Baldness refers to a loss of hair, usually on the head.
It is important to understand that premature balding is not about the number of individual hairs you shed on a daily basis (just in case you were counting), it’s more about how fast they are being replaced. Losing hair is a completely natural element of the body’s ageing process. In fact, about 10% of the approximately 100,000 hairs on your head are presently at the end of their lifetime, more than 100 a day will shed and the follicle will need a span of six months to produce a new strand of hair. Over time the hair follicle may become drained and shrivel up which may retard or arrest hair growth altogether.
The administration of drugs indicated for premature graying of hair should also help in the cases of baldness also, but recourse to medication has to be taken in the earlier stage. If all the hair has fallen out and the follicles have closed, nothing much can be done.
Ayurveda and Premature Baldness
High ratio of hair fall is termed as Khalitya in Ayurveda and is classified under shiroroga (problems of the head). The primary cause is vitiated Vata and Pitta doshas which cause dislodgement or withering away of hair from the roots. Also, vitiated sleshma (mucus) along with rakta (blood tissue) will obstruct the hair root which causes hair to not grow again from that place.
Khalitya is primarily a Pitta-predominant tridoshajanya vyadhi (disease in which all three doshas are vitiated). It can further be classified according to the dominant dosha.
Vataja Khalitya: Caused by Vata imbalance, in this type the scalp appears as if it is Agnidagdha (burnt by excessive heat) and it becomes Shyava (blackish blue) and Aruna (yellowish red).
Pittaja Khalitya: Caused by Pitta imbalance, in this type the color of scalp appears as Peela (yellow), Neela (blue) and Harita (green). The scalp starts to show prominent siras (veins). Scalp may also sweat profusely.
Kaphaja Khalitya: Caused by Kapha imbalance, in this type the color of the scalp has a whitish tinge but here it is Ghana (dense) and Snigdha (oily) in appearance.
Sannipataja or Tridoshaja Khalitya: In this type of Khalitya, characteristics of all the three doshas are observed. The scalp looks like burnt and it becomes scaly. This type is considered Asadhya (incurable) in Ayurveda.
There is also one more type as mentioned by Acharya Harita:
Raktaj Khalitya: Pus starts to ooze from the scalp and causes hair loss.
Symptoms of Premature Baldness
One important thing to note about premature balding is that it follows a pattern which is why it is attributed the name male or female pattern baldness. Male pattern baldness or MPB causes hair loss on the top and front of the head. While female pattern baldness results in thinning hair on the mid-frontal area of the scalp and is generally less severe than occurs in males.
Other symptoms of premature balding are:
- Itchy/flaky scalp: This is due to the accumulation of sebum on the scalp that is the first stage to dandruff and finally, hair loss.
- Longer growth time: As the hair goes into resting phase and is starved on nutrients, it can take longer to grow out.
- Fine, wispy hair: Usually before falling out, you’ll notice your hair getting thinner, less shiny and lacking bounce.
Root Causes of Premature Baldness
- DHT (dihydrotestosterone) is the male hormone that is the primary cause of pattern baldness. It shrinks the hair follicle so the dermal papilla does not receive the nutrients like minerals and oxygen it needs to flourish. DHT also causes hair to go into the ‘resting phase’ which means that once the hair falls out it doesn’t grow back.
- Baldness may be due to certain serious diseases like acute fevers, myxoedema (a syndrome cause by hypothyroidism), syphilis, influenza, anemia, and great anxiety or nervous shock.
- If premature baldness is hereditary then not much can be done except delaying the falling of the hair for a few years through proper medication.
- Sometimes eczema and psoriasis of the scalp leads to rapid baldness.
- Smoking and taking recreational drugs can be factors behind early-onset hair loss. This is because these habits constrict blood vessels and decrease blood flow to the scalp as well as lead to a rise in adrenalin levels.
- Malnutrition caused by a poor diet or due to psychological disturbances like anorexia and bulimia nervosa can contribute to premature balding.
- Digestive disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) may lead to a lack of hair growth nutrients in the body.
- A receding hairline could also be brought on by the acute hormonal changes that happen during puberty or andropause/menopause.
- Major/chronic illnesses, surgeries, and medical treatments like chemotherapy may lead to balding in young people.
- Aggressive hair treatments like chemical-based colorants and styling agents may also damage hair follicles and lead to premature hair loss.
- Various forms of alopecia like traction alopecia takes place when hair is pulled tightly into a certain style over long period of time causing the hair follicle in that region to become damaged.
- Certain medicines such as blood thinners, birth control pills, anabolic steroids and medicines to treat arthritis, depression, gout, heart problems and high blood pressure could lead to hair loss.
- Psychological disorders such as trichotillomania will cause people to pull out their hair as a habit. This is a reversible change.
Ayurvedic Treatment for Hair Loss and Regrowth
|Ayurvedic Supplements (to be taken under physician’s guidance – Consult Now)||
Kunthala kanthi Taila