How To Prevent Balding

About Dr Jaspreet Sarna
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.
It is estimated that by the age of 40, almost half of the men will experience hair loss. Likewise, almost half the women will suffer hair loss before the age of 70. Here, we look at the reasons for balding and how one can prevent balding.
How To Prevent Balding

How to Identify Early Signs of Balding

It is always suggested that you be careful about the early signs of balding. Noticing early signs can help you identify the issue and take up appropriate treatment. An important thing to note is that male pattern baldness happens in stages and thus early detection of the signs can be very helpful for knowing how to prevent balding. Let’s look at some early signs of balding.

  • Changing Hairline
  • Baldness often starts at the hairline and begins with the temples and crown area for most people. Thinning of hair is the first thing that you will start to notice. You can compare pictures that are about a year apart. If there is a receding hairline, it can be concluded by comparing the pictures. If you notice this, you should take appropriate action and consult an expert on how to stop receding hairline.

  • Thinning of Hair
  • A lot of people go through a phenomenon known as diffuse thinning. This may affect the entire scalp or specific areas, most commonly the top of the head. In these situations, baldness starts from the top or the back. Just like a receding hairline, this can also be found out by comparing pictures from different periods. If such a comparison shows thinner hair now, it could be a case of male pattern baldness. If the hair around the crown seems to be thinning with time, you should take action on how to prevent balding.

  • Excessive Hair Loss After Showering or Brushing
  • It is normal for a person to lose about 50 to 100 hair strands a day. However, if you start to notice an excessive amount of hair falling during showering, combing, or brushing, you could be at the risk of male pattern baldness. It is no cause for alarm if this happens only for a few days as this could also be happening from a high fever, medications, or stress. However, if you experience excessive hair loss every day for a long time such as anywhere between one to six months, then it is time for medical advice.

    The above three signs can help you to decide to take action for your hair loss. In addition to these, there are some other common signs as well that might make you believe you are suffering from the onset of baldness. These are common signs of hair fall but they do not confirm the onset of baldness.

    1. An itchy scalp might be due to many causes such as dandruff. This does not point to a long-term permanent hair loss condition.
    2. If the hair looks very thin after a shower, it is due to the clumping of hair revealing the scalp. To check if your hair is thinning over time, always compare pictures of dried hair.
    3. Few hair strands left on the soap is normal and not a reliable indicator for baldness.
    4. A hair strand that has fallen out naturally has a depigmented bulb-like structure at its root end. This is just natural hair fall after telogen and the strands will grow back again.
    5. A bald grandfather on either side of your parents’ family could have a genetic impact. This does not mean that you will experience baldness, but this makes you susceptible.

    Reasons for Balding

    Before we get into how to prevent balding, let's look at its causes. Every hair on the scalp goes through a natural cycle of growth, rest, and shedding. It is normal for a person to lose about 50 -100 strands of hair per day. If you experience loss in patches, sudden loss, or overall hair thinning, you might be experiencing an onset of balding. Some hair loss is temporary and may be happening due to factors such as treatments, diet, and lifestyle. Such hair loss can be addressed by making changes to the diet and lifestyle. For permanent hair loss, these changes do not work and you have to address the underlying condition that is causing the excessive hair loss.

    Some of the heavy hair fall reasons have to do with certain medical conditions. Some of the major conditions that are accompanied by excessive and abnormal hair fall are discussed below. 

  • Thyroid Imbalance
  • An imbalance of thyroid hormones in the body can cause hair loss and become one of the balding reasons. This is normally associated with other symptoms such as gain in weight and fatigue.

  • Alopecia Areata
  • This is a condition where hair loss happens in small patches. This condition is autoimmune, the immune system attacks healthy hair follicles considering them to be a threat of some kind.

  • Telogen Effluvium
  • This condition is characterized by temporary hair loss and is reversible. This could happen due to excessive stress, anxiety caused due to certain traumatic events. This might also be happening due to the side effects of certain medicines.

  • Tinea Capitis
  • This is a fungal infection and causes small, scaly spots in the scalp. This should be treated when detected. A long period of ignoring treatment can cause permanent hair loss.

  • Malnutrition
  • Severe malnutrition can result in permanent hair loss. This mostly happens due to a severe lack of protein and calories in the diet.

