frequently asked questions

Q 1. What should I do to stop hair loss?

If your hair loss has been excessive for less than 3 or 4 months you should first seek the reason by thinking back 2 to 4 months before the loss began. If you can pinpoint a reason for the loss, e.g high fever, stop the pill have an operation, go on a crash diet etc. you have nothing to worry about. The hair loss normally continues for 3 or 4 months and then slows down to normal. However if for no reason the hair loss is appar or the loss has continued for 4 months or more seek qualified help. It is also important to distinguish hair loss where by what appears to be diffuse hair loss may in fact be hair breakage. Once a problem has been pinpointed and corrected the hair will recover.

Q 2. My scalp is often itchy and I suffer from flaking issues. Although I have changed various shampoos there is no improvements, what should I do?

Flaking is a defense mechanism of the scalp metabolism the type of flaking has to be indentified before the cause can be determined. There are different types of flaking. Dry scalp, oily scalp, flaking of fungal nature, whether it is chronic, sporadic, seasonal or hormonal. Sometimes even if you have had excess dairy product you will see some flaking. In this manner once the diagnosis is made the right treatment can be started.

Q 3. Although I use conditioners regularly, yet my hair remains dry and breaks easily. What should I do?

However resilient as hair and hair follicles are there are some things that they can only take so much of, and traction is one of them. The condition of our hair is as much a reflection of external influence such as brushing, teasing, sunlight as of internal factors. Physical properties such as elasticity (the amount it can be stretched when wetted) moisture content, porosity (how much water it can absorb) hair diameter determine how hair would behave. Conditioners protect the edges of the cuticle scales although they cannot cure spilt ends. Careful brushing, dying, Combing drying techniques and proprietary keratin treatment are important.

Q 4. Although I shampoo my hair regularly, yet it looks dull. What should I do?

If you could look at a hair under a powerful microscope you would see that the scales growing over the youngest part of the hair ( the part that grows closest to the scalp are smooth and unbroken. Further along the hair you would be able to see that they may have been damaged by cosmetic treatments and by mistreatment such as over- energetic brushing little by little they may break away a process called weathering . A healthy cuticle ( the outer layer of the hair, the ‘bark’) is more than just a protective layer much of the shine that makes healthy hair so attractive is due to the cuticle. Intact cuticle cells are smooth and glossy and reflect light from their surfaces. This together with the pigment within the cortex, give hair its characteristic appearance. Black hair reflects less light than blond hair does. Black hair appears glossier because the bright bands of reflected light contrast more sharply with the darkness of the rest of the hair. So for hair to look shiny the strands must have healthy cuticles.

Q 5. Since the last 13 years there has been absolutely no growth of my hair. Someone recommended cutting it to trigger growth. But I am not sure if it will work. Please advice.

While you have a full head of hair, each hair grows for about 4 years. This growing period (anagen) is followed by a short transitional phase and than a resting period (telogen) of about 2 or 3 months after which the hair is lost from the scalp and a new hair takes it place within the same follicle. All the strands of hair are not synchronized to grow and fall together. Some people have growing phases which are much longer ( more than 5 years) and some are much shorter (less than two years) this means that some people can grow their hair down to their feet, while others cannot grow it beyond their shoulder. Cutting hair has absolutely no relevant where hair growth is concerned. Cut hair appears thicker because all the ends are of even length.

Q 6. Why do men lose their hair on the top of their heads and not the sides?

The most common type of hair loss in man is termed male pattern thinning (MPT) or ‘androgenetic alopecia’. This is where recession occurs on the crown areas of the scalp. The final stage of such a loss leaves a band of hair around the back and sides of the scalp and baldness over the rest of the scalp.

Androgens appear to promote and amplify an individual follicles genetic programming. This end -organ response in the basis for hair transplant surgery when “non balding” rejoins of the scalp are transplanted to the balding vertex since they retain their innate lack of androgen response and maintain terminal follicles while miniatunsation progresses in the vertex follicles behind them.

Q 7. I wish to have long hair, but although I have not had a hair cut since more than 2 years, yet the length increased by only 3 cm. What can I do to increase the length of my hair?

How long the anagen ( the growth stage ) lasts is determined genetically and varies between the sexes and from one person to another. It is the length of the time that decides how long the hair will grow before it falls out .Anagen lasts between three and seven years in most people Hair grows at a rate of about 1 cm a month. After one year it will be 12 cm long. After five years it will be 60 cm long. Waist length hair is 80 – 90 cm long and will have taken about seven years to grow.

As people grow older the period of anagen shortens. For example the hair of someone with a 5 year agangen can grow to a length of 60 cm before it enters the shedding phase. If their hair anagen period drops to three years as they age their hair will then grow only to shoulder length before it falls out or is brushed out.

