Hair Loss

Hair Loss is one of the most grueling question being faced by large percentage of men & women world-wide. Many organizations, scientists, doctors are working relentlessly to identify all plausible reasons and treat hair loss.

Usually people do not become serious about hair loss till baldness sets in. But once the skin becomes visible through the hair, the person begins to panic. By this time, more than 50% of hair is already lost and the person begins to:

  • withdraw from the society
  • lose confidence
  • feel embarrassed and show low self-esteem

Losing anywhere between 50 to 100 strands of hair a day is normal and there is no need for any worry, should you be seeing that much hair. However, if the count is more and you know that you are losing more hair than normal, then certain red flags are sure to be raised. Hair is actually formed courtesy a protein known as keratin. The actual hair has two sections – the shaft, which is the part visible on the scalp and the root, which is right beneath the scalp. It is the root that actually grows.

While adults might suffer hair loss in greater numbers, even teenagers and children might succumb to the condition. Should young people suffer from hair loss, it could be attributed to poor diet, lacking in the important proteins and other nutrients. Then there are also medical treatments such as chemotherapy, that could lead to hair loss. Given that youngsters like to experiment with their looks and often choose chemical or heat based treatments for their hair, there could be loss of hair.

With no damage to underlying skin (also called as Non-Cicatricial Alopecia)

  • Physiologically normally seen
  • Infants or newborns Alopecia areata or patchy loss of hair Telogen Effluvium or diffuse hair loss Infections: Bacterial, viral or fungal Intake of medicines / chemicals eg Anticancer drugs, high doses of vitamin-A Self induced physical trauma (also called as Trichotillomania) – seen in depression Compulsive scratching of scalp Hormonal disturbances – thyroid disorders, diabetes, menstrual disturbances, etc. Physical agents – overuse of parlour procedures such as straightening, blow drying
  • Radiotherapy
  • Tight styling of hair as in tight buns or knots or pulling

With damage to underlying skin (also known as Cicatricial Alopecia)

  • Physical trauma eg bums or x-ray overdose (normally seen).
  • Some infectious diseases like TB, leprosy, viral diseases like herpes, etc.
  • Chemical injury like acid burns
  • Skin diseases like DLE, lichen planus, skin cancers, etc.
  • Miscellaneous causes
  • Androgenetic alopecia or common Male Pattern Baldness (MPB)
  • Unusual genetic disorders