A Complete Guide to Hair Loss


Blog, Guide, Hair loss | Dr Dhanraj Chavan | February 24, 2023

Hair Loss Treatment

Are you experiencing hair loss? Get in touch with the best of our hair specialists in Pune to understand your hair condition. For a hair treatment or to get hair transplant, book an appointment with our dermatologists near you, call +919584584111.

Hair is an elongated threadlike structure made up of a protein called keratin that emerges from a pore in the skin called the hair follicle. Humans have around 1,00,000 hair follicles responsible for producing the hair shaft or the hair we see. Hair follicles and shafts, just like every part of our body, are prone to get damaged giving us hair fall or hair loss. Several hair conditions may arise at any stage of life and lead to extreme hair loss or sometimes baldness. Telogen effluvium, androgenetic alopecia, traction alopecia, alopecia areata and anagen effluvium are some of those common hair problems that you can encounter. You must not panic, as most of these problems can be reversed by proper treatment and consultation from an expert hair loss dermatologist. If you wish to keep your hair from falling or recover the lost hair, then here is your guide to hair loss and related conditions. 

What is Hair Shedding?Hair Loss Treatment

Losing around 50-100 hair strands each day is a part of the natural hair growth cycle. This is called hair shedding, and the reason for that is the normal hair growth cycle. The hair growth cycle is divided into four phases- 

  • Anagen Phase 

The first phase is the active growth period, where hair grows from the follicles. This phase typically lasts for 4-7 years. 

  • Catagen Phase

After the anagen phase comes the catagen phase, also regarded as the regression phase where hair follicles shrink and last for 2-3 weeks.

  • Telogen Phase

In the telogen phase, the hair follicle becomes dormant and undergoes a rest period for 3-5 months. 

  • Exogen Phase 

This is the last stage of the hair growth cycle, where the hair strand completely gets detached from the hair follicle, and new hair slowly emerges. This phase is also called the fall or shedding phase, where the old hairs fall off or are shed which we can see while washing or brushing hair. 

After exogen, a new hair growth cycle begins, and the hair undergoes anagen phase. 

At any time about 10-15% of your hairs are in normal shedding or telogen/exogen phase This comes to around 50- 100 hairs which can be shed daily which you see on your comb, towel and floor. This is a part of the normal cycle and is nothing to panic about. 

Telogen Effluvium is one condition when this shedding percentage increases and you notice more hair fall – but not to worry! Telogen effluvium can be reversed by detecting and treating the cause.

What is Hair Loss?

Hair loss or Alopecia, on the other hand, is a different hair condition from hair shedding. You lose excessive hair from your head with no signs of regrowth in hair loss. The effects of hair loss can be permanent and are influenced by various external and internal factors. If you lose more than 125 hair strands, then you may have hair loss and a reason for concern. Hair loss does not stop until the cause behind it is treated. Therefore, understanding the cause and treating it on time becomes very important. There are many types of hair loss conditions caused by various factors; continue to know all these factors and ways to treat them.

Hair Loss

What Causes Hair Loss?

Hair loss caused by a disturbance in the normal hair growth cycle can lead to balding at any stage of life. Many internal and external factors can disturb the cycle and contribute to excessive hair fall. Some of these causes can be reversed, while others require proper medical treatments to slow down the process. Some of the major hair loss factors are- 

1. Hormonal Changes and Medical Conditions

Hormones play a vital role in the proper functioning of the body. Some hormones can cease the hair growth cycle and lead to excessive hair loss. Hormonal changes due to pregnancy, childbirth, thyroid conditions or menopause are some common reasons behind hair loss. Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder where the body’s immune system attacks the hair follicle and puts them into a dormant or rest phase. This medical condition can result in serious permanent damage if not treated on time. 

2. Genetical Composition

Androgenetic alopecia is a hair loss condition that can be inherited from parents or grandparents. This condition is mainly called as male pattern or female pattern baldness. Women notice widening of partition with thinning of hair on top of their scalp, while men commonly notice receding hairline and formation of round bald patches on their crown. This hair condition is caused due to over- action of  DHT or dihydrotestosterone, an androgen hormone present in both male and female bodies.  DHT sticks to the hair follicle and shrinks it, leading to hair thinning and loss. This sensitivity to DHT is genetically determined and hence this type of hair loss runs in families.

3. Mental and Physical Stress

When your body undergoes a physical or mental shock due to childbirth, accident, surgery, recovery from a disease, an emotional episode of losing a loved one or job, heartbreak, excessive workload or examination stress, hair starts thinning. The reason behind stress hair loss is that the body starts to conserve the nutrients for the vital functioning, and non-vital function like hair growth is compromised.

