We all have some emotional relationship with our hair. Whether we wear it long or short, a certain amount of time every day goes into grooming hair. It is through the course of this everyday habit that people first notice hair fall and other changes in the scalp and hair. Thinning hair is often worrisome since it is the first step (among many) that can lead to permanent hair loss and eventual baldness. The thing about hair fall is, it happens every day. An average adult head would have about 100,000 to 150,000 strands of hair. Out of these, it is normal to lose about 50 to 100 strands of hair every day. The problem of hair loss and thinning begins when the phase of hair growth does not keep pace with the phase of hair loss.
In order to understand it more, it is important to look into the life cycle of hair.
Stages of hair growth
Normal phases of hair growth: There are different phases of hair growth including anagen, catagen and telogen phase. After completion of the last stage, the entire cycle is repeated. Every single hair undergoes these three phases of growth independent of the other hair on the scalp.
1. Anagen phase (growth phase) – It lasts for 3 to 5 yrs. This is the active phase where hair root divides at a high pace and results in hair growth. At a given time around 85% of hair strands are in this phase.
2. Catagen phase (regression phase) – Around 1- 3 % of the hair are in this phase at a given time. It lasts for approximately 10 – 20 days when the hair strand stops growing.
3. Telogen phase (resting/shedding phase) – At a given time approximately 10% of the hair are in this phase. It lasts for around three months after which the hair falls.
As long as the hair continues to regrow at the same speed as it falls (naturally), hair loss is not an issue. However, when hair shedding phase is going on at its own pace but the growth phase (anagen phase) is shortened, then less hair grow at a given time in this short time span (as compared to normal hair growth) while more hair continue to be shed at the same time. In such cases, hair loss is visible and requires treatment.
Homeopathy for managing hair fall
Homeopathy can be a boon to persons who suffer from hair fall. Homeopathy is a very safe and gentle option that helps cases of hair fall naturally. Homeopathic treatment helps prevent further hair fall, maintains the quality of the growing hair and also aid hair regrowth. It is very effective in general hair fall as well as hair fall occurring in spots. Hair regrowth with homeopathy works well when the underlying causes of hair fall have been correctly identified. The best homeopathic medicine for hair growth is chosen according to the symptoms and pattern of hair fall. Homeopathic medicines are suitable to people of all age groups and can be used with zero side effects.
Top Five Homeopathic Medicines For Hair Fall
The top listed medicines in homeopathy to manage hair fall are Phosphorus, Fluoric Acid, Wiesbaden Aqua, Phosphoric Acid and Thallium Met.
1. Phosphorus – For Excessive Hair Fall In Bunches
Phosphorus is best medicine when hair falls out excessively in bunches. Mainly hair fall occurs from the forepart of the head in cases needing it. It helps to control hair fall and stimulate hair growth wonderfully. Persons who require this medicine may have dry hair. They may also have dandruff and itchy scalp. It is also a prominent medicine for premature greying of hair.
When and How to use Phosphorus?
This medicine is the best bet for hair falling out excessively in bunches. It helps control hair fall and also promote hair regrowth. It can be used in 30C potency two times a day.
2. Fluoricum Acidum – For Hair Loss In Spots
A person having hair loss in spots (alopecia areata) can find this medicine beneficial. It prevents further progression of hair loss and promotes hair regrowth in the already present spots. It is also a good medicine when hair strands are brittle and dry that tend to break off easily. It helps in decreasing dryness in the hair and preventing hair breakage. Lastly, it is also the best for controlling hair loss after fever, particularly typhoid.
When and How to use Fluoric Acid?
Its use is highly recommended to manage hair loss occurring in spots. Though it can be used in different potencies but in beginning it is best to take it in 30C potency twice a day.
3. Wiesbaden Aqua – For Hair Regrowth
It is a natural remedy to aid hair regrowth. It is sourced from springs of Wiesbaden in Prussia. This medicine is known to aid the quick growth of hair. It also helps make the hair dense and darker in color. It nourishes hair roots and makes hair healthy and strong.
