Since ancient civilisation, hair has constantly played an influential role in our society. Hair has a special significance in some cultures and religions, where it symbolises strength and holiness.
Healthy scalp promotes the growth of healthy hair. In general, healthy scalp is when it is free of disease or abnormalities (Monselise et al, 2017). Hair growth is classified into three stages such as anagen phase (growing phase), catagen phase (involution) and telogen (rest phase) (Sawarkar et al, 2018). Usually, the lifespan of the hair strand is around two-five years.
Hair loss is not a life-threatening condition, however, it is often distressing which may have a remarkable effect on the person’s quality of life (Phillips,2017). Currently, hair loss is a huge problem and it affects both sexes of all ages. Around 50% of men and women face hair loss by the age of 40. It is normal if a person loses 50-100 hair strands a day but bald patches or hair thinning may signify hair loss (Hair loss, n.d.). Hair fall mainly begins when hair undergoes rest cycle.
Some of the most important factors that initiate hair loss are hereditary, hormonal changes, weathering and grooming habits (Monselise et al, 2017). Apart from this, structural damage to the hair strand can also occur due to cosmetic practices including combing, brushing, braiding, weaving, hair extensions, straightening, waving, perming, and dying, as well as environmental factors such as exposure to UV light (Osório & Tosti, 2011). Some of the medication and treatments induce hair loss as a side effect.
Treatments like chemotherapy, steroids and medication for typhoid, depression, etc. are several known reasons for severe hair fall to the extent of baldness. Therefore, people have become conscious about hair loss and take measurable steps to stop or avoid hair loss.
Tips to avoid hair loss
Most of the population has minimal or limited knowledge about how to appropriately take care of their hair and scalp. In this article, you will get to know about some of the simple ways to avoid or prevent hair loss.
1. Scalp massage
Several studies have been shown that scalp massage promote hair growth. SESA oil, cactus lower extract or cactus oil helps in improving the hair and scalp ailments (Shrivastva, 2012; Swarkar et al, 2018). Scalp massage with oil improves the blood circulation which decreases the alopecia and stimulates the hair follicles to accelerate the growth of hair.
2. Essential oil
Essential oils are an aqueous extract of powerful herbs. A mixture of essential oil and carrier oil (like jojoba, almond, coconut etc.) is an effective treatment to stimulate hair growth. Some of the essential oils for hair regeneration or growth are peppermint oil, Chinese hibiscus, ginseng, lavender, rosemary and jatamansi.
3. Nutritional Supplements
Nutritional deficiencies are one of the main reasons of hair fall like protein deficiency causes hair thinning. Therefore, iron, zinc, niacin, vitamin D, vitamin B12, omega 3 fatty acids and protein supplementation promotes the growth of strong and healthy hair. Alongside, Biotin supplementation also helps in solving hair fall problems. It promotes the protein synthesis especially keratin which forms hair thus, contributes to healthy hair. (Patel et al, 2017)
Antioxidant-rich diet is found to be beneficial in preventing hair fall as it helps in fighting oxidative stress induced by pollution. Hence antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables like strawberries, blueberries, broccoli, kale, legumes, etc. aids in scavenging free radicals. Along with this, protein-rich foods such as nuts, milk, egg and fish promotes the growth of healthy hair.
5. Apply garlic, onion or ginger juice
Massage your scalp with one of the three above mentioned, leave it overnight then wash it thoroughly in the morning. Continuous application for a week alleviates the hair problem.
6. Say NO to hairstyles that stretches hair tightly
Avoid hairstyles namely, cornrows, tight braids and ponytails as it pulls hair away from the scalp which in turn makes loss of the bond between hair and scalp over time.
7.Use mild shampoo
The main objective of shampoo is to remove dirt and excess oil. You can also add 10-12 drops of rosemary oil to shampoo and wash it daily. This will further help in reducing hair loss (Villines, 2017).
8. Avoid brushing wet hair
Brushing wet hair increases the chances of hair loss as hair is in its weakest state. That why we should avoid combing wet hair or use a wide-toothed comb. Additionally, avoid combing hair too frequently as it causes hair injury and thus elevates the loss.
9. Avoid using hair straightening tools and hair dyes
Use of chemical hair straighteners and dyes may be responsible for hair damage and breakage as they are highly alkaline in nature (Gavazzoni, 2015).
10. Avoid smoking
Smoking decreases the amount the blood circulation to the scalp which causes a reduction in hair growth.
Hair loss is a widespread problem which is often distressing too. There are multiple reasons for hair fall like cosmetic practices, nutritional deficiencies, stress, pollution, improper diet, hormonal changes, hereditary, treatment and medications. It is not a life-threatening condition and can be cured by adopting a good lifestyle, dietary changes and over-the-counter medication.
- Hair loss (n.d). American Academy of Dermatology. Retrieved from https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/hair-and-scalp-problems/hair-loss
- Phillips, TG., et al. (2017). Hair loss: Common causes and treatment. https://www.aafp.org/afp/2017/0915/p371.pdf
- Osório, F., & Tosti, A. (2011). Hair weathering, Part 1: Hair structure and pathogenesis. Cosmetic Dermatology, 24(11), 533-538
- Shrivastava, M. 2012. Efficacy and Safety Evaluation of SESA oil vs Coconut Oil in Different Hair & Scalp Ailments: Prospective, Open Label, Randomized Comparative Study. Asian Journal of Pharmaceutical and Clinical Research, 5(4), 62-64.
- Sawarkar, S., Deshmukh, V., Jayaganesh, S., Perumal, O. 2018. Clinical Evaluation of Cactus (Cereus Grandiflorus) Enriched Hair Oil for Hair Fall Disorders. Madridge Journal of Dermatology & Research.
- Gavazzoni Dias M. F. (2015). Hair cosmetics: an overview. International journal of trichology, 7(1), 2-15.
- Villines, Z. 2017. How to use rosemary oil for hair growth. Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319444.php
- Patel, D. P., Swink, S. M., & Castelo-Soccio, L. (2017). A Review of the Use of Biotin for Hair Loss. Skin appendage disorders, 3(3), 166-169.
- Monselise, A., Cohen, D.E., Wanser, R., Shapiro, J. 2017. What Ages Hair?. International Journal of Women's Dermatology, 3, S52-S57.