Hairfall has its roots
I am a 50-year-old woman and my hair has been falling consistently since the past one year. I have tried sundry hair oils, shampoos and hair packs but none of these have had any effect. Combing my hair has become a distressful experience. Please tell me what to do.
Why hair falls: There’s no single cause for loss of hair. Triggers range from various medical conditions to stress and lifestyle factors, like what you eat and how you handle your hair.
Your genes play a role. Heredity usually affects the age at which you begin to lose hair, the rate of hair loss and the extent of baldness.
Anxiety, trauma, hormonal imbalances could be to blame. It would be a good idea to rule out a thyroid problem or an autoimmune disease.
Crash diets, hair dryers, bad brushes, hair dyes, straightening irons and curling could also be causing you to lose hair.
Some hairfall is natural so don’t worry if you find a few strands of hair in your hairbrush or on your clothes — most people shed about 50-100 strands every day, which is considered normal.
Our scalp is home to about 100,000 strands of hair — each having its own life cycle. A hair follicle produces a single hair that grows at the rate of half an inch per month. It hangs in there for two to six years, then stops for about a month. When the next cycle starts, that hair falls out giving way to a new one.
What you can do:
Ayurvedic treatment usually varies from individual to individual based on their body constitution as well as their environment and underlying causes. However the following is considered to be helpful in arresting hairfall and promoting hair growth generally.
In Ayurveda diet is important and we would suggest supplementing your food with the following: Narikela — coconut pulp/milk; Vatada- badam — almond; Kajutaki — cashew nut; Godhuma — sprouted wheat or wheat bran oil.
Regular oiling of your hair is helpful. Apply the oil at night and wash with a mild shampoo the next morning, twice a week.
In loss of hair associated with itchy scalp/dandruff try Chemparuthyadi Keratailam manufactured by Arya Vaidya Sala, Kottakkal or Arya Vaidya Pharmacy, Coimbatore.
In alopecia, which is excessive hairfall and dandruff, try Malatyadi keratailam manufactured by Arya Vaidya Sala, Kottakkal.
For split hair, hair loss and premature graying, try Kayyunyadi Kera tailam manufactured by Arya Vaidya Sala, Kottakkal and Nagarjuna Herbals.
If you are averse to applying oil to your scalp, Hairzone solution and anti-hairloss cream made by Himalaya may be applied and left overnight.
Based on the diagnosis of an individual, an Ayurvedic physician may suggest some of the following internal medicines as part of therapy for a period of three to six months or till symptoms improve:
A combination of Amalaki and Shatavari tablets manufactured by Himalaya — One tablet each, twice daily, before meals.
Chyavanprasha or Narasimha rasayana made by the Arya Vaidya Sala, Kottakkal and Nagarjuna — one teaspoon, twice daily before meals.
Bhringrajasava or Khadirarishta from Arya Vaidya Sala, Kottakkal, and Nagarjuna — four teaspoons with equal water, twice daily after meals.
Trichup capsules (manufactured by VASU Healthcare, Vadodara) — two capsules, twice daily, after meals.
If your problem persists, it is important to visit a physician who will need to look for underlying causes.
Dr Srikanth is a postgraduate in Ayurveda and has been a consulting physician for the past 17 years. He is currently National Manager Scientific Services at The Himalaya Drug Company.