General health and nutritional factors are important for healthy hair growth. Serious anemia, stanetion crash diets etc. all affect hair. Hair ajlee for each individual hair is influenced by levels of hormones in the blood . Steroids taken by mouth also slow it down

Q 8. Once the process of hair fall and receding hairlines begin, how long does it take for a person to go completely bald?

It is always possible that genetic thinning is accompanying a problem of diffuse hair loss. (excessive hair loss from the entire scalp is termed diffuse hair loss or telogen effluvium). The progressive loss of visible hair during patterned balding results from the gradual transformation of terminal follicles producing the long thick pigmented hairs to smaller vellus follicles forming short virtually invisible vellus hair. Scalp follicles pass through several cycles before the processes are complete. It is unclear how much a hair can alter in size from the previous one because many changes take place over several years. This process called miniaturisation occurs over many years with hair follicles reducing in size and depth in the skin and producing smaller and paler hairs. How long it takes for a person to go completely bald will vary greatly depending on the length of anagen stage. Regression in androgentic alopecia occurs in a progressive manner despite all follicles receiving the some circulating hormone. Androgens appear to promote and amplify an individual follicles genetic programming.

Q 9. Is baldness only a hereditary condition? No male in my family has ever gone bald, so am I immune to it, or are there chances that I will have a receding hairline?

The loss of hair with male pattern baldness is hereditary in nature. It can be inherited from either parent. The other factor involved is the level of male sex hormones. They have to be at the normal level for men for the genetic thinning to occur men who produce little or no male sex hormones will never go bald. For a male if his father exhibits MPT there is at least a 50% enhance he will also exhibit it. If both the parents have full heads of hair we know that the father will not carry the genes but there is still a chance the son could inherit the MPT genes from his mother (who could have inherited the genes from her mother or father) The bottom line is that you want know whether or not you will exhibit MPT until you start exhibiting it. It should also be mentioned that the taking of steroids as male hormones ( androgens) such as testosterone or cortisone can trigger or accelerate the process. However it can only trigger genetic thinning in someone who has the genetic PREDISPOSITION in the first place

Q 10. I am 31 and I have a 7 cm bald patch at my crown. I have been recommended to undergo hair transplant surgery. Could you enlighten me about the same?

Hair transplantation involves moving your own hair follicles from the back or sides of the scalp (donor area) to the balding or thinning area (recipient area) Hair from the donor area normally grows all your life and when transplanted to the recipient area should continue to do so. The transplant surgeon will take small circles of skin (termed plugs) containing hundreds of hair follicles from donor area.The plugs are then cut up in to single hair follicles (micrografts ) or 2 or 3 hair follicles ( minigrafts) and these are placed back into incisions made in the recipient area. The transplanted hair will sometimes fall about 3 months after it has been transplanted but is replaced by hair that will grow normally.

A Suitable candidate who is totally bald on top could have the entire bald area covered in one operation or have the bald area covered b over several operations. These operations would normally be about 3 months apart.

The least suitable candidate is one who has a poor density of hair at the back and sides of the scalp, or who may develop thin hair in the donor areas later in life.

Q 11. I am losing my sleep over hair loss issues. Although everyone says that it is normal for hair to fall, yet I am skeptical. Please help.

Many people worry because they often find loose hairs on their clothes, or after shampooing. If you pull the hair lightly with your hand you may well find that a few hair do come out. These are almost certainly hairs that are ready to fall anyway (telogen hairs). You can confirm this by looking at the roots in a good light. A telogen follicle root is a little hard white bead. Brushed out hair all have this kind of roots which is absolutely normal hair loss. On the other hand, the root of a hair that is pulled out is fat, soft to the touch and sticky – it will stick to your hand, because it still carries fluid from the follicle and pulling it out hurts. This is an anagen hair, one which was not ready to be shed. Excessive hair loss simply means more hair than you normally lose. For some people the daily loss is about 50 hairs where for others the daily loss may be about 100. The manner in which hair is lost can give important clues as to the cause of the loss and indeed if it is a self resolving issue or whether it needs intervention. Hair loss can follow the slightest body imbalance. What causes hair loss can in one person may not cause it in another person.

Q 12. How frequently should I wash my hair?

One of the best things you can do for your scalp is keep it clean. Hairs in the falling out stage fall out very easily. As resting stage hairs change to falling stage hairs. The tails are slowly reabsorbed into the follicle. The roots of these hairs in the early stages of telogen (falling out) stage may be pulled out before they are quite ready to come out especially if the hair is shampooed more energetically than usual. That is why whenever there is a change in the shampoo regime loose hairs are often found for 2 or 3 days after the change. The loose hairs are nothing to do with the product. The condition will settles down in a day or two once these hairs have been shed. Not shampooing often enough may result in buildup of grease and environmental dirt and bacteria on the hair. Perspiration plus grease results in lank hair.

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