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Five reasons why you may be losing hair

Study finds that stress can be a major factor

SAMAA | - Posted: Apr 10, 2019 | Last Updated: 3 years ago
Posted: Apr 10, 2019 | Last Updated: 3 years ago

Photo: AFP

Hair loss is an emerging health problem, especially among males. Research shows that the first signs of baldness may appear as early as at the age of 21.

Many Pakistan women are currently facing excessive hair fall. A study was recently conducted to check the relationship between hair loss and stress. It looked at a representative sample of Pakistanis from all age groups. The results showed that 9.9% of the participants suffered from excessive hair fall. Among them, 32% also had high levels of stress.

With baldness on the rise, many surgical procedures such as hair transplants have become popular in the region. According to the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery, around 195,284 procedures were performed in Asia alone. Hair transplant is a treatment option for people who have already lost a major chunk of their hair. Fortunately, hair loss is treatable long before baldness arrives.

This photograph taken on October 16, 2014, shows a Pakistani man at hair transplant clinic in Peshawar. PHOTO: AFP

In this article, we list down five common problems which cause hair loss. We will also explain some tips from top dermatologists to deal with these problems. The article, however, addresses only general hair loss. People who suffer from hair loss because of specific skin conditions should not rely on these tips and should consult a doctor.

  1. Nutritional deficiencies

According to Dr Nosheeba Salman, an aesthetic dermatologist in Islamabad, nutritional deficiency is the prime reason behind weakening hair. “Everything we eat is nutrition for our body. The nutrition is first utilised by major organs of the body. This is because these organs are responsible for processes which are vital for life. Our hair, skin, and nails are appendages and are in the periphery. They are at the end of the nutritional flow chain and get very little nutrition. As a result, whenever a nutritional deficiency occurs, the hair and the skin get damaged first,” suggests Dr Salman.

She no external product will work till one has an internal nutritional deficiency. She often prescribes blood tests to her patients to eliminate the chance of any nutritional deficiency. Dr Salman suggests that those suffering from hair loss due to a nutritional deficiency should take supplements and keep a healthy diet.

  1. Telegenic effluvium

Telegenic effluvium is a condition in which the hair growth cycle gets stuck in a resting stage. After some time, the cycle is unstuck but then the falling stage goes into over-drive. Telegenic effluvium is common in pregnant women and people who have high levels of stress. According to dermatologists, it goes away on its own but simple precautions can help reduce the total hair loss. Dr Salman suggests eating a diet high in protein and vitamins. She also suggests gentle handling of hair while combing and washing.

  1. Hair dyeing

Hair dyes are another cause for hair fall. They have chemical substances like ammonia which damage the protein base of the hair follicle. There are other chemicals in hair dyes which damage the coloring cells of the hair. As a result, the hair gets white earlier each time and the dying becomes more frequent.

Frequent dyeing can increase hair fall and decrease the overall volume of hair. Dr Salman suggests using medicated dyes which are free of all chemicals. She adds that your shampoo also needs to be medicated if you want complete protection for your hair.

  1. Medical conditions

Medical conditions such as thyroid problems and Alopecia Areata can also result in heavy hair loss. In these extreme situations, the first step is to control the condition itself. Some precautionary measures, such as using luke warm water instead of hot water for washing, can help.

  1. Dandruff

Dandruff does not cause hair to fall directly but it leads to severe itching. Itching increases the chance of hair breaking away from the scalp, ultimately leading to hair loss. Dandruff is a result of  flaky scalp. A lot of residue starts to accumulate in our scalp when we do not wash it for a long time. This residue makes the scalp itchy and flaky. As a result, hair loss because of dandruff can simply be avoided through frequent washing of hair.

General hair loss is treatable and usually occurs due to poor hygiene and bad hair care habits. Dermatologists recommend frequent hair washes along with a healthy diet. If you are using a dye to colour your hair, make sure it is medicated and minimise its frequency as much as you can. They also recommend treating your hair gently while combing and washing.

This article was produced in partnership with oladoc.com, a digital health company in Pakistan. Using oladoc, you can find dermatologists in LahoreKarachiIslamabad and book an appointment online.

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