When and How to use Wiesbaden Aqua?
Use of this medicine is frequently recommended to promote hair regrowth. Its use is suggested in 30C potency two times a day.
4. Phosphoric Acid – For Hair Fall From Grief
It is useful to treat hair loss that occurs as a result of grief and sorrow. Those needing it experience marked thinning and falling of hair. They may have early greying of hair as well. It is also valuable to treat hair loss occurring in beard area.
When and How to take Phosphoric Acid?
Anyone experiencing hair fall due to grief can take this medicine. It gives excellent results here. Initially, Phosphoric Acid 30C can be used twice a day for best results.
5. Thallium Met – For Hair Fall After Acutely Exhausting Health Conditions
It is highly suitable to treat hair fall after acute exhausting health conditions. For example, flu, throat infection, prolonged fever. The hair fall is quite rapid in cases needing it. It may be general hair loss all over the scalp or in spots. The hair comes out in handfuls.
When and How to use Thallium Met?
This medicine can be used after some acute health condition like flu, prolonged fever. This medicine can be taken in 30C potency once a day.
Hair fall can be a result of some health issues. Hormonal changes, emotional or mental stress, change of environment, the quality of bathing water and diet in general can contribute towards hair fall.
1. Thyroid– Thyroid problems cause hair loss in severe and prolonged cases. Since thyroid and alopecia areata are both autoimmune diseases, one can trigger the other. Hair fall due to thyroid can be treated once the underlying hormonal imbalance is fixed, although it can take some time for the hair to grow back.
2. Hormonal changes including those that occur after childbirth, during menopause, hypothyroidism, PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome)
3. Emotional trauma like constant stress or grief due to loss of a family member/close friend.
4. Nutritional deficiencies and anemiadue to a poor diet, or some other underlying health condition that prevents the absorption of nutrients can also cause hair fall. Main deficiencies include iron, zinc, protein and vitamin B3.
5. Recovery from acute fevers like typhoid may lead to diffuse hair loss.
6. Alopecia Areatais an autoimmune disease that causes hair loss in spots. In this condition, the immune cells of the body mistake the hair cells as a foreign substance and start destroying them. It is a common cause of hair fall in people under 20 years of age and is commonly found in people with autoimmune thyroid problems.
7. Certain Drugs (like the ones used to treat high blood pressure, joint pains, cancer, or depression) can also cause hair fall as a side effect. For example, anagen effluvium refers to a condition of hair loss due to chemotherapy in a cancer patient. Chemotherapy drugs used as a part of cancer treatment damage hair follicles, leading to hair loss.
8. Physical trauma/ injury to the head can also lead to hair fall in some cases.
9. General diseases like diabetes mellitus, tuberculosis, or AIDS tend to cause hair fall due to decreased immunity and nutrition in the body.
10. Certain hairstyles like tight braids or ponytails where the hair is tightly pulled back can lead to traction alopecia. Indiscriminate use of hair color and heating tools can damage the hair and lead to hair fall.
11.Trichotillomania is a mental disorder in which the affected person voluntarily pulls out his/her hair out of the scalp.
Hair Fall From Scalp Conditions
Many scalp conditions can lead to or contribute towards hair loss. Some of the major scalp conditions associated with hair fall include tinea capitis, lichen planus, eczema of the scalp (seborrheic dermatitis), scalp folliculitis and dandruff.
1. Fungal Infection of Scalp (Tinea Capitis)
Tinea capitis is a contagious infection of the scalp. It spreads from person to person or by sharing objects like towels, combs, and hair brushes. Its main features are itchy, scaly patches on the scalp which tend to enlarge gradually. Blisters may also appear with oozing of fluid. The hair in the affected area get brittle, and break. So, bald patches on the scalp tend to come on.
2. Lichen Planus
Lichen planus is an autoimmune condition affecting skin, hair and mucous membranes. It leads to flat-topped purple-colored papules on the skin. In cases where lichen planus involves scalp discoloration, hair loss is also noted.