    Some other major causes for hair loss are - 

    1. Medications and supplements may trigger excessive and sudden hair loss. These could be medications for conditions such as cancer, high blood pressure, arthritis or anxiety, depression.
    2. Hormonal changes that might be happening due to thyroid imbalance, pregnancy, menopause, or childbirth may also be the reason for a sudden and excess hair loss.
    3. Physical and emotional stress can also cause abnormal hair fall.
    4. Radiation treatment for conditions like cancer can trigger an excess of hair fall.
    5. Rapid weight loss can sometimes be accompanied by excess hair loss.
    6. Styling practices such as tying the hair tightly can cause hair loss.
    7. Styling products used for bleaching and chemical straightening if used in excess can cause large amounts of hair to fall.

    Expert Tips to Prevent Balding

    How to stop balding? Some of these tips have to do with diet, supplements, and hair care while the others are medications and treatments. Let’s look at how to stop balding and regrow hair.

    A. How to prevent balding by taking a suitable and Healthy Diet

    • Raw vegetables and herbs 

    Reduce the risk of androgenic alopecia or slow its onset. Diet with raw vegetables and herbs such as basil along with salads should be taken for more than three days a week.

    • Protein-rich diet

    A diet composed of foods like eggs, fish, chicken, nuts, and beans can help prevent hair loss as protein is the main building block of hair.

    • Vitamin A in the diet

    Foods such as sweet potato, spinach, etc. should be included in the diet. Vitamin A increases the rate of growth and promotes sebum production.

    • Supplements

    Vitamins A, B, C, D and minerals such as selenium, zinc, and iron are important for the growth and health of your hair. If your diet is not able to fulfill the daily intake of these nutrients, you can go for supplements. Similarly, biotin supplements can be taken to make up for the deficiency that leads to hair loss.

    B. How to prevent balding by taking good care of your hair 
    • Regular hair wash 

    Daily hair wash can prevent hair loss as this practice keeps the scalp clean and healthy. You should use a mild shampoo when washing your hair regularly.

    • Coconut Oil

    Can prevent hair damage that is caused due to exposure to UV rays. Massaging with coconut oil promotes blood flow, strengthens the hair, and protects it from breakage.

    • Olive Oil

    Olive oil deep conditions the hair and prevents dryness. This reduces hair breakage. Apply olive oil about an hour before going for a hair wash.

    • Essential Oils

    Can help in reducing hair fall significantly. You can mix a few drops of any essential oil such as lavender or lemongrass with a tablespoon of carrier oil such as jojoba or olive oil and massage the scalp and hair for 10 – 15 minutes before going for a hair wash.

    • Onion Juice

    Onion is rich in sulphur and applying onion juice on the scalp twice a day can cause hair regrowth in cases of alopecia areata. 

    • Scalp massage

    Stimulates the blood circulation in the scalp promoting hair growth.

    • Yoga

    Helps in reducing hair fall inducing stress and keeping your peace of mind intact. Downward Facing Dog, Forward Bend, Camel Pose, Shoulder Stand, Fish Pose, and Kneeling Pose are some of the poses that can help reduce hair fall.

    C. How to prevent balding through mindful styling and treatment
    • Styling Gently

    Keep your hair dry before going for styling. Limit the use of heat styling instruments such as curling and straightening iron to a minimum. Skipping tight hairstyles also relieves the stress that causes hair breakage and hair loss.

    • Minimizing chemical treatments

    Perms, hair colouring, and other chemical treatments damage the hair and scalp, leading to hair loss. Keep such treatment to a minimum and use alternatives that do not contain harmful chemicals such as ammonia and peroxide.

    D. How to prevent balding through medical treatments and medications
    • Laser treatment – can help people with genetic hair loss.
    • Minoxidil – an over-the-counter drug that is very effective for treating hair loss in women. 
    • Finasteride – slows hair loss and also promotes hair growth. A good answer to how to stop male pattern baldness.

    Can Balding Be Reversed?

    How to prevent balding that is not permanent?

    If the hair loss is not permanent, balding can be reversed. Some of the common signs of reversible balding are thinning of hair, receding hairline, and bald spots. If you address these issues at an early stage, you can prevent the onset of balding.

    How to prevent balding that is permanent?  

    In case of permanent hair loss, drugs like minoxidil and finasteride are clinically proven to reverse balding. This requires sticking to the medication strictly and keeping patience and a long-term commitment to the medication.

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