Hair Loss 

What Works For Hair Loss – Medications or Home Remedies?

What Works For Hair Loss 

Have you noticed more hair strands in your comb lately? Or the appearance of a few thinning or bald patches? Well, you might be suffering from Alopecia, or in layman’s terms hair loss. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, nearly 80 million men & women suffer from hereditary hair loss. Alopecia does not only affect the hair on your scalp but your entire body.

There are many treatment options available that doctors can prescribe you such as Minoxidil Suspension or Minoxidil tablets or Generic Propecia. And of course, numerous home remedies claim to be the magical solution for your hair loss woes. Stressing over the hair loss will make you lose more hair, so hold on and relax while we list the options for you to choose from. But first, understand what may be causing the hair loss.

Causes

Hair falling out and new hair strands growing in their place is a natural phenomenon. Hair loss occurs when the hair strands are falling out but there is no new hair growth to replace them. It is normal to lose some strands a day, but when you start noticing the amount of hair on your brush, or shower drain, it’s time to consult a dermatologist. To successfully control the loss of hair, you need to diagnose the underlying cause, and the sooner, the better. 

  1. Hereditary hair loss is the most common cause of hair loss in both men and women. The pattern is usually similar – bald spots & receding hairline in men, thinning of hair in the crown area in women.
  2. Side effects of some medications: Some medications and supplements may result in hair loss.
  3. Hormonal changes: Changes in hormonal levels in cases of pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause may cause hair loss in women. Improper functioning of the thyroid may also result in hair loss. 
  4. Medical conditions: Hair loss can also occur because of diabetes, lupus, Alopecia Areata (auto-immune disorder), fungal infection of the scalp, or trichotillomania (hair-pulling disorder).
  5. Extreme stress: In some cases, physical or emotional trauma may result in severe hair loss months after its occurrence. 
  6. Hairstyling and various treatments: Hair follicles can get damaged as a result of the use of hairstyling treatments which may pull hair.
  7. Nutritional deficiency: Biotin, Zinc, Iron, Vitamin D, and Protein are crucial for healthy hair. Their insufficient intake may result in hair loss.

Natural Remedies

  1. Oil Massage: Massaging the scalp with a suitable oil can work wonders in improving the thickness of hair, and also decrease stress. Many oils may prove beneficial:
    1. Coconut Oil: It is thought to nourish the hair by making them healthy, and its fatty acids get absorbed by the hair follicles and prevent protein loss.
    2. Geranium Oil: It helps in hair growth and also enhances blood circulation. As it is potent, you need to mix it in a neutral carrier oil before applying it to the scalp.
    3. Rosemary Oil: Mixing a few drops of Rosemary oil in a carrier oil or shampoo has been known to reduce hair loss and boost hair growth. 
  2. Onion Juice: Studies show that onion juice can treat patchy hair loss and boost the blood circulation of the scalp.
  3. Oral Supplements: Over-the-counter supplements made with herbs and added vitamins & minerals may help you fix your hair loss troubles.
    1. Ginseng: The active components of the Ginseng stimulate the hair follicles thus promoting the growth of hair.
    2. Fish Oil: Rich in omega fatty acids, the fish oil supplements improve the health of hair and effectively reduce the loss of hair.
    3. Viviscal: This natural supplement contains essential vitamins, minerals, in addition to other ingredients that work on a cellular level to strengthen them and prevent hair loss. 

NOTE: Herbal supplements can result in side effects. Read the provided safety instructions to use them effectively.

Natural remedies are not overnight magical cures, you need to be diligent with their application to see the desired results, which may take longer than you anticipate depending on the severity of your condition.

Medications 

Continuous hair loss is usually indicative of an underlying health condition. For treatment to work, you need to get diagnosed by a doctor or a dermatologist to confirm the cause and start treatment. Over-the-counter gels and creams are available to be applied directly to your scalp.

  1. Minoxidil: This is the most commonly advised medication by doctors for hair loss treatment in both men and women. Minoxidil can be purchased as an over-the-counter medication in the form of a topical gel, cream, and suspension, or by prescription of a doctor in the form of orally consumable tablets. Minoxidil 5 mg tablets are usually the starting treatment, and when tolerated well, the dose can be increased.
  • The treatment with minoxidil has to be continued forever, once you stop using minoxidil, the hair starts falling out again.
  • Another issue one might face is the growth of hair on the adjoining areas in case the topical medication accidentally touches other areas.
  1. Finasteride: Another oral medication is Finasteride or Generic Propecia recommended for male hair loss patterns, which helps in slowing the rate of hair fall and promotes hair growth. 
  • Unlike minoxidil, finasteride does not affect hair growth in any other part of the body.
  • It is not suitable for women of child-bearing age, as it may cause serious abnormalities in the fetus.

Medical Procedures 

  1. Hair Transplant: This is a surgical procedure where a doctor will put you under local anaesthesia and transfer the hair from the back or sides of your head to the bald spots. This is usually administered for those with hereditary hair loss disorder and requires repeated seatings as the hairline keeps on receding. 
  2. Scalp Reduction: In this surgical procedure, the surgeon will close the parts of your scalp that do not have hair with those that have.

Grooming and Lifestyle Changes

  • Do not wear hairstyles that may put extraneous pressure on your hair. When used regularly, these hairstyles may damage the hair follicles.
  • Consume a balanced diet with a focus on protein and iron-rich foods.
  • Use gentle shampoos that are free from sulfates; do not rub your hair for drying, pat dry it.
  • When using heating devices to style your hair, make sure your hair is dry, and use the lowest temperature if possible.

Summarizing 

Hair loss can be a worrying situation for many people as our hair makes an important part of our appearance. It is crucial to know what is causing your hair loss as the treatment is possible when the underlying cause is diagnosed properly. Correct treatment at early stages may work to even reverse the hair loss. So what works for you depends on the reason behind the hair loss, which can be diagnosed with help of a doctor. 

 

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