Complete Dermatologist Guide on Alopecia Or Hair Loss

Written By Dr Surbhi, MD Skin

Last updated: 17/06/19

“Alopecia” is a dermatological term for hair loss from any part of your body.

Based on my consultation with hundreds of patient for hair loss, I have created set of questions that would elp you understand following:

  • Why you are having hair loss?

  • When to consult a dermatologist?

  • Which is dermatologist recommended hair oil and hair growth products?

  • Which vitamins are helpful?

  • Can shampoo stop hair fall?

  • What are various procedures to stop hair fall?

  • Which home remedies to try?

Read further to get your crowning glory back!

MUST READ: Best supplements for hair regrowth in India, US, UK and Canada.


When should you consult a dermatologist for your hair loss?

Hair loss of 100 hairs per day is normal. But, it is very difficult to gauge when this limit of 100 hairs is crossed. Here are 7 warning signs when you should consult your dermatologist:

1. If you notice a bunch of hair while combing or shampooing your hair: It is normal to find hair on your comb and on your hand while shampooing. However, if you are noticing an increase in the number of falling hair, especially a bunch of hair then it is a red flag sign. 

2. If you find hair almost every day on your pillow, beddings or floor.

3.  If your hair are getting thinner and smaller. 

4.  If you can see the bald scalp through your shrinking mane. 

5.  In the case of males, receding of the frontal hairline is seen as broadening of the forehead and your barber might prompt loss of hair on your vertex while doing hair cut.

6.  In females, you may notice a widening of central parting and reduction in the volume of the ponytail.

7. Positive hair pull test: Pull a bunch of approximately 100 hair, from root to tip using moderate pressure. if you notice more than 6 hair then it is an indicator that you are having active hair fall. 

 

It is important to find and treat the cause of your hair fall. Therefore, your dermatologist would order tests like haemoglobin, thyroid function test, and ultrasound for ovaries to rule out cysts. Treatment might include iron supplements, multivitamins, hormonal treatment, anti-depressants, etc.  

 

 

Why are you loosing your hair?

To know “why” you have to determine your pattern of hair loss first. There are 3 types of hair loss:

Patterned hair loss: This present differently in male and females as discussed below:

  • Male pattern baldness or Androgenetic Alopecia in males is evident as receding frontal hairline and hair loss from the vertex.

  • Female pattern Baldness: in females is characterised by hair loss from the centre of head widening the central parting and the bald area looks like a  Christmas tree when hair is partitioned from the centre.

This type of hair loss is because of genes, and you might have a family member with a similar pattern of hair loss.

Localised hair loss:  If you are losing hair in the patch then it can be due to skin diseases.

Diffuse hair loss: Diffuse hair loss occurs evenly from the scalp with increased visibility of scalp everywhere without any specific pattern. It is more common in females than in males. Diffuse hair loss is due to the following reasons:

1. Acute stress: Any kind of physical or mental stress to the body that mandates you to take bed rest for few days can result in hair loss. For example high-grade fevers (typhoid, malaria etc.), major surgery, severe trauma, bereavement etc.

2. Chronic stress: Any chronic medical disease can compromise the nutrition of your hair and hence result in hair loss; for example cancers, chronic kidney or liver diseases, tuberculosis.

3. Hormonal factors: Hormones are important in maintaining hair cycle; thus hypo/hyperthyroidism, polycystic ovarian diseases (PCOD); discontinuation of oral contraceptive pills, delivery can cause hair loss.

If you noticed any change in your menstrual cycles, weight gain, pimples or thick dark hair on the face along with hair fall, then the hormonal cause should be ruled out. Diffuse hair loss in mother and baby is common 3-6 months post-delivery and it usually stops in a few months.

4. Dietary deficiencies: Hair loss can occur if you are not taking enough proteins, vitamins, minerals etc.

5. Medications: Your hair loss could be due to medicines used to treat high blood pressure, thyroid disorders, psychiatric diseases, hormonal imbalance. of medicine causing your hair to fall.

6. Mental stress: Normal day stress is unlikely to cause hair loss but undue stress like bereavement, loss of a job, depression etc. can cause hair fall.

7. After delivery: Diffuse hair loss occurs 6-9 after delivery and is termed as postpartum hair loss.

8. Without any reason or Idiopathic: In females at the age of 30-60 years sudden shedding and thinning of hair of all over the scalp and more so temporal area can occur without any reason.

