Reasons for Hair Loss
A diet that is rich in nutrients is essential for good hair health. Your diet should be providing vitamins A, B, C, D, and E. Foods rich in minerals such as zinc, iron, magnesium as well as proteins should be made a part of your diet. Nutritional imbalance resulting from lack of these nutrients may be the reason for your hair loss.
Whenever you are anxious or under stress, the body secretes certain hormones excessively in expectation of an external threat. This hormonal change adversely impacts hair growth. Today, stress and anxiety are one of the major causes of hair loss.
Certain medications can result in hair loss. These medications could be for conditions such as high blood pressure, cancer. Hormones in birth control pills can also cause hair fall.
Excess consumption of alcohol and smoking can lead to hair loss. Smoking in fact accelerates hair loss. If the environment around you is polluted, it can also lead to hair loss.
Chemical-based hair styling products, if used in excess can make the hair dry, frizzy leading to hair fall. Using a lot of heat-based tools such as a straightener can also become the cause of hair fall.
Hormonal imbalance sometimes can also be the cause of hair loss. Women post the age of 30 may also have some hormonal imbalance causing hair loss. In the case of PCOS, excessive levels of androgen hormone can be the cause of hair loss. An imbalance of thyroid hormones can also trigger hair loss.
Genes also play a role in hair loss. If either or both of your parents suffered from conditions such as premature hair loss, then there is a probability that you might have genetic hair loss.
Sometimes women might experience postpartum hair loss which is usually temporary.
If you are suffering from Trichotillomania which is a hair pulling disorder, you might have permanent hair loss.
Stages of Hair growth
Every strand of hair on your body goes through a natural cycle of growth. This cycle consists of four phases. Each hair follicle goes through these four stages and then the cycle repeats. The four stages are -
This is the growth phase. In this phase, the hair strands grow out of the hair follicle and this stage normally lasts for up to seven years.
The second phase can last for two to four weeks. This is the transitional phase and here the hair growth slows down. Finally, the hair follicle stops producing the hair.
This phase can last for up to four months. Once the hair is in this stage, all the growth has stopped and the hair rests.
This is the last phase of the hair growth cycle. In this phase, the hair gets shed.
Once the old hair falls off in the exogen phase, the cycle starts again. This cycle keeps repeating as long as the hair follicle is active.
Hair Regrowth Techniques and Methods
A good hair care routine and a healthy stress-free lifestyle is the starting point for hair regrowth. In this section, we will look at some of the approaches to our daily health and hair care that can bring about hair regrowth. Everything from washing to oiling or styling your hair affects the hair. So, if you want hair regrowth, revisiting the haircare routine is where you should begin.
- Shampooing - There is a common misconception that washing the hair too often causes hair fall. It is important to note that your hair wash frequency should be guided by your hair type. For example, oily hair needs to be washed more often than dry and frizzy hair.
- Conditioning - Always use a conditioner after washing your hair with shampoo as it restores the moisture loss during shampooing.
- Hair treatments - the chemicals present in the hair styling products such as hair dye are harmful to the hair and scalp. Excessive usage of such products can cause hair loss. You should try natural alternatives and limit chemical treatment to a minimum.
- Brushing and styling - Vigorous brushing of the hair can cause it to break off from the scalp. If you style your hair in the form of tight ponytails and tight plaits, then the hair can break under the pressure.
Oiling is very essential for hair regrowth and maintaining the health of your hair in general. Massaging during oiling increases the blood flow to the scalp and results in longer, thicker hair. In a later section, we will look at natural oils that can be a good remedy for hair loss and can stimulate hair regrowth.
Hair loss is also caused due to improper diet. A Balance of a variety of nutrients including vitamins, minerals, and proteins needs to be maintained for reducing hair loss and keeping the hair healthy thereafter.
- Iron – The deficiency of iron is very common. This deficiency can lead to hair loss.
- Zinc – The deficiency of zinc can cause the hair to become brittle and become prone to breakage or falling off.
- Fatty acids – essential for hair regrowth as they make the hair thick and strong.
