Global Health Asia-Pacific Special Issue | Page 24

Holistic Health

Can we prevent hair loss ?

Some good practices can make hair healthy , but most cases are due to genetic factors and can ’ t be prevented

Receding hairlines are a common cause of anxiety for many people as they ’ re losing not only a distinctive feature of their appearance but also a part of their identity .

The good news is that there ’ s plenty we can do to slow or avoid hair loss .
The first thing to know is that most people lose about 100 strands of hair a day in a natural process that sees them replaced by new hair . But if the new strands can ’ t keep pace , people may have thinning hair that could even lead to baldness .
One piece of advice is to be gentle with your hair , according to the Mayo Clinic . This includes avoiding pulling hair hard when brushing and combing as well as using hot rollers , curling irons , rubber bands , and barrettes .
Washing your hair and scalp regularly is another important practice to keep them healthy . “ Any inflammation on the scalp will affect the hair growth cycle ,” said Dr Wilma Bergfeld , a dermatologist at the Cleveland Clinic , on its website .
People should also protect their hair from prolonged exposure to sunlight and other ultraviolet light sources . Similarly , avoiding smoking may help prevent hair loss , as some studies suggest a link between the two .
Following a good diet is another important component of having strong hair . “ Essentially , maintaining healthy skin and healthy hair is related to having a healthy , balanced diet and good hydration with water intake ,” board-certified plastic surgeon Dr Ricardo Castrellón told WebMD Connect to Care . He added that diets rich in healthy proteins , fruits , vegetables , and nuts were a good option .
Supplements can also help against hair loss in people who lack nutrients like iron , zinc , omega-3 fatty acids , and proteins . But if you have no deficiency , taking supplements isn ’ t likely to make your hair thicker .
It ’ s also important to remember that most baldness cases are caused by genetics and therefore aren ’ t preventable . Other factors that can lead to hair loss include stress , medical conditions like fungal infections or thyroid disease , and certain medications .
“ I recommend for patients experiencing any type of hair loss to minimize stress by exercising , getting adequate sleep , and practicing self-care with activities such as meditation or yoga ,” board-certified dermatologist Dr Brooke Jeffy told WebMD Connect to Care .
The Mayo Clinic also recommends patients on chemotherapy — a cancer treatment that can cause hair loss — use a cooling cap to reduce the risk of losing their hair .
Though some types of hair loss like cicatricial alopecia are permanent , the problem can be reversed when it ’ s caused by stress or certain health conditions . “ Generally speaking , if the trigger goes away or whatever caused the injury to the hair follicle , then the hair will recover over a period of four to six months to a year ,” said Dr Bergfeld .
Supplements can also help against hair loss in people who lack nutrients like iron , zinc , omega-3 fatty acids , and proteins .
22 ISSUE 6 | 2022 GlobalHealthAsiaPacific . com