Long, short, bouncy or straight, for most women, hair is so much more than a bundle of fibers. It’s an expression of your style and personality. But if you start losing your hair, it can really scare you. Whether short or long term, it could get thinner all over or your middle part could get wider and wider. You might even have baldness on the top of your head.
Your scalp is home to around 100,000 hairs. Everyone has their own life cycle. A follicle produces a single hair which grows at a rate of half an inch per month. It hangs on for two to six years, then quits for about a month. When the next cycle starts, this hair falls out. At any given time, most of your locks are in the growth phase.
These facts were shared by Professor Syed Hatim Ali Shah, Consultant Dermatologist and Head of Department at Liaquat National Hospital, during a public health awareness seminar hosted by the prestigious Mazton Pharmaceuticals on Friday.
He said: “Most people shed around 50-150 strands every day. Don’t worry if you find a few in your hairbrush or on your clothes. But if it starts to fall out in clumps or you notice it thinning out over time, see your skin specialist right away. There is no single cause for hair loss, triggers range from medical conditions to stress and lifestyle factors like what you eat. Your genes also play a role. Sometimes doctors cannot find a specific reason.
“To start, hair loss experts suggest getting tested for thyroid issues and hormonal imbalances. Hair often regrows once the cause is treated. The dermatologist uses Savin’s scale. This ranges from a normal hair density to a bald crown, which is rare.The scale helps document female pattern baldness, a condition your doctor might call androgenic alopecia, which affects approximately 35 million Pakistani women.Researchers believe that the genes and aging play a role.
Professor Shah further stated that hair loss is a symptom of more than 30 diseases including ringworm of the scalp, thyroid disorders and autoimmune diseases. You can also lose hair when you have the flu, a high fever, or an infection.
Look again at the side effects of any medications you are taking – hair loss may be on the list. Examples of such medications include blood thinners, vitamin A-rich acne medications, anabolic steroids, or medications for arthritis, depression, gout, heart problems, or high blood pressure.
“Take care of your health issues,” he said, as anemia and other nutritional deficiencies could short-circuit the growth pattern.
He recommended that your doctor run tests to identify any nutritional deficiencies. A balanced and nutritious diet is important for head-to-toe health, including the hair on your head. Avoid diets that remove entire food groups, he warned. And if you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, make sure you’re getting all the types of protein and nutrients your body needs. A well-balanced diet can also include antioxidant vitamins and minerals, including iron, zinc, and vitamin D, etc. You can also consider oral supplements to ensure you get the full menu of hair growth nutrients.
Hair loss can be frustrating for women. But consult your doctor before you start worrying; thinning or hair loss is often reversible, “Give your doctor a complete hair history – when the thinning started, where and how bad the thinning is, and any relevant symptoms, advised Dr Shah .
“When you’re pregnant, your hormones prevent your hair from falling out as often as usual. This makes it thicker and more succulent. After giving birth, you lose the extra hair you were holding on to as your hormones change again. Everything should balance out about 3-6 months later. You may notice that your hair looks fuller during pregnancy. This is because high hormone levels prevent resting hair from falling out. But after the baby arrives, things return to normal and those locks will fall out quickly. You could lose a lot of hair all at once. It could take up to 2 years for your hair to return to normal,” said guest speaker Dr. Tahira Yasmeen, consultant gynecologist and obstetrician and assistant professor at Liaquat National Hospital, while giving a gynecological perspective. to hair loss.
“If you have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), your hormones are always out of whack. Your body produces more male hormones, or androgens, than it should. This can cause extra hair to grow on your face and body while the hair on your head is thinning. PCOS can also lead to ovulation problems, acne, and weight gain. But sometimes thinning hair is the only obvious sign,” says Dr. Tahira.
“Devices that emit low energy laser light can help grow new hair and reduce skin inflammation. They are available in some skin clinics in Karachi, studies show they work well, but it may take 2-4 months before you see results,” said Dr. Fabrin Naz, Consultant Dermatologist and Cosmetologist at DHA Karachi.
Hair, whether thick or fine, needs hydration to bounce back and shine. If yours needs a boost, try conditioner. You might think it will weigh your hair down, but dry hair will absorb the product. Conditioner can make your hair more manageable, add shine, and protect it from breakage.
“You can use a round brush, hot rollers, hair dryers, and curling or straightening irons. Just pick a cool frame and don’t overdo it. Use a heat protectant spray or gel. Fine, coarse, curly, colored – different hair types have different needs. If your hair is dry, for example, wash it less frequently and use a thicker conditioner. If your hair is fine or very curly, it can be easily damaged. Avoid brushing your hair when it’s wet and use products that are suitable for your hair type. Staying well hydrated, getting enough sleep (up to 8 hours) and exercising regularly is key to preventing hair loss,” she concluded.