Baldness

Natural and herbal remedies for the prevention and treatment of baldness.

    Baldness

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    1. What is Baldness?
    2. What causes Baldness?
    3. How is Baldness diagnosed?
    4. Help and treatment for people with Baldness
    5. More Information on Baldness

    What is Baldness?

    Baldness may be described as the partial or complete absence of hair on the scalp. It is also referred to by the medical term alopecia or hair loss. This condition does not only affect the scalp and hair loss can occur on other body areas such as eyebrows, eyelashes or pubic region.

    Normally, an individual loses approximately 50 to 100 hairs a day but sometimes a larger amount of hair is lost. Baldness affects both men and women. Since baldness has become the hottest new trend, nowadays men are no longer embarrassed to shave their hair and "go bald."

    For women, on the other hand, coping with baldness can be a very traumatic experience often bringing about self-esteem issues, anxiety and depression.

    This condition may affect any part of the body that is covered in hair including the scalp, eyebrows, beard or pubic area. There are various types of male or female pattern baldness associated with hair loss that are classified by cause. Some are permanent while other types are temporary.

    Baldness may be classified into specific types – permanent and
    temporary baldness and include:

    Permanent baldness

    • Male-pattern baldness (androgenetic alopecia) affects men from a very early age, during their teens or early twenties. Balding appears at the top of the head with a receding hairline at the temples.
    • Female-pattern baldness (androgenetic alopecia) is characterized by hair thinning at the front, sides and crown of the head. Complete baldness is seldom experienced in women.
    • Cicatricial (scarring) alopecia is caused by scarring of the hair follicle which prevents the hair from growing back. It is a rare condition and symptoms are often associated with itching or pain.

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    Temporary baldness
    • Alopecia areata is diagwhen hair loss occurs in small, bald spots in one particular area. Bald patches or hair loss usually occurs on the scalp but can affect other body areas such as eyebrows or beard. Hair eventually grows back after several months but if all body hair is lost, it may never grow back.
    • Telogen effluvium is a condition where sudden loss of hair occurs because the normal hair growth cycle is interrupted. Hair begins to thin and fall out of the scalp, particularly when you wash or comb or hair.
    • Traction alopecia occurs as a result of hairstyles that pull too tightly on the hair follicle. Hairstyles include braids, tight ponytails, cornrows, chignons, buns or twists.

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    What causes Baldness?

    Different types of baldness may have various causes and they include:

    • Pattern baldness (androgenetic alopecia) occurs as a result of heredity factors.
    • Cicatricial (scarring) alopecia occurs when the hair follicle is scarred and damaged by inflammation.
    • Alopecia areata is defined as an autoimmune disease and it is believed that genetic factors may be the cause.
    • Telogen effluvium is caused by a change to your normal cycle as a result of physical or emotional stress (high fever, weight loss, loss of a family member, nutritional deficiencies or surgery)
    • Traction alopecia is due to hairstyles that pull your hair back too tightly or excessive hairstyling

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    Other factors that cause baldness include:

    • Poor nutrition
    • Certain medications and medical treatments
    • Underlying diseases
    • Hormonal changes
    • Trichotillomania (hair-pulling disorder)
    • Hair treatments such as bleaching, dyeing, tight braiding, blow drying, straightening or hot curlers

    How is Baldness diagnosed?

    The diagnosis of baldness is based on a physical examination as well as medical history. Additional tests such as a pull test and skin biopsy may be performed to determine the cause of baldness.

    Help and treatment for people with Baldness

    There is no cure for baldness but various treatment options are available to promote hair growth. Certain medications such as corticosteroids may be administered orally, applied topically or be injected into the affected area.

    Steroid injections are used for smaller areas of hair loss such as the eyebrows. Often any underlying condition such as thyroid disease has to be treated first to reduce symptoms of baldness. Surgical procedures such as hair transplants, scalp reduction, skin lifts or skin grafts may also help to conceal bald areas.

    Herbal and homeopathic remedies can also offer an effective natural solution to stimulate and encourage hair growth if used in conjunction with essential nutrients and vitamins in your daily diet.

    Herbs such as Ginkgo biloba, Rosmarinus officinale and Xanthoxylum clavaherculis increase blood circulation and promote a healthier scalp and sound hair growth. Other herbs such as Equisetum arvense, Avena sativa and Echinacea also restore hair growth while slowing down hair loss.

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    Tips to cope with baldness
    • There are several ways to cope with baldness and thinning hair. Follow these useful tips:
    • Eat a healthy, well balanced diet filled with protein, whole grains, vegetables and fruit that are filled with vitamins A and B, zinc and magnesium
    • Try wearing a wig, hairpiece or hair weaving to conceal baldness
    • Cover your head with a hat, baseball cap, scarf or bandana
    • Practice relaxation techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises or yoga to reduce stress
    • Maintain the support of family and friends
    • Stay positive and learn that your hair does not determine your self worth
    • Join a support group – this will allow you to relate to others with the same problem

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