The Homeopathic Approach For All Hair Problems
- Hair loss without scarring of the scalp is a very common condition and affects most people at some time in their lives.
- Medical professionals should distinguish hair loss from breakage of the hair shaft from hair loss due to decreased hair growth.
- Common balding (androgenetic alopecia) occurs in men and women and is due to the effect of testosterone metabolites in genetically susceptible hair follicles.
- Thyroid disease, anemia, protein deficiency, secondary syphilis, chemotherapy, and low vitamin levels may cause hair loss.
- Alopecia areata is a form of hair loss produced by the autoimmune destruction of hair follicles in localized areas of skin.
- Prevention of hair loss includes good hair hygiene, regular shampooing, and good nutrition.
- Medical health screening for hair loss may include blood tests such as complete blood count (CBC), iron level, vitamin B, thyroid function tests (TFT), and a biopsy of the scalp.
Skin and hair ailments like alopecia, hair fall, Dandruff, etc are being treated in our clinic with good results. Homoeopathy believes in treating the person as a whole, so these conditions get cured of with-in our body without suppressing them and thus prevents them to reoccur again.
The homeopathic approach for Hair problems is the constitutional approach where the patient answers a list of questions, based on which the analysis and evaluation of the case are done and a proper constitutional therapies are selected. As homeopathy believes we need to treat the man in disease and not the disease in man. Hair disorders are the end results of inner, emotional stress
What are the causes and risk factors for hair loss?
Because there are many types of hair loss, finding the cause can be challenging. This review will cover the most common causes of hair loss occurring on normal unscarred scalp skin. The medical term for hair loss is alopecia.
Most hair loss is not associated with systemic or internal disease, nor is poor diet a frequent factor. Hair may simply thin as a result of predetermined genetic factors and the overall aging process. Many men and women may notice mild physiologic thinning of hair starting in their 30s and 40s. Life vicissitudes, including illness, emotional trauma, protein deprivation (during strict dieting), and hormonal changes like those in pregnancy, puberty, and menopause may cause hair loss.
Several health conditions, including thyroid disease, iron deficiency anemia, and secondary syphilis, can cause hair loss. While thyroid blood tests and other lab tests, including a complete blood count (CBC), on people who have ordinary hair loss are usually normal, it is important to exclude treatable causes of hair loss.
How do we classify hair loss?
There are numerous ways to categorize hair loss. One must first examine the scalp to determine if the hair loss is due to the physical destruction and loss of hair follicles (scarring or cicatricial alopecia). If the scalp appears perfectly normal with plenty of empty hair follicles, this is called non-scarring hair loss. On the other hand, cicatricial alopecia permanently destroys the follicles. Non-scarring hair loss also happens in situations where there is physical or chemical damage to the hair shaft, resulting in breakage. Occasionally, it may be necessary to do a biopsy of the scalp to distinguish these conditions. Sometimes, a physician may pull a hair to examine the appearance of the hair shaft as well as the percentage of growing hairs (anagen phase). This article will concentrate on the non-scarring types of hair loss.
1. Patchy hair loss
Some conditions produce small areas of hair loss, while others affect large areas of the scalp. Common causes of patchy hair loss are
- Alopecia areata (small circular or coin size bald patches on the scalp that usually grow back within months),
- Traction alopecia (thinning from tight braids or ponytails),
- Trichotillomania (the habit of twisting or pulling hair out),
- Tinea capitis (fungal infection), and
- Secondary syphilis.
2. Diffuse hair loss
Some common causes of diffuse hair loss are
- pattern alopecia,
- drug-induced alopecia,
- protein malnutrition, and
- systemic disease-induced alopecia (cancer, endocrine disease, and telogen effluvium).
What is Alopecia Areata?
A common skin condition, alopecia areata usually starts as a single quarter-sized circle of perfectly smooth bald skin. These patches usually regrow in three to six months without treatment. Sometimes, white hair temporarily regrows and then becomes dark. The most extensive form is alopecia totalis, in which the entire scalp goes bald. It’s important to emphasize that patients who have localized hair loss generally don’t go on to lose hair all over the scalp. Alopecia areata can affect hair on other parts of the body, too (for example, the beard or eyebrows).
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition in which the body attacks its own hair follicles. Most patients, however, do not have systemic problems and need no medical tests. While people frequently blame alopecia areata on “stress,” in fact, it may be the other way around; that is, having alopecia may cause stress.
What is Traction Alopecia?