 

 

Which is dermatologist recommended hair oil?

Hair oil might help to revert mild cases of hair loss provided it contains potent hair growth promoting herbs like bringraj, brahmi, curry leaf oil, etc.

Dermatocare team has researched the ingredients of popular hair growth oils like Mahabhringaraj Oil, Mantra Bhringraj & Hibiscus Nourishing Hair Oil, SoulTree Bhringraj And Methika In Virgin Coconut Oil Hair Oil etc that might help in reducing your hair fall. Please check out this list of hair regrowth serums and oils.

Have a look at this video to know how, when and which hair oil should be used by clicking this link Best Hair oil for dry, oily, hair fall and grey hair 

 

 

Which are dermatologist recommended hair regrowth products?

A dermatologist usually recommends the following hair regrowth products:

  • Minoxidil heads the list because it is the oldest and most effective hair regrowth product. It is available OTC in US and only on prescription in India. Minoxidil can help in hair re-growth irrespective of the cause or pattern of hair loss, until and unless the hair root is dead. The response to treatment is slow and might be visible in the form of decrease hair fall after 1-2 months. Treatment is usually continued for 6 months to lifelong. Hair fall ceases altogether only if the cause of hair fall has been addressed. Lot of patients fear using Minoxidil because of wrong information put on the internet. Please read this article to clear all your doubts regarding the use of Minoxidil, Minoxidil Or Rogaine Reviews- From A Dermatologist

  • Hair growth serums: These serums contain natural or synthetic hair growth stimulants along with multi-vitamins etc. Please check out this list of hair regrowth serums and oils.

 

 

Which is dermatologist recommended shampoo?

Let us be clear, shampoo alone cannot stop hair fall, as explained in this video, Best shampoo for hair fall: Do they really work? II Dr Surbhi II Dermatocare. Click on this link for the list of hair regrowth shampoos review by Dermatocare.

 

 

Which vitamins should I take to reduce hair loss?

Vitamins can both stop your hair fall and help in regrowth provided you eat the right one. Dermatocare research team analysed the composition of popular hair supplements in India, US, UK and Canada and compiled this list of best supplements for hair regrowth that might help.

 

 

Are there any home remedies for hair regrowth?

Hair loss or alopecia from any cause can be reverted to a certain extent with the help of natural hair growth stimulants, healthy diet, proper scalp care as detailed below

  • Hair regrowth diet should include the following:

    • proteins (pulses/cheese in vegetarians and meat in non-vegetarians),

    • vitamins (take two fruits a day and two-three servings of vegetables, salads, etc.)

    • minerals (especially biotin in broccoli or seafood)

    • Dairy- at least one glass of milk per day

Watch this video for the complete diet schedule, 3 steps for healthy hair, skin and body II Dr Surbhi II Dermatocare

  • Proper scalp care:
    • The frequency of hair wash depends on how oily your hairs are

    • Dry hair would need extra nourishment with conditioning mask and gentle massage with oil.

    • Avoid vigorous massage because the new hair is not that strongly rooted.

    • Avoid harsh chemicals of hair dye and straightening products

    • Avoid extremes of temperature like steaming during hair spa.

  • Healthy Lifestyle: 
    • Avoid undue stress, take a good sleep and exercise at least 5 times a week.
  • Ayurvedic Oils: 

 

What procedures are done to stop hair fall?

Certain cases of severe hair fall might not respond to the above treatment; you might need the following innovative techniques:

  • Derma-rollers: Derma-roller contains multiple pins which when rolled on your scalp stimulate the growth of hair and helps in penetration of Minoxidil lotion.

  • Mesotherapy: This consists of injecting vitamins and minerals required for growth of hair into your scalp near the hair roots.

  • Platelet-rich plasma therapy: This is a new technique in which your blood is withdrawn, and the factors which help in hair growth are extracted and injected into hair roots.

  • Stem cell therapy: This is still the controversial entity that claims to use factors extracted from stem cells to stimulate hair.

  • Hair transplant: This procedure has gained rapid popularity in Male pattern baldness.

 

DISCLAIMER: Kindly note the details in this article are not substitute for the consultation with your doctor, I highly recommend to consult a dermatologist before starting any treatment or remedies for best results and to avoid side effects. For further details read, Terms and conditions.


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