Having a full and healthy head of hair is often associated with attractiveness and confidence. However, hair fall or loss is a common problem faced by many individuals, both men and women alike. While it is natural and common to lose some hair daily, excessive hair fall can be distressing and hurt one’s self-esteem. Fortunately, you can take several proactive measures to prevent hair fall and help grow strong and lustrous hair. We explore effective strategies and lifestyle changes to help you maintain healthy hair and minimize hair fall.
Nourish Your Hair with a Balanced Diet
A healthy diet is vital in promoting overall well-being, including hair health. Including the following nutrients in your diet can help prevent hair fall:
a. Protein: Hair strands are primarily made of protein, so it is essential to consume an adequate amount of protein-rich foods like lean meat, eggs, legumes, and dairy products.
b. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: These healthy fats can be found in fatty fish, chia seeds, flaxseeds, and walnuts. They help nourish the hair follicles and promote hair growth.
c. Vitamins and Minerals: Nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin C, iron, zinc, and biotin are crucial for maintaining healthy hair. Incorporate fruits, whole grains, vegetables, nuts, and seeds in your diet to ensure you receive these essential nutrients.
Practice Good Hair Care Habits
Adopting a proper hair care routine can significantly reduce hair fall and promote hair health. Consider the following practices:
a. Regular and Gentle Washing: Cleanse your hair regularly with a mild shampoo to eliminate dirt, excess oil, and product buildup. Avoid using hot water, as it can strip the hair of natural oils. Be gentle while shampooing, and avoid vigorous rubbing.
b. Condition and Moisturize: Conditioning your hair after shampooing helps maintain moisture, making your hair more manageable and less prone to breakage. Use a conditioner suited for your hair type and put it to the ends of your hair.
c. Avoid Over-Styling: Excessive use of heat-styling tools such as curling irons, straighteners, and blow dryers can harm the hair and lead to hair fall. Limit these tools’ use and apply a heat protectant spray before styling.
d. Avoid Tight Hairstyles: Constantly pulling your hair tightly into ponytails, braids, or buns can cause stress on the hair follicles and causes hair fall. Opt for looser hairstyles or alternate between different styles to reduce tension on the hair.
e. Be Gentle with Wet Hair: Wet hair is more susceptible to breakage, so handle it carefully. Avoid vigorously drying, and gently pat your hair dry with a soft towel. Use a wide-toothed comb or a brush with soft bristles to detangle wet hair.
Manage Stress and Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
Chronic stress and an unhealthy lifestyle can contribute to hair fall. Here are some strategies to manage stress and promote a healthy lifestyle:
a. Practice Stress Reduction Techniques: Engage in meditation, yoga, deep breathing exercises, or any other stress-reducing activities that work for you. Chronic stress can disturb the hair growth cycle, leading to increased hair fall.
b. Get Sufficient Sleep: Inadequate sleep can disrupt hormone levels and weaken the hair follicles, resulting in hair fall. Aim for at least 7-8 hours of quality sleep every night to support healthy hair growth.
c. Regular Exercise: Physical activity improves blood circulation, including to the scalp, which promotes hair growth. Engage in regular exercise to enhance overall well-being and maintain healthy hair.
d. Avoid Smoking and Excessive Alcohol Consumption: Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can hinder proper blood circulation to the scalp, leading to hair fall. Minimize or quit these habits to promote healthier hair.
e. Protect Your Hair from Environmental Damage: Environmental factors such as pollution, exposure to the sun, and harsh weather conditions can damage your hair. Wear a hat or a scarf to guard your hair from the sun and protect it from pollution and extreme weather conditions.
Preventing hair fall requires a holistic approach that involves taking care of your overall health, adopting good hair care habits, and managing stress levels. By nourishing your body with a healthy balanced diet, practicing proper hair care routines, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, you can minimize hair fall and help grow strong and healthy hair.
NourishDoc: Hello, everyone. Well, hair loss has become so common nowadays, especially among women, and we women don’t want to lose our hair, right? So, we want to understand how to prevent hair fall from Dr. Aditi. Dr. Aditi is like three in one. She is a homeopathic physician, nutritionist as well as a yoga instructor. So, I am super excited to discuss this topic with her today. Thank you so much, Dr. Aditi.
Dr. Aditi: My pleasure.
Causes Of Hair Fall & How Can We Prevent it?
NourishDoc: Let’s understand what is normal, like how much hair we can lose daily and what is not, and then think about what we can do to prevent hair fall.
Dr. Aditi: Yeah, so to begin with, we are all very scared when we see here on our pillows or while coming when we see hair strands on a brush, we get panic, we get stressed and exhausted like anything. So to understand that usually, our scalp consists of one lakh hair strands on average. But if you are losing 50 to 100 stands on a normal day. As it is, here is a living structure.
So they go through certain phases, like you have your growth phase, then your transitional phase, and then they go to your resting phase. So to come up with something new, something old has to fall out. So once the life of the hair is over, it has to detach and fall off, and the new hair comes onto the surface. But the problem occurs when the hair, which is old and detached from the scalp, is not there.
