Hair fall is a common problem for males and females. The hair on the head becomes thinner with increasing age. The rate of hair loss continues to increase day by day. There has also the effect of heredity. Outside of this normal process, both men and women can lose their hair at any age due to disease and malnutrition.
Every hair on the human head has its own lifespan. At the end of life, every hair falls out and new hair is born at its base or follicle. This game of ‘breaking and re-building‘ continues. There are several stages in this life cycle of hair. Also has several causes of hair fall.
With age, the hair becomes thinner, and the rate of hair fall increases. Heredity also has an effect on it. This is why older men start getting baldness on their heads, which is called Androgenetic Alopecia. In this step of hair fall, the first stage of the hair life cycle, known as the Anagen Stage (the longest stage of hair growth and development), becomes shorter and the Telogen or resting stage (the final stage of the hair life cycle) becomes longer. As a result, the hair looks thinner and shorter, some follicles or roots may become empty. This is a normal process. Some of these changes also occur in women. These changes are related to age and hormones.
Some diseases and malnutrition can cause a sudden increase in hair loss. Such as non-vegetarianism, vitamin D, iron deficiency. The chemotherapy or radiotherapy that is given for cancer can still cause hair loss at a massive rate. Hair loss is also seen after various infections (typhoid, tuberculosis, and even covid-19). Hair loss in hormonal disorders such as Hypothyroidism, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Dandruff and fungal infections can cause hair loss. In many cases, hair loss is stopped by treating the underlying cause.
There is a lot of interest in the effective treatment of hair loss and new hair growth. At present, various modern treatments for hair loss are being done in Bangladesh as well. However, not all treatments apply to everyone. No one can guarantee 100% hair growth for all types of treatment. Since such treatments are costly and long-term, it is important to get an accurate idea of the consequences before starting.
Fill the lacking, eliminate causation
Before starting hair loss treatment, it is necessary to know whether there is a deficiency of vitamins or minerals. Many people go on a hard or crash diet, then their hair starts to fall out. Healthy hair needs proper nutrition. If needed, blood iron, vitamin D, etc. can be tested. If there is a deficiency, the doctor can try to fill it with a supplement. It is important to know the history of hair loss. The cause must be tried first. If you have a thyroid problem, it is important to solve it. It is best to wait until after a serious infection or if given chemotherapy or radiotherapy. If you have dandruff or fungal infection, take treatment first.
Medicines to prevent hair fall
Minoxidil is one of the most commonly used drugs for hair loss or baldness due to age. It is available in cream, foam or spray form. Used properly, it can reduce the rate of hair loss and help new hair to grow. Men and women can use it.
There is another drug called Finasteride. It works on the activity of the male hormone testosterone. This drug prevents its by-product-DHT from testosterone. Only men can use it. Again, it has some side effects.
No matter which medicine you use, it should be used for a certain period of time as per the advice of a specialist. There are side effects, but they should only be used when the hair follicles are sure to continue to grow. And when the right environment for hair growth (nutrition, meat, vitamins, minerals, non-infection, hormonal balance, etc.) is created.
PRP for hair fall
Platelet-rich plasma or PRP can be used as an adjunct method. It is not a specific or the only treatment for hair loss, but it helps other treatments. There is no certainty that hair loss will stop completely if you do PRP.
Hair fall and replacement
When hair follicles or roots are damaged or large baldness occurs, there is no movement other than hair transplant or hair replacement. The hair on the back of the head is used for replacement. How much hair is intact is an important issue. Two methods are used in Follicular Unit Transplant and Follicular Unit Extraction.
When starting hair loss treatment, first you have to get the right idea about the cause, type, and other diseases of hair loss. Hair is not something outside the body, so its health is affected by any physical disease. Without identity, the ’cause’, medicine, or treatment method may not help. Apart from that, it is important to seek expert advice to take scientific treatment without running after totka or kabiraji treatment.
Author: Professor Md. Asifuzzaman, Divisional Head, Department of Dermatology and Venereal Diseases, Green Life Medical College, Dhaka.