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Battling hair loss
by Manjula Ramakrishnan August 14, 2015
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“When a woman starts losing her hair, it is more devastating for her than when a man starts to lose his hair, for there steps in emotional issues in addition to the physical side. That is why knowing how to stop it is important,’’ says Anisa Vrabac, head of Hair Transplant and Hair Restoration, Dubai Cosmetic Surgery. Anisa is also the resident aesthetic and anti-aging consultant.

The International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery cites that hair loss among women occurs at all ages after puberty. However, the onset of female-pattern hair loss, also known as androgenetic alopecia, appears to be most frequent at ages 20 to 30 years and 40 to 50 years. Generally, one in every four women suffers from hair loss and hair thinning, with androgenetic alopecia being the main cause in 95 per cent of these cases. 

While some forms of hair loss can be permanent, there are others that can be stopped or slowed down. When more than 100 strands of hair per day are lost, it is time to stop being in denial and address the problem from a variety of angles such as nutrition, lifestyle, quality of bath water, how hydrated the body is, level of exercise, heredity factors and similar.

“Excess oestrogen is one of the leading causes of hair loss among women. Most women face hair loss when they are pregnant as oestrogen levels are high during this time. Once the cause of your hormonal imbalance is identified and addressed, the corrective process will start, leading to some tangible results.’’

Stress is another cause for hair loss says Anisa. Knowing this, it is important to avoid stressful situations or at least find ways to overcome them. It is a proven fact that yoga, certain breathing techniques and meditation help reduce stress levels, offering a variety of health benefits in addition to controlling hair fall.

“A good diet, balanced in nutrients and well-planned, wholesome meals comprising fresh vegetables and fruits reduce the chances of excessive hair loss. For instance, nutrients like Omega 3 fatty acids, iron, zinc and vitamin D will give a strong and healthy mane.’’

The market today is flush with a variety of hair care products and it is important to know what to use and what is best avoided. “It is always prudent to use mild hair care products. Some shampoos and conditioners are known to contain elements that include silicone and sodium lauryl sulfate that could be harsh on the hair and cause hair damage.

“Above all, what is important is that sometimes hair loss can be a sign of a bigger problem within the immune system. Hence, when there is an alarming level of hair loss, it is best to consult a doctor who will perform relevant tests to identify underlying causes that can be medically treated or if the test results are negative, might decide just to add supplements to your diet alongside recommending lifestyle changes.’’

In addition to the physical side of hair loss, there is also a very vital emotional angle to it, which is best addressed in all seriousness. First and foremost it is important to understand and accept that this is not a tragic situation and in today’s world there are several ways to diagnose the causes and provide cures for hair loss.

“Feeling unattractive, lowered self-esteem, feeling embarrassed and awkward about bald patches, frustration, feelings of envy are the common emotional disturbances faced by women who face severe hair loss.’’

The inability to style their hair in a variety of ways and the time spent on covering bald patches often lead to a feeling of being unattractive. This in turn reduces confidence levels and sometimes affects the professional lives of women who have to interact with customers or clients. In some women, it may even lead to becoming introverts and avoiding any kind of social life. As a corollary, living in isolation and making a constant strained effort to refuse societal interactions lead to depression.

To counteract such negative emotions, turning to a good exercise regime that will in turn work on the physique will prove to be a fine balancing act. This has a dual benefit of eliminating negative thinking and having a toned and fitter body, which lead to good health and a sense of confidence in oneself.

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