4. Improper Diet and Lifestyle

Not consuming zinc, iron, proteins, and other vital nutrients can cause hair loss. Poor habits like smoking, sleeping late, and no exercise reduce the blood circulation to the hair roots, leading to hair loss. Due to a lack of nutrition and improper lifestyle, the hair becomes brittle, dry, and weaker, prone to breaking easily. 

5. Medications and Radiations

Several drugs used to treat  diseases can cause hair loss as one of their side effects. Chemotherapy used for cancer treatment, drugs for acne, arthritis, depression, gout, blood pressure etc causes hair loss. Hair loss due to medications and radiations is termed as anagen effluvium as the growth stage is disturbed in this case. 

6. Incorrect Hair Care and Frequent Styling

Incorrect hair care involving harsh chemicals on the hair and frequently styling by pulling and braiding them can cause traction alopecia. In this type, hair loss is permanent due to hair pulling and by using multiple products and heat. Traction alopecia is commonly seen in teenagers and adults because of an unhealthy hair care routine.

What are the Symptoms of Hair Loss?

Hair Loss Causes

The cause governs several hair loss symptoms. Below are a few hair loss symptoms that you can observe on your head. 

1. Hair Part Widening

The most common type of women’s hair loss symptom that you can observe is widening or broadening of the hair part. The hair starts to thin and then fall at the crown-making the hair part wider. 

2. Receding Hairline

Receding hairline at the forehead is a common type of men’s hair loss symptom. The hair becomes thin and then falls out, eventually receding the hairline. 

3. Circular or Patchy Bald Spots

The formation of circular bald patches on the scalp grows in size over time. These patches are smooth with no hairs. 

4. Sudden Extreme Hair Fall

If you notice a sudden increase in usual hair fall, excessive hair on the comb, floor or towel. 

5. Itching and Redness in the Scalp

The presence of redness, flakes, itching and painful bumps in the scalp are signs of scalp infections like ringworm or folliculitis which  are some common reasons for scalp hair loss. 

6. Loosening of Hair

The hair becomes loose and thin from the follicle and comes out in lots whenever you touch or comb them. 

What are Hair Loss Diagnostic Methods?

Some hair loss symptoms are visible, while some others are invisible. When you notice you suffer from hair loss, visit a hair doctor immediately. The doctor will perform the following tests to find the cause behind the hair condition to treat it effectively. 

  • Pull Test 

The most basic diagnostic step that the doctor performs is the pull test. In this test, the doctor lightly pulls a bunch of hair to see how many come up – the pulled hair are then observed to identify the stage of the hair growth cycle.

  • Blood Test

Your dermatologist may advise a few blood tests to find out the underlying medical conditions that can cause hair loss.

  • Light Microscopy 

Light microscope or trichoscope  is an instrument used by the hair loss doctor to find the changes seen at root level or scalp level. 

  • Biopsy of the Scalp

In a biopsy, the doctor collects the root sample by plucking some hairs and taking a part of the skin. By observing the roots in the microscope, the doctor verifies if any underlying changes in the scalp or hair structure  is causing hair loss. 

Treatments Available

Hair Loss Treatment in Pune

Some hair loss conditions can be treated, while others can only be slowed down using medical treatments. Your hair loss dermatologist will recommend the best treatment depending on the hair loss condition you have. Below are a few medical treatments available for hair loss.

  • Medications 

Some of the common medications prescribed by dermatologists in India are-

  • Minoxidil

Minoxidil is a topical medicine that is available in the form of lotions, foams and serums. This lotion is prescribed especially to men and women suffering from pattern baldness. It promotes more anagen hair leading to hair growth. When applied to the scalp regularly, you will observe hair growth. 

  • Finasteride 

Finasteride is a drug available in the form of a pill that slows down the hair loss process by blocking the action of DHT hormone and can sometimes lead to hair regrowth. The pill should not be taken without a dermatologist’s prescription. 

  • Therapies

Therapies like platelet-rich plasma therapy are done to increase blood supply and increase the enzyme activity at the root level of hair. Increased blood supply provides more nutrition and growth factors to the follicles and promotes hair regrowth. The therapy increases the thickness of the hair shaft and is commonly combined with other medical treatments for better results. 

  • Hair Transplant Surgery

Hair transplant surgery is the best option to go for if you suffer from permanent hair loss. The restoration surgery done by an experienced dermatologist can help you receive hair on bald spots. In this procedure, hair from the hair rich place is transferred to that portion of hair where there is no hair.