3. Eczema of the Scalp (Seborrheic dermatitis)
It is an oily, inflammatory condition along with flakiness/dandruff that mainly affects the scalp. Itching and burning of varying degrees may appear. The flakes tend to clog the hair follicles and hinder hair growth. The hair may stick to the oily flakes and tend to fall off on scratching. Hair loss, therefore, becomes an associated condition with seborrheic dermatitis. Apart from the scalp, other areas like the face, eyelashes, ears, and chest also get affected.
4. Scalp folliculitis
The inflammation and infection of hair follicles of the scalp is termed as scalp folliculitis. It may be a result of a bacterial infection, fungal infection or due to overproduction of sebum that clogs the hair follicles on the scalp. The features of scalp folliculitis include pimples or pustular eruptions on the scalp. There may be yellowish or clear fluid oozing from these eruptions. Itching, burning, and pain is accompanied by hair loss.
Dandruff is a scalp condition wherein flakiness on the scalp is present along with itching. Dandruff does not cause hair fall directly, but the itching and the attended scratching of the scalp leads to hair fall.
Male Pattern Baldness
What is Male Pattern Baldness?
Male balding is a common problem, and surprisingly men tend to feel isolated when suffering from it. According to statistics, 40% of the men undergo noticeable hair loss by the age of 35. By the time they’re 80, they would have lost almost 80% of their hair. Homeopathy for hair loss works by strengthening the hair follicle and moderating the effects of the hormones associated with hair loss.
In young males, male pattern baldness typically begins from the frontal area and the crown. With age, it progresses towards the back of the head.
Anybody with a genetic predisposition towards baldness typically experiences a change in the hair-growth cycle, mostly caused due to the action of the hormone dihydrotestosterone. The hair falls naturally, but the new hair that is supposed to grow is thinner, shorter and has a lighter pigmentation. This means that although the hair continues to grow at the root, it is too thin to sustain. The rate of new hair growing as compared to the rate with which it falls is the main sign of male pattern baldness.
Are you heading towards early hair loss?
With the given statistics, it is a fact that every other male will suffer early hair loss and male balding. Signs of early hair loss in men can be visible as early as the age of 18. Some common early warning signs of male pattern baldness include:
– Receding hairline from the forehead and temples
– Bald patch on top of the scalp
– Reduced density of hair
– Thinning of hair
– Itching on the scalp
The Pattern of Hair Loss in Men
Hair fall in men usually follows any one of the two patterns:
Receding: It is a very common condition where the hairline starts receding from the forehead, or the front of the head and the sides, along the temples. The hair gradually starts thinning giving the illusion of a larger forehead.
Vertex Thinning: The hair all over the head, and mainly around the crown start thinning out. New strands of hair grow, but are very thin.
Homeopathic Treatment Vs Conventional Treatment Of Male Pattern Baldness
Homeopathic remedy for baldness is a more conservative form of treatment as compared to conventional modes of treatments which involves the use of drugs like minoxidil and finasteride, and other methods like a hair transplant.
Minoxidil works by stimulating the hair follicles and is said to help grow new hair, but it can have side effects like unwanted body hair, irregular heartbeat, allergic drug reactions like a rash, swelling of the throat, face, or tongue and dizziness.
Finasteride is a drug used to treat inflammation in the prostate glands by reducing the production of DTH, which also helps decrease the rate of hair loss. Its side effects include allergic reactions like hives, swelling on the face and difficulty in breathing. Impotence and loss of interest in sexual activity are some more severe side effects. These (if developed) tend to continue even after stopping the medicine.
Homeopathic treatment for hair loss works by targeting the root cause – whether it is a hormonal problem or a disease. Homeopathic medicines are effective to prevent further progression of hair loss. In early stages, regrowth of hair can occur but it varies from case to case. There are no side effects of homeopathic medicines for balding in men, which makes them an effective option.
