Last Updated: Jan 10, 2023
Hair loss, also known as baldness or alopecia, refers to the condition where you lose excess hair from part of your head. Hair loss can gradually develop over the years or can happen abruptly. This condition can affect anyone, of any age. Nevertheless, older men are more likely to suffer from hair loss problems. An estimated 65% of men experience baldness by age 60.
What are the causes of hair loss?
Ideally, people lose about 100 hairs per day, which is part of your normal hair growth cycle. This usually goes unnoticed since new hair grows in at the same time. Hair loss occurs when this cycle is disrupted- when the hair follicle is damaged, scarred or fails to generate new hair. Such a condition can be temporary or permanent.
Several factors are responsible for hair loss problems-
- Heredity or family history of alopecia
- Hormonal changes due to thyroid problems, menopause or pregnancy
- Certain medications or supplements
- Aggressive radiation therapies/chemotherapy used in cancer treatments
- An emotional/physical shock, stress
- Poor diet
Early signs of hair loss-
Early and the most commonly observed symptoms of hair loss include-
- Patchy, circular bald spots on the scalp
- Gradual thinning of hair on top of the head
- Scaly patches all over the scalp
- Loosening of hair
How does Ayurveda help treat hair loss problems?
As per Ayurveda, Pitta dosha, which is characterized by the elements of water and fire, is accountable for the functioning of hormones and the digestive system, and leads to premature greying of hair and baldness.
- Ayurveda recommends Raktamokshana therapy (also known as Leech therapy) to treat hair loss problems. Raktamokshana is a purification therapy that is performed to cleanse, detoxify the blood.
- Raktamokshana is the procedure of letting out toxic, impure blood, which is the cause of many diseases. Various types of Raktamokshana are practiced, depending on the medical condition and body type (prakriti) of each individual.
The procedure is performed in 5 different ways-
- Jalaukacharana- the prosess through which blood is let out using leeches.
- Prachanna- small incisions are made on the diseased portion using various instruments.
- Sringa- a cow’s horn is placed over the incised portion to draw out impure blood.
- Siravyadha- venous blood is drawn out from the blood stream (without any side effects) using instruments.
- Alabu- refers to the process of creating vacuum, and extracting blood through the vacuum.
Raktamokshana works as both curative as well as preventive therapy. This Ayurvedic method is a complete or partial treatment, depending on the situation.
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