personalized approach to treatment. Whether it’s through lifestyle changes, dietary modifications, or specialized hair care products, taking proactive steps to address hair fall can lead to positive outcomes.