Top Three Homeopathic Medicines for Male Pattern Baldness
1. Lycopodium Clavatum – Top Homeopathic Medicine For Hair Regrowth
It a natural medicine prepared from a plant named club moss and is usually the first choice of medicine for male pattern baldness. It helps to halt further progression of hair loss and also aids hair regrowth (though it varies from case to case) in male pattern baldness. Its use is recommended when hairline is receding and hair loss is occurring from the sides of the scalp (temple region). With this, dandruff may be present with foul smell emanating from the scalp. The scalp may be itchy, burning sensation can also be present.
When and How to use Lycopodium?
This medicine can be used as a front line of treatment in any case of male pattern baldness. Its action prevents further hair loss and may also promote hair regrowth (mainly applicable to early stages of hair loss but varies from person to person). Though it can be used in both low and high potencies, it is most frequently recommended in 30C power. Lycopodium 30C can be taken once a day for a month or two.
2. Baryta Carb – For Hair Loss From Crown Area
It works well for male pattern baldness where hair loss is mostly visible on the crown or top of the scalp (vertex). The scalp may be sensitive to touch, along with a crawling sensation.
When and How to use baryta carb?
This medicine is mainly prescribed to manage male pattern baldness when hair loss is prominent on the crown area (top of head). Most frequently, it is advised to take Baryta carb 30C once or twice a day as per severity of complaint.
3. Silicea – For Male Pattern Baldness In Young Males
Silicea is useful for male pattern baldness in very young males, where the males tend to experience hair loss very early in their life. Severe itching of the scalp occurs. Excessive sweating occurs on the scalp that gives foul smell. Sensation of coldness is felt on the scalp.
When and How to use Silicea?
Males who experience hair loss very early in their life (18-19 yrs of age) can be given this medicine to stop progression of hair loss. It can be used in 30C potency two times a day.
What are the main reasons for Male Pattern Baldness?
Changing Hormone Levels (Androgens)
Male pattern baldness is linked with male sex hormones or androgens including testosterone and dihydrotestosterone. Androgens help in the development of male sex organs and other male characteristics including deepening of the voice, increasing muscle/bone mass, sperm production, controlling sex drive and growth of body hair including facial hair growth. The change in levels of these hormones results in shrinking of hair follicles and shortening of the growth phase of hair (anagen phase). These two factors result in hair loss.
Shrinking of Hair Follicles
Hair follicles are a pouch or sac found under the skin, from which a hair strand grows. A person on an average has 1,50000 hair follicles on the scalp. In case of male pattern baldness due to shrinkage of hair follicles, either short, thin hair grow, or a stage comes when no hair grows at all.
Shortening Of The Growth Phase Of Hair (Anagen Phase)
Which factors contribute to this steady loss of hair?
Male pattern balding is the result of many inter-dependent factors. They can be hereditary or be associated with lifestyle choices. In some cases, underlying health conditions can indirectly cause hair loss.
You get it from your mother … True or False?
It is common knowledge that male pattern baldness is inherited from the mother. This is true because the baldness gene is present on the X chromosome (the female chromosome), so it is the woman who passes it on. This hereditary factor is dominant on the maternal side, which means that even if the father has a head full of hair, the son may experience male pattern baldness at a young age. This is especially so if the mother’s brother has a receding hairline.
However, the male pattern baldness gene gets passed to the next generation from both sides of the family, however it may skip a generation. Even within the same generation, one male child may have thick hair, while the other may suffer from a receding hairline.
It runs in the family.
Numerous studies have proved that the degree of relationship in terms of family history also increases the severity of baldness. For example, a person whose father or sibling (first-degree relative) is bald is more likely to undergo moderate-to-severe baldness himself as compared to someone who has more distant relatives facing baldness. The former are 13 times more likely to have baldness as compared to those with no family history.
Could you be smoking your hair away?
According to a research, the prevalence of baldness increases with age. In terms of smoking, a comparison between people who have ‘never smoked’ and the ones who are smokers or who have quit, gave interesting results. Current smokers, or those who have quit, are almost twice as likely to experience moderate to severe hair loss. Further, a comparison between current smokers (who smoked less than 20 cigarettes a day) and those who earlier smoked but have quit, are not at an increased risk of baldness.
