Haircare Q&As with an Ayurvedic Doctor
Thanks to the stressful lives many of us lead, it is no surprise that hair fall, breakage, hair loss and unhealthy hair are amongst the top beauty concerns of our generation today. Moreover, to make things worse, the commonality of these concerns have generated several myths, which often exacerbate conditions for those who suffer. In this Q and A session with our expert in-house ayurvedic doctor, we attempt to do some hair myth-busting to help you get to the truth of good hair:
Q1. How much hair loss is normal, on a daily basis?
Its normal to shed 50-100 strands a day.
Q2. What causes hair fall?
There are multiple causes. These can include your genetic makeup, a hormonal imbalance, an illness, medication, and stress.
Q3. Can you tell us more about male baldness?
In male pattern baldness, a receding hairline and baldness are the first few signs of hair fall. It can be a genetic condition, but can also be due to fungal infections, or localized infections, like ringworm. Other reasons for male baldness may include:
Tying hair very tightly
Trichotillomania eg: excessive hair styling and heating agents are responsible for hair loss.
Medication-Drugs-used for cancer, arthritis, depression and birth control.
Hypervitaminosis (extra Vitamin A) causes hair to fall eg:-chemotherapy & radiation therapy
Q4. Does hair fall always lead to baldness?
For men it does, for women it usually begins with hair thinning, but baldness is not a necessary outcome.
Q5. Please tell us which foods are best for hair and why?
Magnesium,Calcium,Zinc,Omega 3 Fatty acids ,Vitamin E
Enhances hair growth and gives hair shine
Vitamin E ,Essential Fatty Acid,
Protects from external damage and thickens hair strands
VitamiC & amino acids
Strengthens the hair shaft ,reduces graying, and soothes the scalp
Linalool ,linalyl acetate
Nourishes and moisturizes hair and prevents hair fall
Protects hair from the sun and dust, prevents dandruff and hair fall
Prevents hair graying and dullness(due to pollution, sun damage and stress)
Q6. Does stress cause hair fall?
A: Yes it can. Telogen effluvium (a phenomenon that happens after pregnancy), surgery, drastic whitening, hair loss and extreme stress can all cause us to shed large amounts of hair every day.
Q7. Does pregnancy cause hair fall?
Immediately after childbirth, hormonal changes in a woman’s body can cause hair fall, although during pregnancy women usually enjoy thicker and fuller hair.
Q8. Which natural ayurvedic remedies can prevent hair fall?
A combination of diet, herbs, oil message,aromatherapy ,meditation, pranayama and yoga are beneficial for improving hair fall and preventing premature greying. For example, we would warn against food that increases the pita Dosha for someone who already has a pitta imbalance: this would cause hair fall.
Various herbs like Bhringaraj, gooseberry, reetha and neem really help with scalp infections.
Q9. Does using a blow dryer cause more hair fall?
If you are using a heat protective serum a blow dryer is tolerable, however it is advisable to dry hair naturally.
Q10. Why does hair loss happen to teenagers?
This is usually due to hormonal imbalances, like Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). Other reasons include Rhyroid, fungal infections or an unhealthy diet.
Q11. What is alopecia?
This is a general medical term for hair loss. Alopecia Areata is a common, auto immune skin disease causing hair loss and other areas of the body and it can happen at any age.
It is usually hereditary and is linked to having too much of a male hormone called DHT. It also affects women (female pattern baldness is when hair thins on top of the head), and this can be often happen during menopause.
Q12. Do hair dyes and styling products affect hair fall?
Yes, if the hair dye consists of chemicals like ammonia, this can damage hair and cause protein loss from the hair shaft, which makes the hair appear thinner.
Styling products like hair irons, curlers can cause the hair to break.
Hair sprays also cause brittleness of the hair, and we suggest you use a heat protective serum if you must use one.
Q13. Can brushing make hair stronger or resistant to hair loss?
Brushing very vigorously can break hair, and combing/brushing wet hair causes breakage. We recommend using a wide toothed comb on wet hair for detangling, and then brushing hair when dry.
Q14. Will regular trimming improve hair fall?
By trimming hair regularly, you will have less breakage, and your hair will look shinier. We recommend trimming your hair once in three months.
Q15. Can towel drying your head cause hair fall?
Yes, towel drying can cause hair to break and fall if you are not gentle. This especially happens when one rings or squeezes hair against a towel; this can worsen split ends and pull hair from the root, thereby damaging hair.