  • Laser Treatments

Low-level laser therapy is an effective therapy to treat hair loss conditions. The low-level laser treatment is a light based therapy where the physical properties of light are used to promote biological changes in the scalp. It improves hair density by improving the blood circulation on the scalp, which rejuvenates the hair follicle and promotes hair regrowth. 

  • Camouflage

Sometimes ways like shaving the head, wearing a wig or hairpiece  or using hair fibers to hide the bald spot can be used as a temporary solution. You may talk to your hair specialist for suitable options. 

Natural and Effective Remedies to Treat Hair Loss

Natural Remedies to Treat Hair Loss

If you are suffering from hair loss and are looking for the best treatments to recover the lost hair, you may try these natural yet effective remedies to treat hair loss. All these remedies are natural and do not have any adverse side effects, making them worth trying. 

  • Aloe Vera and Coconut Oil

Aloe vera alone is very beneficial for hair as it makes them stronger from the roots, helps remove dandruff and boosts hair growth. When combined with coconut oil, the mask tends to improve hair strength and makes them silk, soft and thick. The mask removes the dead cells from the scalp and rejuvenates them, facilitating hair regrowth. 

  • Essential Oil Massage

Essential oils like lavender, peppermint, cedarwood, rosemary, thyme, clary, lemongrass and tea tree oil boost hair growth and make hair stronger. Massaging with these essential oils can treat hair problems like alopecia areata as the blood circulation on the scalp increases, which facilitates regrowth. Their antibacterial properties treat infection and effectively help recover the lost hair. 

  • Onion Juice Mask

Extracting the juice from the onion and then applying it to the scalp can make your hair stronger from the roots. The juice mask boosts the blood flow in the scalp, which exfoliates the hair follicle leading to hair regrowth. The juice, moreover with its antibacterial properties, fights against scalp infections. 

  • Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar mask keeps the infections due to PH imbalances at bay and reduces hair fall. It helps improve hair conditions by reducing dandruff, split ends, and scalp hygiene. The mask makes hair stronger and resistant to frizz, reducing breakage and keeping away hair loss

How to Prevent Hair Loss?

If your parents have suffered from hair loss, then you are most likely to inherit it. Thus, taking preventive measures to keep hair loss problems away is important. You must keep in mind the following points listed below to maintain your hair health and prevent hair loss due to lifestyle-related factors.

  • Proper Nutrition

Consuming a proper diet that contains all the types of macro and micronutrients is necessary to maintain the good health of hair. Ensure your diet contains protein, vitamins, minerals, zinc, iron and healthy fatty acids to maintain your hair. You must consume green leafy vegetables, eggs, seeds, nuts, and fruits to promote regrowth. 

  • Minimise Styling 

You must be gentle with your hair and stop using styling products like harmful chemicals, gels, straighteners, curlers and blow dryers. Styling hair frequently with these tools and ponytails can make them weak, dull, brittle and prone to falling out. Minimise styling your hair and start using milder products to maintain the hair’s natural shine. 

  • Stress Management 

Manage your stress by getting involved in outdoor activities, yoga and exercises to keep stress hair fall away. In stress, you may start pulling your hair, leading to traction alopecia. Avoid any such habits and cheer yourself by getting involved in activities to enjoy to reduce stress. 

  • Proper Lifestyle 

Maintain a proper lifestyle to prevent hair loss. Do not starve your body by dieting; consume a proper diet. Sleep for 8 hours to relax your body and say no to a poor lifestyle. 

When and Why to Visit a Dermatologist?

Hair Loss Dermatologist

Hair loss due to genetic composition and hormonal changes cannot be halted but can be slowed down. If you have tried all remedies and followed all safety precautions but still suffer from hair loss, you must visit an expert hair loss dermatologist. It’s never too late to visit a doctor, but the sooner you visit, the more hair you will be able to save. Hair loss conditions must not be taken lightly. 

Identifying and treating the cause is very important to recover from hair loss. If the cause is left untreated, the hair loss problem may cause permanent damage. Visiting an expert dermatologist helps you find the right treatment and address the cause at the earliest. The hair loss doctor performs several tests to diagnose the problem and treat the cause to restore the hair. The hair doctor understands the value your hair holds and thus puts immense effort to resolve the cause and help you bring back your confidence. With the best treatment recommendation, you can successfully bring your hair back. 

If you think you are suffering from a hair loss condition, book an appointment with HairMD today. With advanced technology and modern medicine our expert trichologists can help you save your hair and gain your confidence.

Are you looking for hair fall solution? Get in touch with the best of our hair doctors in Pune to cure your hair loss. To book an appointment for a hair treatment or hair transplantation, contact our dermatologists near you, call +919584584111.

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