What is Alopecia/Hair Loss?
Alopecia refers to any hair loss in any part of the body that is normally hairy and includes thinning of hair, baldness and excessive hair fall. Alopecia has however, come to be known as hair fall specifically on the scalp. Hair fall is not just a cosmetic blow to the person who suffers from it, but it also has a major psychological impact on an individual's self-image and personality.
Allopathic medicine does not treat hair fall seriously as it is not a life-threatening disease. Loss of hair leading to thinning hair and baldness is a natural by-product of aging, but it can be controlled to a great degree as it happens due to a variety of different preventable reasons.
Hair fall is classified into various kinds depending on the cause and the pattern of hair loss.
- Alopecia Areata: Alopecia Areata refers to the loss of hair in small, well defined, patches on the scalp or any part of the body. It causes tiny bald patches on the scalp in its initial phase and can spread to the entire body if not treated in time. It is an autoimmune disease as the body's defence mechanism starts attacking the hair follicles mistakenly. It generally occurs during early childhood or late adulthood, though it can occur at any age.
- Androgenetic Alopecia (Male Pattern Hair loss): Androgenetic Alopecia is a genetically inherited characterized by a receding hairline generally accompanied by hair fall from the top of the head. The hair starts to become thin and fine and the condition is genetically inherited. The hair follicles tend to become weaker and smaller in size leading to very fine and thin hair. Most men are affected by this condition at some point or other in their lives, though it can occur in women too.
- Androgenetic Alopecia (Female Pattern Hair Loss ): Adrogenetic alopecia is characterized by thinning of the hair on the scalp accompanied by thickening of facial hair which become coarser. This condition generally strikes women during menopause and is the result of hormonal changes in the body. The hair follicles in Female pattern hair loss are not destroyed, though they tend to become inactive. Hair regrowth is by reactivation of dormant hair follicles.
- Alopecia Totalis: In this condition, the patient tends to lose all hair from the scalp. It may happen suddenly or gradually and may be a progression of alopecia areata. Alopecia totalis generally affects children and adults under the age of forty and is accompanied by a condition in which the nails become brittle or ridged in appearance.
- Alopecia Universalis: Alopecia is an autoimmune disease in which there is a complete and rapid loss of hair all over the body. Even prominent facial hair such as of eyebrows and eyelashes are lost.
- Traction Alopecia: This kind of hair loss is due to traction or too much friction or pulling of the hair and is generally permanent in nature.
- Anagen Effluvium: This is hair loss due to strong medicines or chemotherapy. It is temporary and hair grows back by itself on discontinuation of the medicines.
- Telogen Effluvium: This is excessive hair fall due to changes in the emotional and physiological conditions in the body such as a chronic disease, childbirth, severe emotional upheaval, anemia, or such other conditions, severe diseases like typhoid/dengue/malaria.
A number of factors can trigger hair loss. Genetics, aging, our dietary and lifestyle patterns all affect the condition and health of our hair.
Genetics: A major role is played by genetics in determining the condition of our hair as we grow older. However, with early intervention it is possible to have good hair in spite of bad genes.
Hormonal Changes: Thinning of hair due to aging is a result of changes in the hormonal balance of our body. Our hair goes through a growth phase (Anagen) and a resting phase (Telogen). Due to changes in hormones, the Anagen period becomes shorter and the Telogen stage increases. Stress, changes in immune system due to medicines, emotional disturbance, all contribute to hair loss.
Lack of Proper Nutrition: Another major contributor to the cause of hair loss is a lack of proper nutrition. Our hair shaft is made up of protein. Lack of enough protein in our diets reduces hair growth. Biotin, Folic acid, minerals and vitamins all encourage hair growth and stimulation of hair follicles.
Conventional hair loss therapies for hair loss consist of supplements that promote hair growth. Besides these, there are a plethora of treatments involving hair transplants and hair transfers that promise hair regrowth.
Homeopathy treats each individual as unique and takes into account the physical, mental, emotional and social aspect of a person's personality into account. Every individual is treated as unique and treatment is based on individual case assessment.
Homeopathy looks to treat the cause of the disease rather than just symptoms. It heals the patient from within. Homeopathy believes that disease is a result of an off-balance of the individual and not just a local disturbance in the body. It cures the disturbance of the person rather than just the symptoms of the disease. Therefore, the treatment is a holistic approach and the results long lasting and effective. Once properly treated with homeopathy, the disease generally never reoccurs.
Some of the commonly prescribed remedies for hair loss are:
- Silicea: Silicea enhances hair growth, strengthens hair and reduces dryness of hair.
- Kalium Carbonicum: Especially recommended for people of an introvert nature, this preparation stops hair from thinning and falling and encourages hair growth.
- Lycopodium: Lycopodium is prescribed for both men and women with premature thinning of hair It is made from the distilled spores of evergreen plants.
- Arnica: Arnica helps increase blood circulation, stimulate hair follicles and is very effective in female pattern hair loss.
- Natrum Muriaticum: Natrum Muriaticum is specifically prescribed for hair loss that occurs due to dry skin, dandruff or other skin disorders and also hair loss triggered by hormonal imbalance. It is made from the common salt and unlocks its hidden properties by homeopathic potentization methods.
- Phosphorus: Phosphorus is prescribed for hair loss due to scalp infections and dandruff, especially when hair is lost in clumps.
- Kali Sulphuricum: Highly recommended for hair loss due to dandruff; Kali sulphuricum is good for overall growth of hair.
- Jaborandi: An active ingredient in many hair oils and shampoos, it is known to stop hair fall and promote hair growth.
- A diet high in protein and iron is highly recommended in conditions of hair fall. Adequate quantities of fresh fruits and vegetables including greens should be a part of daily diet.
- Application of natural ingredients such as Amla and Shikakai is recommended.
- Try to take enough and regular sleep of a minimum of eight to ten hours a day.
- Exercise for at least half an hour three times a week. Regular exercise improves blood circulation,reduces stress and releases hormones in the body which are good for hair and skin.
- Scalp massage can boosthair growth. A well balanced diet and beauty tips can prevent hair loss and arrest unseasonalhair fall.
- Benefits of Homeopathy - (http://homeopathyeurope.org/benefits-of-homeopathy/)
- What Is Homeopathy? - (http://www.webmd.com/balance/guide/homeopathy-topic-overview)
- Lee W-S, Lee H-J. Characteristics of Androgenetic Alopecia in Asian. Annals of Dermatology. 2012;24(3):243-252. doi:10.5021/ad.2012.24.3.243.
- Characteristics of Androgenetic Alopecia in Asian - (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3412231/)
- Dr. Prasanta Banerji Homoeopathic Research Foundation - (http://www.pbhrfindia.org/a-new-beginning-2/122-differences-between-homeopathy-and-conventional-medicine.html)
Latest Publications and Research on Healing Hair Loss with Homeopathy
- Adeno-associated virus vector enables safe and efficient Cas9 activation in neonatal and adult Cas9 knockin murine cochleae. - Published by PubMed
- Genetic evaluation including exome sequencing of two patients with Gomez-Lopez-Hernandez syndrome: Case reports and review of the literature. - Published by PubMed
- Novel drug delivery approaches for the management of hair loss. - Published by PubMed
- FDA Approval Summary: Atezolizumab plus paclitaxel protein-bound for the treatment of patients with advanced or metastatic TNBC whose tumors express PD-L1. - Published by PubMed
- Physiological response, function of sweat glands, and hair follicle cycling in cattle in response to fescue toxicosis and hair genotype. - Published by PubMed