Hair is the crowning glory for all humans and holds a lot of cosmetic importance. Hair is also the mirror to many internal changes and disease states. Hair, Nails, Sweat and Sebaceous glands (oil producing glands of the body) form what are called the skin appendages and therefore are rightfully dealt by the skin specialist also called a Dermatologist. A lot of grey areas exist in the diagnosis and treatment of hair disorders and these have been capitalized by a multitude of so called hair treatments which are carried out by non qualified ‘Hair Experts’.
What is the normal Hair and Hair Cycle?
Normal hair varies with Age, Sex and Race.
In children, at birth there may be a good hair cover with the entire scalp covered with good density hair or may be covered with very thin hair. There may be cases in which areas like back of scalp or temple areas (sides) may be having absent or very thin hair and all these patterns are completely normal. Infants may experience a bout of hair loss in the first 2-3 months followed by complete growth of normal hair by about 6 months of age.
Infants may also experience dandruff called cradle cap which is sticky flakes of scales on the top of the scalp. It resolves with time and is no reason to panic. If extensive treatment may be sought form the dermatologist. Good cleansing is enough. Oil may be applied to loosened the scales.
One should avoid plucking of these as it usually comes out with the hair.
Young children should have a full hair growth covering entire scalp. A child having good eating habits will not experience any difficulties with hair growth. Hygiene and eating habits should be cultivated here to maintain growth cycles in children. Raw vegetables, green leafy and coloured vegetables, sprouts and at least 2 fruits a day are mandatory. Transient Hair fall following disease states will be followed by complete recovery.
Young Adults should also have a full hair growth. About 100 -150 hair loss per day is normal but these may not be noticeable. Transient Hair fall following disease states will be followed by complete recovery.
Elderly may have receding hair line and mild thinning of hair as age progresses or may show patterned baldness
HAIR LOSS is medically termed ALOPECIA.
- What are the types of Alopecia?
- Alopecia areata.
- Androgenetic alopecia – male and female pattern – hormonal.
- Trichotillomania – pulling of hair – psychological.
- Scarring alopecia – due to scalp diseases / immune disorders.
- Telogen effluvium – due to stress, infections, improper diet etc.
- Post pregnancy hair loss.
- Hair loss due to cancer chemotherapy.
- Hereditary syndromes.
- Analysis of the cause of hair loss, biopsy of the scalp if required.
- Diet modification.
- Medical treatment in form of oral and topical medication.
- Hair fall laser treatment, hair regrowth treatment.
- Hair mesotherapy, injections.
- Hair transplant for severe cases.