- Vitamins - A, B, C, D, and E are necessary for maintaining the health of the hair and preventing hair loss.
- Proteins – The hair is made up of a protein called keratin. A protein-rich diet is essential for healthy hair.
You can use the below information to enrich your diet and achieve a balance of the nutrients essential for an effective hair regrowth.
- Spinach – Rich in iron and proteins and Vitamin A, C.
- Oats - Rich in fiber, zinc, iron, and omega-6 fatty acids.
- Carrots - Rich in Vitamin A, prevent itchiness and improve blood circulation in the scalp.
- Walnuts - contain biotin and vitamins B1, B6, B9, E. Walnuts are also rich in protein and magnesium.
- Eggs - help in rebuilding hair as they are rich in protein.
- Chicken - lean meats have high protein.
- Fruits and Vegetables - strawberries, guavas, cabbage, cauliflower, and sweet potato are rich in vitamins and keep your hair healthy.
- Yogurt - Provides Vitamin B5 and D.
Stress and anxiety are linked directly to hair fall. You should avoid a stressful life and indulge in physical activities such as outdoor sports or exercise. Pranayam, Yoga, and meditation are very useful in keeping your mind, body and soul energized and stress-free. Yoga also balances the doshas in your body.
Natural remedies for hair growth
Here we discuss the most effective natural remedies for hair regrowth.
Boosts blood circulation in the scalp promoting hair growth. You can put a few drops in your shampoo or conditioner and use the oil.
This contains fatty acids that reduce the loss of protein from the hair. Due to this action, it can be used to treat damaged hair of all types and cause hair regrowth. You should massage the scalp thoroughly for about fifteen minutes before washing.
This stimulates hair growth and can be used along with a carrier oil such as olive oil or coconut oil. You can also put a few drops in your shampoo or conditioner before using.
One of the best remedies for hair growth, aloe vera reduces dandruff and soothes the scalp by unblocking the hair follicles. You can apply aloe vera gel to your hair and scalp or use shampoo and conditioner that contains aloe vera.
One of the best hair growth treatments, onion juice Improves blood circulation and promotes hair growth. You can apply the onion juice to your hair and scalp and leave for fifteen minutes before washing.
Ayurvedic Ways to Regrow Your Hair
As per Ayurveda, the balance of the body can be maintained by achieving a balance in the level of the three doshas in your body. These are known as Vata, Pitta, and Kapha dosha. Each individual has an innate nature that is characterized by a dosha. If you are having hair loss then you should try to balance the doshas.
If your innate nature is that of vata dosha, you might have hair breakage and hair fall due to limited protection against radiations. When pitta dosha spikes, there can be inflammation due to heat from inside the body. This can cause hair loss. An elevated kapha level can influence the excessive secretion of sebum. This may lead to dandruff and greasy scalp that can cause hair loss. The various ayurvedic hair growth treatments focus on the balance of the doshas in your body.
When you clean your hair, the dirt, oils, and pollutants clogging the pores are washed. If the hair is not cleaned regularly, you can get scalp irritation and hair fall. In Ayurveda, many herbs have been prescribed as very beneficial for hair cleaning. You can use Shikakai, Reetha, Methi, Triphala, Neem, or Aloe Vera for washing your hair. These herbs are easily available in powder and gel form. It is recommended that you use these herbs for cleaning the hair twice or thrice a week.
Ayurveda recommends many herbs that can be used for natural hair regrowth. These can either be used in the form of a mask or the form of supplements as capsules or powder in some cases. Some of the most common herbs are listed below -
- Aloe Vera
As per Ayurveda, a balanced diet balances your doshas. This helps in maintaining the health of the hair. A balanced diet is wholesome and rich in nutrients. Here, we take a look at the food that Ayurveda recommends for balancing your doshas.
- Pumpkin – is rich in zinc and potassium. Zinc strengthens the roots and maintains collagen levels in the scalp. Potassium activates the hair follicles. This results in hair regrowth by balancing elevated vata and pitta dosha.