The intensity of smoking, therefore, is also related to the likelihood of baldness.
Smoking has adverse effects on many organ systems within the body. It leads to poor circulation of oxygen and essential nutrients through the blood, which leads to reduced hair and scalp health. Also, chemicals found in tobacco are toxic and can damage the hair follicles.
Drinking is no better …
Male pattern baldness and the consumption of alcohol are closely linked factors. The main reasons why alcohol harms the body and aggravates baldness are:
1. Alcohol leads to the consumption of empty calories. The person drinking alcohol may feel too full to eat a proper, nutritious meal. This leads to a lack of nutrition in the body, which can aggravate baldness.
2. Lack of a well-balanced diet can lead to the deficiency of vitamins like B1 (thiamine), which is essential for hair growth.
3. Alcohol also contributes to hair loss by damaging the stomach lining as well as the liver, which leads to an increase in the production of acid in the digestive system. This makes it difficult for the body to absorb nutrients properly.
4. Excessive drinking leads to a diuretic effect due to which the levels of magnesium and potassium in the body can drop. The body is then unable to sustain healthy functions, including hair growth.
5. The only time alcohol helps the hair is when we drench the hair with beer during a wash. Keeping the hair drenched in beer for a minute or so before rinsing it out helps strengthen the hair.
Anabolic steroids are a group of synthetic and natural steroid hormones that are used to promote muscle strength and growth. Testosterone, for example, is a natural anabolic steroid.
The relation between steroids and hair loss is through hormones. The hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is one of the primary hormones linked to male pattern baldness. Steroids accelerate the production of DHT. When the amount of DHT increases in the system, it leads to hair loss. It should be noted that balding due to the use of an anabolic steroid happens if a male is already genetically predisposed to balding. Steroids only speed up the process.
The hormone DHT binds to the receptors in the hair follicles, causing them to shrink, weaken and die (a process known as miniaturization). In contrast, DHT acts as an essential hormone that is responsible for hair growth in other areas of the body, like the back and chest.
It can thus be concluded that men who do not have a genetic predisposition towards hair loss may not go bald by using steroids but can experience a milder form of hair loss. Topical treatment with DHT blockers for hair loss is often used in such cases.
As the second most common type of cancer in males, prostate cancer is a leading cause of male pattern baldness. The link here is the hormone Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is made from testosterone by an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase. This hormone is present in hair follicles, skin and the prostate. The sensitivity of the hair follicles to this hormone is the main cause of hair loss. Although they are separate conditions, male pattern baldness and prostate cancer are linked by the DHT hormone. DHT stimulates the growth of prostate cells, contributing to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or prostate cancer in older men. With age, the DHT levels rise, and an accumulation of this hormone leads to an enlarged prostate.
Testosterone and prostate enlargement, male pattern baldness, and prostate cancer are all hormone-dependent. Androgenetic alopecia treatment in homeopathy involves moderating the effect of these hormones.
Managing Male Pattern Baldness
Managing male pattern baldness requires a preventive approach. If you’re wondering whether male pattern balding is reversible or not, the answer is it depends on the underlying cause of hair fall that can be treated with the help of homeopathy.
However, hair loss can be slowed down without using any drastic methods. Some of these include:
-Washing hair with gentle movements and lukewarm water, and drying them carefully to maintain the remaining hair.
– Getting an adequate amount of sleep and reducing stress is essential since the concentration of growth hormones in the body is the highest during sleep.
– Embracing hair loss as a part of genetics, aging and life, in general, can help escape the stigma that surrounds the problem. It is a natural part of life and should be embraced as it is.
Reversing male pattern baldness is subject to individual factors. Generalized treatments may work on some people, while others see no concrete or long-lasting results. Hair transplants are becoming an increasingly common method of managing baldness and work as a good alternative in severe cases.
Female Pattern Baldness
What is Female Pattern Baldness?