But no hair growth is not simultaneously not growing, so that’s where the hair loss problem occurs, which is very common in today’s generation. Many factors have been stated. It could be your genetic factors that are irreversible. You cannot change that. In case you have a hereditary condition where you have hair loss, you need to deal with that fact because that is completely irreversible. You cannot help much. The last option is going for a hair transplant, which eventually burns a hole in your pocket.
Otherwise, other factors like your hormonal changes. It could occur during childbirth, pregnancy, menopausal conditions, or any other medical conditions like gout, heart problems, hypertension or cancers or depression, or arthritis; all these disease conditions also simultaneously affect hair loss. So you need to understand so people these days, what the patients I encounter, they just come up to me and say I’m having all and treat me.
But it’s very important for you as a person to understand the cause of your hair fall. So it varies from person to person. Some people might have genetic factors, have hormonal imbalances, or be weakening their hair due to excessive cosmetics or using heated products like hair curlers or hair straighteners. So it would help if you addressed the cause first, and then you should plan your treatment accordingly.
Holistic Approach To Prevent Hair Fall
NourishDoc: Okay, that’s a very good point you bring up. So, now, let’s talk on a general level. What is it that we could do? You could talk about some herbs, some foods like you’re a nutritionist, some yoga, some things that we can do to ensure we are not losing our hair, right?
Dr. Aditi: Yeah. Before jumping to the treatment protocol, we should say that prevention is better than cure. So, what can you do to prevent hair loss? Once it has started, you have a treatment plan for that. But what can you do to prevent your hair loss prior to that? So, very basic is always detangling your hair your hair should not be tangled enough.
Because that tangling causes breakages, you should gently wash your hair with a mild shampoo, not more than two to three times a week. It would help if you were shampooing your hair. Then your other factors like not too much warm or hot oil application or that also weaken your that opens up your pores, making your hair follicles very fragile and brittle to break. Then dry combing is always suggested instead of wet combing.
So whenever you are washing your hair, you should avoid combing it when they are wet; rather, you should always opt for natural drying of your hair, which you could be having in sunlight or something not in direct sunlight. But yes, you should let your hair dry naturally rather than using your blow dryers, hair straighteners, or heated equipment that eventually causes hair to break.
Then if somebody is going through chemotherapy, I would say, especially cancer patients who went through chemotherapy and lost their hair so, one thing they can opt for once they are done with their chemotherapy they can ask for cooling caps which are very much available with the therapist which further prevents your damaging of your hair. So you should be applying oil two to three times a week. It’s very important to nourish your hair internally as well as externally.
So internally, you take supplements, nutrition, and vitamins like your biotin, vitamin D, vitamin C, your zinc all these nutrition you can take internally, and externally you can do normal oiling with your coconut oil and sesame oil, which all are very much as from the Ayurveda purpose they are very much useful and effective in protecting your hair and improving and enhancing your hair growth.
Then coming to the food substances, what substances and food you can eat should you consume, like increasing green leafy vegetables in your diet, bell peppers, and egg yolks? Meat is a very good source of protein. So as we all know, protein is the major component of our hair, our keratin. So keratin is a very important protein found in our hair.
Nowadays, a keratin treatment is very much blooming in salons and everywhere. I say no. Suppose you are opting for a keratin treatment at the salon. In that case, you should avoid that because keratin is not only coming but also added with other ingredients, including your formaldehyde. As I am quoting, the American Cancer Association says that formaldehyde is a carcinogenic agent, which is very much mixed with the products with a keratin treatment.
So it may promote cancer growth in your body. So, it would help if you avoided keratin treatment altogether rather than opting for natural home remedies or nutritional supplements that can enhance and improve your hair growth.
Tips for Women Hitting Perimenopause & Menopause
NourishDoc: Okay. These are really good points. Now many women and as they start aging when they’re hitting perimenopause and menopause, start losing hair, right? Do you have any tips for women who are in their forties?
Dr. Aditi: So, the primary cause of losing hair during menopause again is your hormonal. So, it’s very important to maintain your hormone balance. So, you can practice yoga, not in your 40s, but you should practice from your early 20s and make this a habit and routine. So that your body stays in harmony, it’s always about treating your body as a whole, not an individual part.
Hair loss is a symptom, but the root cause can be anywhere. So, a person having thyroid issues can also have hair loss. So controlling your thyroid production and making your thyroid work in optimal condition is very important to prevent hair loss. So you need to address the human body as a whole; that’s what a holistic approach says.
You need to look at a human body from all angles. It could be on nutrition; it could be diet, supplementation, it could be your yoga. Other alternative medications are ayurvedic herbs, homeopathic medication dilutions, naturopathic procedures, or some Panchakarma therapies. Anything that has no other side effect or chemical action on your body as long as it is natural and safe, you can opt for anything that helps your body adapt to that hormonal balance.
