Blessed with thick black hair that I inherited from my Asian parents; I was shocked to see my pillow covered with loose hair strands. I can vividly recall going on a video chat with my friend and showing her how my hair would literally come loose if I just tugged from the bottom of my ponytail. Sometimes I would even lose a whole bunch of hair when I would shampoo. No, I didn’t just colour my hair and nor was the hair fall a result of not combing for days (you know how it goes when you’re lazy). So, packing up my medical history, I left to the dermatologist to figure out how to stop hair fall and this was my experience:
- I was asked a series of questions to identify what type of hair fall I fell under (read below).
- I had just had one hell of a nasty viral flu 6 months before hair fall.
- I was stressed at work on a daily basis at my previous job.
- My diet wasn’t adequate.
How to Stop Hair Fall: How I Overcame Severe Hair Fall
Hair fall can happen due to multiple reasons such as stress, pregnancy, thyroid issues, scalp infections, androgenic alopecia, or simply aging. Hair fall is also different for men and women. By age 40, about half of all men will experience hair loss due to male pattern baldness which is hereditary. Similarly, more than half of women will experience genetic hair loss (female pattern baldness) before the age of 70.
The first question that you’ll be asked at the doctor’s is how your health is- are you eating right? The second will be questions related to your hereditary conditions and then depending on these two answers they might check the following types of hair fall:
What Type of Hair Fall Do You Have?
Gradual thinning on the top of head
This is the most common cause of hair fall which affects both men and women as they age. For men, the hair starts receding from the forehead in an M like position. Women, however, retain the hairline on the forehead but the part broadens in their hair.
Circular or patchy bald spots
Another sign is a smooth bald spot which is the size of a coin. This usually affects the scalp alone but it can also be found on beards or eyebrows. Sometimes the skin becomes a little itchy and painful before the hair falls.
Sudden loosening of hair
Hair fall can start suddenly as well, especially in the wake of a physical or emotional shock or trauma. Hair can come out in a bunch while combing or washing. Sometimes even a tender tugging results in a bunch of hair coming out. This is the kind of hair fall which results in hair thinning.
Full-body hair loss
In such cases, the entire body experiences hair fall. It is largely due to a prolonged ailment with a laser treatment such as chemotherapy for cancer can cause hair to fall all over the body. Even though it is not permanent and the hair starts growing back in sometime unless there is a major complication.
Patches of scaling spread over the scalp
This could very well mean a ringworm. This usually happens along with broken hair, redness, and swelling. This needs immediate medical attention.
Just like you, I was able to identify the type of hair fall I faced. The doctor quickly asked me if I experienced a viral flu a month or two ago. When I said yes, she said that it was common for people who experience sudden loosening of hair (number 3) to trace it back to trauma. My viral infection coupled with stress and bad eating habits, led me to the decision to take good care of both my mental health and physical health.
Tips On How To Stop Hair Fall
Some of the things listed below have actually worked for me, perhaps my body reacted well to the treatment so you may have to experiment and see what works for you. I was lucky enough to gain all my hair back in just 6 months because my hair fall was hormone related. I had recovered from a terrible viral infection and felt physically fine, but my hair just needed to start from scratch and shed itself to do so. The practices that I picked up to nourish my scalp and body have stuck with me till date. Check these tips out:
Often found in a kitchen cabinet, curry leaves are a rich source of beta-carotene and proteins. They also contain amino acids and antioxidants. All of these factors help to strengthen the hair follicles, moisturise and remove the dead hair follicles from the scalp. This promotes hair growth.
DIY Hair Oil And Curry Leaf Juice Treatment
Grind a paste of curry leaves using some water and strain the juice out by placing it inside a thin cloth. After you squeeze the juice, add two tablespoons of yoghurt to it to make a hair mask. Apply to the hair roots. Leave it on for 20 minutes and then wash with a mild shampoo.
You could also make curry leaves oil and use it to massage your scalp. Heat half a cup of coconut oil and add in a good amount of curry leaves. Take it off the flame and let it infuse. Once it cools, strain the oil and use it to massage your scalp.
Onion juice has a long history with hair treatment because it contains important amino acids and hair boosting antioxidant enzyme catalase. This antioxidant helps to reverse premature graying and also helps decompose hydrogen peroxide, optimizing the hair growth cycle with its rich content of sulfur. Sulfur is essential for the regeneration of your hair follicles which helps minimize hair thinning and breakage. And it also promotes collagen production.
Onions also have antibacterial properties to keep your scalp free of infection, promoting unhindered hair growth and control dandruff. Onion juice stimulates your scalp and improves the circulation of blood and you’ll have follicles that are well-nourished.
DIY Hair Oil And Onion Juice Treatment
Hair oils are extremely penetrative oils which help to condition your hair and scalp, leaving them with a silky shine while the onion juice boosts hair growth.
You Will Need:
- 2 tbsp onion Juice
- 2 tbsp of your favourite hair oil, or coconut oil, or olive oil
- 5 drops Tea Tree oil (if you have dandruff)
Steps To Follow:
- Grind all the ingredients until you get a smooth blend.
- Apply the ground paste or mixture onto your scalp and massage for a couple of minutes.
- After you apply it well, leave the mixture to absorb for about 30 minutes.
- Wash your hair with a mild shampoo.
