Hair fall, one of the most common problems that about 50% of men face. Women losing hair is also on the rise. Losing up to 100 strands of hair is very common but when the fallen hair is not replaced with new hair growth, that is considered to be actual hair fall or hair loss.
Following are few reasons why people lose hair:
- Genetic – If hair loss and baldness has been there in your family, you can expect to lose hair at a certain age and you may even become bald totally.
- Environment – Even with normal genes, a person may start losing hair due to the exposure to a polluted environment that contains harmful substances. Subjecting hair to harsh sunlight or bad weather can damage the hair follicles.
- Application of harmful chemicals – Soaps, shampoos or conditioners, all are made of chemicals. If your hair follicles or skin on the scalp is allergic to any of the chemicals present in them, hair fall can occur.
- Water – Did you ever notice that when you go to a new place and take a shower a few times, you will start noticing hair falling. This is usually due to the change in water. Once you return to your regular place and shower with the water that you used to use before, hair fall stops automatically.
- Medical conditions – Hormonal changes or medical conditions such as hypothyroidism, scalp infection etc can cause hair fall. Hair fall is usually one of the symptoms of such medical conditions.
- Medicines used to treat other diseases – Chemotherapy for treating cancer can cause hair loss throughout the body. Treatment of other diseases such as depression, heart diseases can also lead to hair fall or thinning of hair.
- Stress – Stress is a monster that can arise from any psychological or physical problem and can cause countless symptoms including hair fall.
“I personally know several bald men who left no stone unturned to get their hair back naturally but failed. Ultimately some of them had to live with it and some went for hair transplantation.” says Dr. Karthik Gunasekaran, director at Flood Gates Plastic Surgery who specialises in hair transplantation surgeries in Chennai, India.
Here are some hair fall treatment options that your doctor may prescribe and some you may try at home to arrest hair fall and regrow your hair naturally.
- Minoxidil – The chemical used in most of the hair regrowth lotions and solutions in India (and around the world). Apply minoxidil to the scalp or in the beard area as directed by your doctor for 4 to 6 months to see hair regrowth. We have one great news for you regarding hair regrowth and minoxidil, we will let you know at the end of this article.
- Finasteride – In India, you can find this chemical in tablets such as Finpecia, Finax etc. Consuming this medicine for 3 months can help in regrowing the hair.
Laser Treatment for hair regrowth
LLLT – Low Level Laser Therapy has shown to increase hair growth. Laser therapy helps in reducing the inflammation of hair follicles and promoting hair (re)growth. A review done in the year 2016 suggested that low level laser therapy is effective in treating male pattern baldness.
Application of Onion Juice
In the last couple of years, you might have noticed that there are several companies that have come up with hair oil consisting of onion juice. Onion juice is believed to promote hair growth and regrowth. Onion juice can also help people suffering from alopecia areata (male pattern baldness) regrow their hair.
Application of Bhringraj hair oil
As per ayurveda, bhringraj (eclipta alba) can promote hair growth in people of any gender. A study done in 2008 has shown that application of bhringraj oil helped in hair growth better than minoxidil.
Hair oil made of hibiscus or curry leaves
Hair oil made with coconut oil, hibiscus and/or curry leaves can help in growing hair and stopping hair fall. Massaging the scalp with such oils every day for 5 minutes can also help in supplying more blood to the hair follicles and scalp there by promoting hair growth.
Good food is needed for your hair too
Foods containing iron, omega 3, vitamin E and proteins are necessary for a healthy body as well as healthy and shiny hair.
Iron rich foods – Meat, fish, poultry, cauliflower, mushroom, beetroot, watermelon, pomegranates etc.
Omega 3 rich foods – Flax seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, soybean oil, sea foods are rich in omega 3.
Vitamin E rich foods – Sunflower seeds, almonds, hazel nuts, coconut oil and the white part of the coconut that is edible.
Protein rich foods – Eggs, milk, poultry, meat, beans, tofu, curd (yoghourt), cheese, lentils etc.
If you are a chain smoker or a regular smoker, try quitting smoking and see if that helps. You need to stop for a few months to see the difference. A 2020 study has found that people who smoked had more hair loss than those who didn’t smoke.
If none of these work, hair transplant is a solution
If none of the home remedies or ayurvedic solutions for hair fall work, the next option you will have is hair transplantation surgery. The surgery is done in two ways, either by transplanting parts of scalp skin or by just implanting follicles into the scalp. Click on the link to read more on hair transplant surgery.
Coming back to minoxidil for hair regrowth
Not very long ago, medical experts figured that consuming low doses of minoxidil helps in hair growth compared to just applying it to the scalp. Low dose can be about 2.5mg to 5mg a day and it has to be taken for about 24 weeks / 6 months. As per the study “Efficacy and safety of oral minoxidil 5mg once daily in the treatment of male patients with androgenetic alopecia”, it was concluded that oral minoxidil of 5mg/day effectively increased hair growth in male patients.