Also known as androgenetic alopecia, female pattern baldness is very similar to male pattern baldness. The main difference between male and female pattern baldness is the pattern of hair loss. In females, thinning of hair (and not a receding hairline) is observed. Women carry very little chance of going completely bald as compared to males. However, 40% of the women experience visible hair loss by the time they touch the age of 40 years. Thinning of hair begins between the age of 25 to 35 years. 90% of female baldness is directly linked to genetics, although there are other contributing factors. Since many factors can cause hair fall in women, it is difficult to diagnose, and treat the exact problem.
Female hair loss treatment in homeopathy offers a conservative course of medicines that works gradually over time to fix the problem at the roots. Conventional treatment includes the use of drugs like minoxidil and androgen-blockers, but unless the root cause of the hair fall is identified, these treatments only act as placebos.
Are you heading towards female pattern baldness?
The early key indication to recognize female pattern baldness is the gradual loss of hair from the parting line of the hair on the scalp. Found around the area of the center of the scalp, most females begin losing hair from their parting line. This progresses to the widening of the parting line, followed by general diffused hair thinning on the scalp. There are very little chances of complete baldness, but excessive thinning of hair throughout the scalp is generally observed.
Female pattern baldness can be divided into three grades. In the first grade, there is slight thinning of hair around the part line. In the second grade, the parting line gets widened with increased thinning of hair around it. In the third grade, there is diffused hair thinning throughout the scalp. Spots of the scalp may also be visible in this case.
Homeopathic Medicines For Hair Fall In Females
1. Sepia Succus – Top Homeopathic Medicine For Female Pattern Baldness
It is a highly valuable medicine for female pattern baldness and hair fall. In menopausal age, Sepia Succus has been successfully used to treat female pattern baldness. The scalp is painful to touch, the roots of hair seems sore (pain on touching) , feels sensitive on combing. Along the margin of hair on the forehead, pimples can be seen.
When and How to use Sepia?
Its use can be considered to manage hair loss in females around menopause. The suggested dose is Sepia 30 C once a day.
2. Natrum Mur – For Hair Loss In Women After childbirth
Women experiencing hair loss after childbirth can be highly benefitted by it. Along with hair loss, severe headache after child delivery may be felt. Hair loss may be noted on the slightest touch on the scalp. Hair loss is marked at the sides and forepart of the head. Dandruff with white scales may be noted on scalp.
When and How to use Natrum Mur?
It is the best prescription for managing hair loss in women after childbirth. It can be taken in 30 C potency once a day.
What causes Female Pattern Baldness?
In females, the leading cause of baldness is the shrinking of hair follicles. This shrinking leads to the production of short and thin hair, along with a shortening of the hair growth phase.
No specific cause has been determined as yet, although the androgens (hormones) are thought to play a role.
The major contributing factor towards female pattern baldness is a genetic predisposition (history of hair loss on either side of the family). It’s more commonly seen in middle-aged women and after menopause.
Female pattern baldness in the 20s is usually related to heredity, lifestyle or stress.
In rare cases, tumors (benign, non-cancerous) of the pituitary gland/ ovaries/ adrenals that secrete androgens also can lead to female pattern hair loss.
Lifestyle tips to minimize hair loss
1. Promote intake of iron, zinc and protein-rich food items
2. Avoid shampoos with harsh chemicals. Consider using mild and gentle shampoo to wash hair
3. When styling hair in braids, ponytails, keep the hair loose to prevent extra pressure on hair
4. Avoid or limit use of hair straighteners, blow dryers, coloring products
5. Manage stress because stress promotes hair loss. Do meditation or yoga to de-stress yourself
6. If in the habit of smoking then try to stop it as smoking may damage hair follicles
Note regarding use of homeopathic medicines
Use of any of the homeopathic medicines mentioned in this article should be done only in recommended power and dose. You may continue these medicines for a month or two. To continue for more than a month, it is strictly advised to consult a homeopathic physician. Also, do not use high potencies of any of these medicines without consulting a homeopathic expert.