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In order to have healthy volume of hair on your head, the rate of hair loss and replacement should be in tandem. With age, your hair growth cycle shows signs of slowing down and factors like age, disease, and hormonal changes among others affect the pace at which an individual hair follicle moves through the 3 phases of the hair cycle. A disruption in your hair cycle can give rise to loss of hair that’s rapid and unexpected. Hair loss or alopecia can affect both men and women.
So what can cause your hair to fall at an alarming rate?
The reasons behind hair loss could be many, but here are 6 major ones:
1. Lack of protein in your diet
When you exclude protein from your diet, your body starts to conserve the protein that it has by altering the growth cycle of your hair. In such cases, your hair enters into the resting stage, resulting in zero hair growth.
In India, 9 out of 10 people are said to suffer from low amounts of protein in their diet, with 91% vegetarians reporting protein deficiency.
2. Iron deficiency
Iron plays a very important role in the transportation of oxygen to the different organs of the body. Lack of iron in your diet (which is the principle reason behind anaemia) can give rise to several health problems including hair loss. Your body attempts to direct oxygen to important organs so as to support their functioning. As a result, your scalp witnesses a low supply of oxygen, which causes hair loss.
3. Vitamin D-3 deficiency
Deficiency of vitamin D-3 gives rise to a type of hair loss called Telogen Effluvium (TE). This is a temporary hair thinning phenomenon that takes place when the all the hair on your scalp enter the resting phase at the same time, subsequently causing you to shed a large amount of hair later on.
Smoking can also affect the health of your hair, especially the rate at which it falls and the number of strands lost in a day. A research carried out by the Harvard School of Public Health has revealed that smoking can cause a rise in a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
An increase in DHT level prevents new hair cells from growing and causes hair follicles to reduce in size with each hair cycle. As a result, the area on your scalp that gets affected by DHT experiences a lack of hair growth.
5. Use of testosterone supplements in gym
Intake of testosterone in the form of supplements and injections to build muscle mass can trigger hair loss in men. This takes place when the testosterone in these supplements gets changed into DHT, thereby affecting your hair loss rate and amount.
6. Past illnesses (dengue, TB and typhoid)
Falling of hair can also be brought on by illnesses such as typhoid, TB and dengue as the hair growth cycle comes to a stop. Hormonal or metabolic stress that is experienced during the course of such diseases may cause hairfall.
What are the treatments available to cure hair loss?
1. Hair transplant
Hair transplant is a minimally invasive surgical technique that transfers hair follicles taken from other parts of your body to the balding area. Known by the name of Follicular Unit Transplantation, this hair loss treatment can help to bring back the natural appearance of a fuller head of hair. Hair follicles are harvested using two procedures- follicular unit extraction and strip harvesting. Procedure can vary from 4-8 hours or more depending on the case.
2. Platelet- Rich Plasma (PRP)
Platelet- Rich Plasma (PRP) is another treatment alternative that can reverse hair loss. It’s a simple non-surgical procedure that lasts about 60-90 minutes. In this form of hair treatment, the patient’s own blood cells, more specifically blood platelets are injected into the scalp. Usually 8 sittings are required with each sitting being 2 weeks apart for better results.
3. Low Level Laser (Light) Therapy (LLLT)
This form of hair therapy utilises light energy of a specific wavelength and threshold to stimulate cellular activity, thereby promoting hair growth. Various controlled clinical tests have revealed its effectiveness in encouraging hair growth in both the genders. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Cosmetic/Plastic Surgeon.
PMS is often treated as a joke but for many women, it is a monthly nightmare. Muscle cramps, headaches, bloating, breast tenderness, anxiety and depression are common symptoms of PMS. Though there is no set cure for PMS here are a few tips that will help you deal with it.
- Set an exercise routine: Exercising not only helps you maintain weight but also helps dealing with PMS. You only need to set aside 30 minutes a day for a brisk walk, jog, swim or even dance. Aerobic exercises improve blood circulation, ease stress and help the brain release happy hormones.
- Change your diet: If you are feeling bloated and depressed, cut back on simple carbohydrates like sugar and fat and increase your consumption of complex carbohydrates like fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Do not attempt a low carb diet to lose weight if you suffer from PMS. Reducing the simple carbohydrates in the body and increasing the complex carbohydrates keeps you body feeling full for longer and increases the serotonin levels in the body.
- Quit alcohol and caffeine: Drinking a glass of wine or a cup of coffee may give you temporary relief from PMS symptoms but in the long run they aggravate your PMS symptoms such as headaches, breast tenderness and mood swings. Alcohol may also contribute towards lowering the magnesium levels in your body and thereby make you feel bloated.
- Relax: One of the effects of PMS is to make you feel anxious and tense. The easiest way to address this is by learning to relax. Try meditation or yoga for half an hour every morning. This will improve your overall health as well as soothe muscle pains.
- Take a few supplements: Research says that certain fatty acids like Omega 3 and linoleic acid can lower irritability and body aches associated with PMS. Calcium is also known to help ease PMS symptoms. Getting these nutrients in the required levels may not be possible only through your daily meals. Hence, you can also consider supplements to ease your pains.
- Use Birth control pills: Birth control pills with the drospirenone hormone can help ease symptoms of severe PMS. Menstruation is often accompanied by a drop in estrogen levels that can lead to migraines. Birth control pills also regulates your hormones and hence avoids these fluctuations. It also keeps your ovaries from releasing eggs every month and hence reduces the intensity of the associated cramps.
- Talk to people: You are not alone when it comes to PMS. Instead of keeping quiet about your discomfort, talk to people who may be experiencing something similar. Sharing your problems will introduce you to new ways of dealing with it. You could also get online support through various discussion groups.