This is a small or localized hair loss area caused by repetitive or persistent pulling or traction on hair roots. Tight braids and ponytails can pull hard enough on hairs to make them fall out. If this happens, it’s best to choose hairstyles that put less tension on hair. Doing this sooner helps to avoid permanent damage.
What is Trichotillomania?
This refers to the habitual pulling or twisting of one’s own hair. The scalp and eyelashes are often affected. Unlike alopecia areata patches, which are perfectly smooth, hair patches in trichotillomania show broken-off hairs. Treatment is often entirely behavioral. One has to notice the behavior and then consciously stop. Severe or resistant cases may require stress counseling with a therapist or psychologist or medical treatment with a psychiatrist. Several antidepressant or anti-anxiety medications can help with this condition.
What is Tinea Capitis?
Tinea is the medical word for fungal infection, and capitis means head. Tinea capitis is a fungal infection of the scalp that for the most part affects school-age children. Tinea capitis is more common in black African or African-American scalps. This condition is rare in healthy adults. Bald spots usually show broken-off hairs accompanied by dermatitis. Oral antifungals can penetrate the hair roots and cure the infection, after which hair grows back. Sharing hats or combs and brushes may transmit tinea capitis.
Androgenetic or Androgenic alopecia (“male-pattern baldness,” “female-pattern baldness”)?
This type of alopecia is often attributed to genetic predisposition and family history. Androgenic alopecia appears in both men and women. The hair loss in men is often faster, earlier onset, and more extensive.
Doctors refer to common baldness as “androgenetic alopecia” or “androgenic alopecia,” which implies that a combination of hormones and heredity (genetics) is necessary to develop the condition. The exact cause of this pattern is unknown. (The male hormones involved are present in both men and women.)
Even men who never “go bald” thin out somewhat over the years. Unlike those with reversible telogen shedding, those with common male-pattern hair loss don’t notice much hair coming out; they just see that it’s not there anymore. Adolescent boys notice some receding near the temples as their hairlines change from the straight-across boys’ pattern to the more “M-shaped” pattern of adult men. This normal development does not mean they are losing hair.
Some “myths” about male-pattern baldness
- People inherit baldness through their mother’s male relatives. Actually, genes from both the mother and the father determine baldness. Looking at one’s family can give someone at best an educated guess about how he or she will turn out. Studies are ongoing in this field, and current research has been inconclusive about the inheritance patterns.
- Longer hair puts a strain on roots. It doesn’t. And hats don’t choke off the circulation to the scalp to cause hair loss either.
- Shampooing does not accelerate balding.
- “Poor circulation” does not cause hair loss, and massaging doesn’t stop it.
Women lose hair on an inherited (genetic) basis, too, but female pattern hair loss tends to be more diffuse, with less likelihood of the crown and frontal hairline being lost. Although some women may notice hair thinning as early as their 20s, the pace of hair loss tends to be gradual, often taking years to become obvious to others. There seems to be a normal physiologic thinning that comes with age and occurs in many women in their early to mid-30s. More women have underlying causes of hair loss than men. These include treatable conditions like anemia and thyroid disease and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). These conditions are diagnosed by blood tests along with historical and physical evidence. Although a few studies have suggested that baldness may be inherited through the mother’s family genes, these theories require further testing. Current studies are inconclusive. Although not indicated for female pattern balding, spironolactone has had some success in treating this condition.
While stories about hats choking off follicles or long hair pulling on the roots may be more folklore, repeat hair trauma like tightly woven hair pulled back and consistent friction can potentially worsen or cause localized hair loss in some individuals. Individuals who pull their hair tightly back in a rubber band can develop a localized hair loss at the front of the scalp.
Hair loss “myths” of special concern to women
- Longer hair does not necessarily put a strain on roots.
- Shampooing does not accelerate hair loss; it just removes those that were ready to fall out anyway.
- Coloring, perming, and conditioning the hair do not usually cause hair loss. Burns or severe processing may produce hair fragility and breakage. Styles that pull tight may cause some loss, but hair coloring and “chemicals” usually don’t.
What about pregnancy hair loss?
Pregnancy may cause many changes in the scalp hair. As the hormones fluctuate during pregnancy, a large number of women feel their hair thickens and becomes fuller. This may be related to change in the number of hairs cycling in the growth phase of hair growth, but the exact reason is unknown. Quite often, there may be a loss of hair after delivery or a few months later which will eventually normalize.