Hair loss is becoming increasingly prevalent with modern-day changes to our occupations and lifestyles. High stress, depression and poor nutrition are already well-established causes of hair fall. Then there is the role of genes in play which also influences hair fall. What adds to that is male-pattern baldness which now occurs in more than 50% of men who are over the age of 50. Hair fall can be an emotionally taxing experience as it alters the way you look or are perceived, with very little you can do to change it. As a response, there are now a variety of remedies that are trying to combat this very problem from a variety of disciplines.
Modern Medicine therapies for hair loss:
In the realm of allopathy some common medicines that doctors prescribe are Minoxidil and Aminexil. There are various combinations of Minoxidil and Aminexil available in Indian market. They are categorized as vasodilators, that work by widening the blood vessels on the scalp to provide better circulation to hair follicles. These have been shown to treat cases of male-pattern baldness after 3-4 months of use. There are possible side-effects that come with their use such as weight-gain, chest pain or breathing trouble so it is important to consult a doctor before using these substances.
Ayurvedic therapies for hair loss:
Practitioners of Ayurvedic remedies recommend Bhringraj, Amalaki and Yashtimadhu for a variety of ailments, including hair loss. Many oral tablets of Bhringraj, Yashitimadhu and Amalaki are available in Indian market. In Ayurvedic teachings an unbalanced pitta and vata dosha results in a hair health being compromised. Bhringraj extract used with a carrier oil helps in moisturizing the scalp to prevent further hair loss. Amalaki (or Amla) which is one of the three fruits used in the ayurvedic remedy called triphala, is also prescribed due to it being rich in many nutrients. This can help alleviate nutritional deficiencies that may be resulting in hair loss. Yashtimadhu helps in lessening dandruff and scalp irritation that may be causing a problem. The risk with Ayurvedic solutions is a lack of scientific data regarding its effectiveness, so that should be kept in mind if one decides to start such remedies.
Homeopathic therapies for hair loss:
Homeopathy is an European school of treatment that believes in stimulating the body’s ability to heal itself by giving substances that mimic the symptoms of the disease that a person is suffering from, This can be boiled down to curing ‘like with like’. Silicea and Kalium Carbonicum are two of the many remedies prescribed by homeopaths. Silicea is said to strengthen hair, eliminate dryness, and enhance hair growth. Kalium carbonicum is said to treat brittle hair and hair thinning. Like Ayurveda, there is a lack of scientific data regarding the effectiveness of Homeopathic solutions.
Nutraceuticals therapies for hair loss:
As mentioned above, poor nutrition is an increasingly common cause of hair loss. Nutraceuticals are a very useful tool for compensating for any deficiency a person may be suffering from due to their nutritional intake. Biotin is one such product that contributes to hair health. Hair loss can sometimes be caused by biotin deficiency which can alleviated through use of biotin supplements. Amino Acids are another popular supplement due their involvement in the chemical structure of proteins that keep our hair healthy. Aside from their other health benefits, Amino acids like lysine have been shown to reduce hair loss in women. Many combinations of Biotin and other mini acids are available in market as over the counter products.
Hair loss can be a trying issue for those suffering from it, but it is important to review the efficacy of any treatments that you may want to try. It is important to distinguish the difference between a potentially helpful solution or a fraud designed to relieve you of your money. Thus, you should always consult your doctor and do your research.
Written By Dhruv Mukerji