- Cucumber – is rich in Vitamin A, C. cucumber helps lower the vata and pitta dosha in the body.
- Yogurt – contains lactic acid which balances the spike in vata dosha. This helps in reducing hair fall caused due to dry and frizzy hair.
- Coriander – is rich in Vitamin C, K, protein. It is also rich in minerals such as Magnesium, iron, and manganese.
- Leafy Vegetables – are rich in vitamin A, C, E, and iron. All three doshas are balanced by leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale.
- Peppermint – helps enhance blood circulation. Pitta dosha imbalance can impact blood circulation causing insufficient nutrients to reach the scalp which causes hair loss.
You can consult an ayurvedic medical practitioner for hair loss. The ayurvedic treatment for hair loss and regrowth will focus on balancing the doshas in your body. Some of the common preparations prescribed for hair regrowth in Ayurveda are Chyavana prasam, Thikthakam kashayam, Narasimha Rasayanam, Thikthakam ghritham.
Various Ayurvedic therapies can rejuvenate the scalp and leave your body with a calming effect and affect the hair regrowth positively.
In this therapy, warm oils are poured on the forehead from a dispenser oscillating sideways. The oils roll down from the forehead to the scalp. This is followed by a head massage. The therapy has a calming effect on the body and balances the vata and pitta dosha. It improves your sleep and reduces stress.
Here, warm oils are used for messaging the neck, upper back, and head. It relieves muscular stress from the upper body. The hand movements during the head massage stimulate the pressure points and improve the blood circulation to the scalp.
In this therapy, the herbs are powdered and mixed into a paste which is then applied thoroughly to the scalp. After this oil is poured on the top of the scalp. The oil enhances the impact of the herbs in the paste and helps it to reach deeper tissues. Shiro lepa balances pitta dosha and also helps in reducing heaviness and headaches.
In this process, ayurvedic oils are used to lubricate the nasal passage. You first lie down with your head tilted backward. Few drops are put into the nostril and allowed to reach the back of the throat. This therapy helps treat the imbalance caused due to all three doshas as per the time when it is performed.
You can use any ayurvedic oil and massage the scalp for about fifteen minutes. This process stimulates the blood vessels and improves the availability of oxygen and nutrients to the scalp. The most common ayurvedic oils are neem oil, brahmi oil, bhringraj oil, amla oil. You can also use sesame oil, olive oil for hair regrowth. If you want to prevent specific issues that are due to your dosha, you can infuse herbs as recommended into the hair oil and massage with the solution.
Facts and Myths of Hair Regrowth
As with any other health and wellness conditions that affect our daily lives, there are a few facts and many myths that you will come across which are related to hair regrowth. Here, we bust a few myths and reconfirm a few facts for you.1. Hair loss is hereditary - True
The hair loss gene can be inherited from either of the parents and can be the cause of hair loss.2. Aging causes hair loss – True
With age, the hair follicles reduce in number, making the hair thinner and lighter.3. Only men experience hair loss – False
Women may suffer hair loss due to hormonal imbalance, during PCOS or after pregnancy.4. Wearing head garment causes hair loss – false
Hat and hair loss are not related unless the head garment is very tight and has a pulling impact on the hair.5. Sun exposure causes hair loss – false
The sun’s rays do not reach the hair follicle which is the place where the hair loss occurs.
Traya's Hair Regrowth Treatment Options
Traya provides you with many effective options to have hair regrowth. Here we list a few products -
- Minoxidil 2% - Stimulates regrowth of thicker hair and elongates growth phase. Recommended for pattern hair loss. Also available as Minoxidil 5%
- Shatavari Nasal Drops – Provide good quality sleep and control hair fall. As effective as a four-hour Shirodhara session.
- Hair Root Serum – reverses shrinking of follicles and boosts hair growth.
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Dr. Sarna is an MD (Skin & VD) and Gold Medalist from Baroda Medical College. She has a decade long experience in treating hair loss and working on hair regrowth. She believes stress management is the key to good health.