NourishDoc: Okay. Do you want to expand on any herbs or any spices, homemade, home spices that we should focus on that we can find in our kitchen as a nutritionist?
Dr. Aditi: So, yes. Indian gooseberry, if you are aware, which is Amla, is very common and easily available. It is a very good source of vitamin C. It enhances your hair growth; you can consume it, extract the amla juice, and apply it externally over your scalp. So, you can consume it both internally and externally as well.
Then comes a few oils in your kitchen you can find, like your coconut oil and your sesame oil; they are very much, so coconut oil consumes your lauric acid, reducing the protein loss from your hair. So it is one of the major ingredients you can apply to coconut oil. You can mix that coconut oil with your curry leaves which again enhances your growth hair growth production.
Then one very common ingredient found in the kitchen of your daily household is onion. That is Allium Cepa. So you can grind that onion, make a paste, extract that juice, and apply that juice over your scalp as a hair mask. So, it improves your circulation and has a keratin growth factor, which is a very important mediator for your hair growth and development.
So, that’s how, if you have seen today, many brands have your onion hair oil. So, they have taken it from traditional medicine and ancient herbal remedies and are doing business out of it. So, yes, you can take that. Then aloe vera is a very commonly found plant. You can grow it easily in your household. The pulp, you the gel part of the aloe vera. You can scrape it off and use it as a hair mask.
That also enhances it; it is very lustrous. It brings shine and silky texture to your hair and provides a moisturizing effect on your scalp. So it would help if you avoided everything and anything that causes dryness to your hair that makes them brittle and fragile. So you can choose for all these then your Amla, as I said, your Shika Kai, Bhringaraj. All these herbs are very important.
You can mix them in equal quantities and make them paste with rose water or have curd and apply that over your scalp as a hair mask. So these few home remedies can help you a lot. Along with that, it’s very important that’s how we are doing externally. However, simultaneously, having a healthy internal state is very important. So, internal circulation then proper circulation is also important. Your proper scalp circulation is very much important.
You can practice yoga asanas, which are easy but relatively easy. You can practice it daily; take five to 10 minutes from your daily routine and practice at least four or five of these asanas, and you will be good to go with your hair health. One first is your rabbit pose. So it would help if you lay down; you can find these pores easily on your YouTube. You can write down the name.
The second comes to your child pose. So, all the poses in which your head needs to look downwards, head upside down towards gravity, towards the earth’s surface. So that your body circulation flows towards your head, cranial circulation improves. So, all the yoga asanas bending forward or bending backward and making a bridge pose; all these poses will help you enhance your hair health and improves the circulation around your scalp.
Self-Care Tips For Hair Fall
NourishDoc: Those are the amazing information you’ve given in a very short time, Dr. Aditi. I will try a few of the tips you gave. This is a quick ten-minute session we bring daily to advocate a holistic lifestyle and start doing tiny steps daily. That’s what I always and that’s what we are doing. Yes, please. Anything else you like to add?
Dr. Aditi: No, just bottom line, I would like to say. Hair loss is reversible in most cases; knowing what is causing your hair loss is important. So, you better choose a treatment plan according to the cause of your hair loss and stay consistent. So, nothing happens in a day. No magic will happen. If you come to me and say that I tried this for a week, or I did this twice a week, this method or home remedy or this yoga asana is not working enough.
It doesn’t happen in a day. It needs consistent practice and will take months to show you results. So, practice anything for three months and then be patient to see the results. Nothing will happen all of a sudden. Practice self-care. It’s very important to maintain your hair hygiene. Apart from your overall health hygiene, it is also very important to maintain your hair hygiene. It would help if you were not doing excessive shampoo. The excessive shampoo is also harmful. So using a mild shampoo is important up to two or three times a week.
Then protect your hair from excessive sunlight, don’t expose your hair to dark sunlight, and avoid getting too much into directly exposing your hair to pollution or dust. This also causes a blockage that blocks your pores which again causes dandruff and a scaly scalp. So avoid all these external factors, look for how to enhance your hygiene, and live a lifestyle that compliments your health externally and internally. It’s very important to maintain your balance between your mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical health.
So defining the WHO definition of health is very important to look out for your health in all these sectors. So even if you are emotionally disturbed or stressed, you will lose your hair. As stress causes, they reduce your inflammatory markers. So, you tend to lose your hair.
So, whenever you are anxious or stressed about something, or you pass through some shock or trauma, the first sign you see is that you start losing your hair because they are very sensitive and easily targeted organ of the body. So, live a lifestyle that complements you holistically and avoid emotional and physical stress; that’s how you are good to go.
NourishDoc: Well, thank you so much. Stress has become like all of us have to deal with; we live with stress nowadays with our lifestyles that have become worldwide. So, reducing stress is very paramount. So, with that, we thank, thank you, Dr. Aditi, for being with us. Everyone, have a great weekend and take care of your hair. You don’t want to be losing your hair. Especially and that’s all we have to say.