We live in a fast paced and materialistic world. And our hairs contribute a lot to our personality and self-opinion. It is therefore, obvious that hair related problems can be a cause of desperation and un-ending concern. Despite the fact that our changing lifestyles, polluted environment and hair grooming habits could be the underlying cause of several hair problems, there are still some hair related problems which are difficult to control and have to be treated with professional help.
Common hair problems
One such major problem is hair loss and balding. There could be various underlying factors (both internal and external) which can cause hair loss, hair thinning or hair fall. These are –
- Infections: Lice and ringworm infections can cause formation of scales and scars on the scalp, also causing hair loss.
- Skin disorders: Conditions like Lupus, Lichen planus and Sarcoidosis can cause scalp skin disorders which can cause baldness and scarring.
- Hormonal imbalance: Hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, malfunctioning pituitary gland and excessive production of androgens can cause hair loss. Hormonal imbalance during pregnancy, childbirth and menopause can also cause temporary hair thinning or hair loss in women.
- Auto-immune syndrome: Alopecia areata is a hair loss condition wherein the immune system starts attacking body’s own hair follicles, especially on the scalp. Unless this auto immune disorder is treated, hair loss can continue and result in balding.
- Psychological factors: Conditions like Trichotillomania (urges to pull out own hair), acute emotional stress and even clinical depression can induce hair loss.
- Chronic diseases: Diabetes, HIV infection and different forms of cancers can also trigger hair loss. At times non-surgical treatments like radiation therapy and chemotherapy can also cause hair fall.
- Genetic history: Some people are genetically predisposed to having pattern baldness, premature greying or hair thinning at a very young age.
- Poor nutrition: Consuming a diet which is low in iron and low in protein can also lead to hair loss. Crash dieting or low-calorie diets can also cause hair fall.
While some of these causes can be medically treated to reverse hair loss, in some cases special hair treatments are required to stop hair fall and restore hair growth. These hair treatments are –
- Prescription medication: Topical application drug like Minoxidil (Rogaine) is available in liquid or foam form and has to be applied on the scalp to reduce hair loss. Finasteride (Propecia) is a pill which can be orally consumed and is only prescribed for men to induce hair growth. Many steroid based medications are also available to apply topically or ingest for reducing hair loss.
- Low intensity lasers: Focused laser beam directed at hair follicles can stimulate hair growth. Laser treatment is a viable hair treatment option recommended by several dermatologists when hair loss is not very severe.
- Corticosteroid injections: This is a popular treatment for Alopecia areata, wherein corticosteroid injections to the scalp arrest excessive inflammation causing hair loss.
- QR678 treatment: This is a progressive non-surgical treatment for hair loss. A combination of growth factors is injected at superficial sites of alopecia or baldness. Multiple injections are required to induce hair growth.
- Stem Cell Transplant: In this treatment procedure, stem cells are extracted from the patient’s own body and injected into the scalp of the patient. These stem cells activate the hair follicles which are in extended resting phase and initiate hair growth.
- Platelet rich plasma: In this treatment, blood extracted from the patient is treated to make a platelet rich suspension which is then injected into the scalp for inducing hair growth. Multiple injections are required to stop hair loss and encourage new hair growth.
- Hair Transplantation: Removal of hair plugs from an alternate are of the patient’s body and transplanting it on the scalp to restore hair growth.
- Scalp expansion and reduction: The treatment entails firstly expanding the scalp skin by inserting devices under the scalp for 3 to 4 weeks. It is followed by removal of small bald patches by surgically removing the skin and bringing together the hair bearing scalp.
- Scalp flaps: This is another surgical method wherein hair bearing region of the scalp is surgically moved and placed at the bald patch on the scalp.