When it comes to learning how to stop hair fall, fenugreek seeds have proved effective as they have hormones that help promote hair regrowth. Fenugreek seeds have a good source of protein and nicotinic acid that strengthens the hair shaft and prevents breakage. The seeds contain hormone antecedents that propel the growth of hair and rebuild damaged follicles.
DIY Fenugreek Hair Treatment
You Will Need:
- Fenugreek seeds
- Drinking water
Steps To Follow:
- Soak the fenugreek seeds in water overnight and grind them to make a paste.
- Apply the paste on the hair for half an hour.
- Wash it off with mild shampoo.
- Repeat on and off for a month for the results to appear.
A Healthy Diet
Slight modifications made to what you eat by incorporating ingredients will aid in hair growth. While genes and your lifestyle will determine your hair growth, here’s what you could eat to stop hair fall:
It’s not just for the eyes, Vitamin A-rich carrots provide excellent nourishment for the scalp. An overall balanced diet of lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and fatty fish are great boosters for healthy hair.
Eggs are loaded with essential nutrients such as proteins, Vitamin B12, iron, zinc and Omega 6 fatty acids in large amounts. Being deficient in any of these vitamins and minerals would reduce hair growth. In addition, it’s also a good source for biotin (Vitamin B7) which is a great aid in stopping hair fall.
Low fat dairy products
Low-fat dairy products such as skim milk and yogurt are great sources of calcium. They also contain whey and casein, two high-quality protein sources for hair growth. Incorporate a cup of yogurt or cottage cheese to your snack list to help prevent hair loss. You can add honey to it and have it with cakes as a topping, or use it as a dip with apples.
Does your hair have dryness, thinning, stiffness, discolouration or hair fall? A deficiency of iron might be the culprit. A large source of iron is found in prunes and it greatly helps to improve the quality of hair.
Although green peas are not rich in antioxidants or any specific vitamin or mineral, they contain a well-balanced amount of vitamins and minerals such as iron, zinc and B group vitamins. These are essential for maintaining healthy hair.
Not only are oats loaded with fiber that helps maintain a healthy heart and bowel movement they also contain a high concentration of other essential nutrients such as zinc, iron and omega-6 fatty acids. Together, these are also known as polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). Omega-6 fatty acids in particular are crucial to maintain normal skin, hair growth and development. Since this essential ingredient is only obtained through the diet, make sure your breakfast includes oats like overnight oats or porridge, or you can also make oat energy balls in endless flavours!
Fish and Shrimp
While red meats are best avoided in excess, finding an appropriate substitute for proteins is easy to do with a wide variety of seafood available. Shrimps are also a great substitute. They not only go excellently well in a number of curries and pastas, their potent concentration of Vitamin B12, iron, zinc contain all the necessary nourishment to prevent hair loss.
Walnuts are one of the most hair friendly nuts in the category. Not only do walnuts have more omega-6 fatty acids than any other food, but they’re also full of zinc, iron, B vitamins (B1, B6 and B9), and plenty of protein. However, take eating these nuts with a pinch of salt as walnuts also contain a small trace of selenium, a mineral known to cause hair loss in people who are selenium-deficient or have way too much in their system. So a handful of nuts over the week is a perfect amount.
Common Mistakes That Will Severely Damage Hair:
- One of the biggest mistakes we make in our day to day life is to hold on to excessive stress that leads to hair fall.
- Too much medication can retard hair growth and promote hair loss.
- Avoid changing your shampoo and conditioner constantly. Stick to one good mild cleansing shampoo for a 6 month period. If you stay in hotels, take a mild shampoo with you.
- Excessive exposure to the sun, pollution, rain water and dust will make the hair dry, brittle and limp. Using a conditioner during the rains to protect it from the humidity will restore hair health
- Wash off hair oil to regularly maintain a healthy scalp.
- One trick on how to stop hair fall is to avoid hair spray, hair gels, and styling creams that contain harsh chemical ingredients, which can dry out the scalp and cause the formation of flakes.
- Next up on how to stop hair fall is to limit tight braids or ponytails that may pull on hair at the root and potentially lead to excessive shedding. While you’re at it, let your hair air dry to avoid irritating your scalp. Appliances that create a lot of heat like curling or straightening irons, may also damage or break the hair shaft.
- Chemical stylings like perms or hair color can damage your hair and scalp. Ask your stylist about alternatives, like organic hair colouring that don’t contain ammonia, peroxide, or para-phenylenediamine (PPD).
- None of the tips should be considered a cure for hair loss conditions like alopecia or pattern baldness.
- It is normal for an average individual to lose 50-100 hair strands a day. Those with bald patches or thinning means they are losing hair, somewhat more than when compared to others.
- If you have a tendency to panic over the slightest signs of hair fall, that’s not necessary for now because your hair fall isn’t as bad as it seems. If you suffer from excessive hair fall and have a tendency to feel depressed think about how fun it will be for you to go buy wigs and dress yourself UP! You might as well have some fun with hats too while your hair resets.
- Do not stress over it as stress can also lead to temporary hair loss.
- Physical or outside conditions affect hair loss so understand that the first step on how to stop hair fall is to not get stressed and go for a hair oil and body massage to relax.
- Illness, childbirth or even change in weather and water can cause hair fall.