Q. When do I seek help?
The popular notion is that if you shed around 100 hair strands a day, it is time to consult an expert. But there is no universal standard number. The rule: if you consistently, for a minimum period of two weeks, notice more hairloss than otherwise, take action. Sometimes, when you run a hand through your hair and strands detach easily, that too, is a red flag.
Q. Does oiling help?
Yes. The traditional champi (massage) with coconut oil has been proven to have tremendous benefits on hair and scalp. Coconut oil has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that boost hair health. A good massage improves blood circulation in the scalp.
Q. Do hair spas work for hairloss?
Not really. Hair spa will not reduce hairloss. It helps with frizziness and dryness, as deep conditioners, serums and hair packs help in that. Though it does reduce hair breakage that usually happens while combing and washing hair.
Q. Do touted wonder cures like saw palmetto work in controlling hairloss?
Saw palmetto is a plant whose fruit extract is used to make medicines for hairloss. Believed to work in combating hairloss, it actually blocks an enzyme called 5 alpha reductase which can help in addressing thinning hair. However, it works better in male pattern hairloss. Do consult your dermatologist before trying it out.
Q. Do DIY remedies or kitchen cures prevent or control hairloss?
No matter how many articles you have read on social media about onion juice, kari patta or aloe vera helping in re-growing hair, the fact remains that these topical treatments affect just the texture and look of your hair. Hair density is not affected by topical treatments.
Q. Is there an anti-hairloss diet?
Green foods provide biotin and red and orange foods have iron and antioxidants – all necessary for hair growth. For a hair-raising experience: eat eggs, fish and lean chicken, sprouts, soya, paneer and nuts such as almonds, walnuts, and omega-3 enriched flaxseeds. Multivitamins with B complex, vitamin C and iron can help combat hair loss, but it is best to see a dermatologist before quaffing them down.
Q. Does red light therapy work?
Yes, it can stimulate hair growth. The most commonly used wavelengths for treating hairloss with red light therapy are in the range of 630-670 nanometers. The visible red light is capable of being absorbed by the molecules of the hair follicle leading to possible re-growth, following a natural biological reaction. Try this with a reputed trichologist.
Diet tip: Control your sugar intake: it is a pro-inflammatory agent, which in excess may aggravate hairloss. Nutritional deficiencies and hormonal issues too can lead to a thinning crown
— Inputs by Dr Aparna Santhanam, holistic dermatologist and author of Let’s Talk Hair and Dr Sirisha Singh, dermatologist