Many of you have often pondered upon the indignity of hair loss that affects almost half of the world’s population, including you. Some hope they never come to face such an atrocity and prepare themselves well before hand by following a strict regime to maintain a proper balance between body and mind. Ageing is an integral part of our life process, we strive to achieve all that we can in hopes on one day leading a peaceful and serene retirement. Our stressful lives have many adverse effects on our bodies one being hair loss. Alopecia being general medical term for hair loss there are many types of hair loss with different symptoms and causes. Here the basics of all you need to know about the various kinds of hair loss that exist.
Common types of hair loss
Male and female pattern baldness
Male-pattern baldness affects half of all men by the age of 50. It usually starts around the late twenties or early thirties and most men have some degree of hair loss by their late thirties. It follows a pattern of a receding hairline, thinning of the hair on the crown and temples, leaving a horseshoe shape around the back and sides of the head. Sometimes it can progress to complete baldness. Male-pattern baldness is usually hereditary. It's thought to be caused by oversensitive hair follicles, linked to having too much of a certain male hormone. Female-pattern baldness the hair usually only thins on top of the head. It's not clear if this is hereditary and the cause for this is still not clear, however, it tends to be more noticeable in women who have been through the menopause perhaps because of the loss of hormones.
Alopecia Areata - Causes small patches of baldness, they usually appear on the scalp but can occur anywhere on the body. It mostly affects teenagers and young adults and at any given age. Most cases the hair does grow back. Alopecia Areata is caused by problems with the immune system and can also be genetic. The more severe form of this hair loss is Alopecia Totalis, no scalp hair and Alopecia Universalis, no hair on scalp and the body. An overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism), diabetes or Down's syndrome can also cause alopecia areata to occur.
Scarring alopecia - Also known as cicatricial alopecia, is when the hair follicles are completely destroyed which means your hair won't grow back.
The causes of Scarring alopecia are:
Scleroderma – affects the body's connective (supporting) tissues, resulting in hard, puffy and itchy skin
Lichen planus – an itchy rash affecting many areas of the body
Discoid lupus – a mild form of lupus affecting the skin, causing scaly marks and hair loss
Folliculitis decalvans – is rare and most commonly affects men, causing baldness and scarring of the affected areas
Frontal fibrosing alopecia – affects post-menopausal women where the hair follicles are damaged, and the hair falls out and is unable to grow back
Anagen effluvium - is widespread hair loss that can affect your scalp, face and body. The most common causes of this type of hair loss is chemotherapy. Immunotherapy and radiotherapy may also cause this type of hair loss. In most cases, hair loss in anagen effluvium is temporary and the hair should start to grow back a few months after chemotherapy has stopped.
Telogen effluvium - is a common type of alopecia where there is widespread thinning of the hair and not bald patches. Hair may feel thinner, but won’t result in complete hair loss. Hormonal changes, intense emotional stress, intense physical stress, short or long term illness, malnutrition and reactions to certain medications are the causes for Telogen effluvium.
Remedies and treatment throughout the ages The most archaic remedies for hair loss dates back to 3,000BC, by non-other than the Egyptians. They would prescribe an unusual combination of herbs and a mixture of iron oxide, red lead, onions, alabaster, honey and animal fats. Dioscorides, was a Greek physician, pharmacologist, botanist, and author of De Materia Medica, a five volume Greek encyclopedia about herbal medicine and related medicinal substances, that was widely read for more than 1,500 years. He too believed that applying onion juice directly on the scalp prevented baldness. The Aztecs believed eating hot chili to be a curative for hair loss and many other disorders. Chinese monks relied on self - massage methods that used similar techniques of acupressure. Traditional Chinese Medicines and Indian Ayurveda medicines were and still is a perfect example of how their extensive study of herbs and various other techniques have shown tremendous success in therapeutic effects on various health condition even till today So, with all these various kinds of medicine practices around the world today, how does one decide on the most appropriate course of treatment in accordance to your own individual hair woes?
Allopathy Vs Homeopathy Vs Ayurveda. What to choose and why? Know your medicines
The term "allopathy" was coined in 1842 by C.F.S. Hahnemann the founder of homeopathy. Hahnemann used "allopathy" to refer to what he saw as a system of medicine that combats disease by using remedies that produce effects in a healthy subject that are different. Allo the Greek meaning for different and Homeo the Greek meaning for similar. The terms were created in distinction of the two practices. There are certain side effects associated with the allopathic medicines, which make them harmful if taken over a long period of time. Since they give fast results for ailments that require a quick cure it’s the most popular form of medication today. Unlike homeopathy and ayurvedic medicine that are made from plants allopathy are made from chemicals. These chemicals can prove to be harmful if not taken according to right dosage. Overdose of such drugs can cause adverse effects on the human body. Benefits: Immediate and positive results for almost all illness. Downside: Does not cure the illness in most cases. They can have lethal side effects in case of overdose. Long term medications can harm the body. Side effects can cause major damage to organs. Not organic and purely chemical based. For Hair Loss: Positive results in most cases depending on the type of Alopecia that is being treated.
Homoeopathy is a system of alternative medicine created in Germany in 1796 by Samuel Hahnemann. He claimed that a substance that causes the symptoms of a disease in healthy people would cure similar symptoms in sick people. Homeopathy is a pseudoscience and a belief that is incorrectly presented as scientific. The preparation is said to believe are not effective in treating any condition. Many researches have come to believe that the treatment only works on the principals of the placebo effect and normal and natural recovery time of the illness. The medication is prepared by a process of homeopathic dilution, in which a chosen substance is repeatedly diluted in alcohol or distilled water, while the containing vessel is bashed against an elastic material. Dilution continues until no molecules of the original substance remain. Though some produce positive results, through many systematic review have proved this to be because of sheer chance, flawed research methods and reporting bias.
The World Health Organization has warned against the use of homeopathy to treat severe diseases such as HIV and Malaria. Revived by the The Nazi regime in Germany in the 20th century, there was fascinated by homeopathy and spent a lot of money over the further research of it but were unsuccessful in gaining any positive result. More established in Europe, only in the 1950’s did the United States recognize homeopathic preparations as drugs. Homeopathy made a significant comeback in the 1970’s and the sales increased as the practitioners credit it to the Greek Homeopath George Vithoulkas who performed in depth research to updated the scenarios.
Today homeopathy’s popularity is believed to be maybe due to comparatively long consultations practitioners are willing to give their patients, and to an irrational preference for "natural" products which people think are the basis of homeopathic preparations
Benefits: Does not have any diverse effects as compared to allopathy drugs do in case of over dosage.
Downside: Success rate of curing any diseases are very low as compared to Ayurveda and Allopathic medications. For hair loss: Debatable results in the treatment. Not enough proof to show conclusively positive results.
Dating back to 3000years from India, Ayur means longevity and Veda means science. This ancient medical science believes there are for aspects of life, as Intelligence, Mind, Senses and the Physical Body. Ayurvedic principals are based of the five kinds of energies that make up the elements, which are air, water, fire , earth and space that coalesce into three energies called Doshas. This is believed to the main principals of the physical creation that govern how nature functions and affects us. Each of the three Doshas are made up of 2 elements, Vata combination of air/space. Pitta , a combination fire/water and Kapha combination of earth/water. Interrelationship of the Doshas determines individual Doshas (body constitution) of every person. disease can be caused due to an imbalance of any of these three Doshas. Maintaining the perfect balance is the key. It can be achieved by keeping the body in a state of balance by using nutrition, diet, lifestyle, herbs and spices, managing seasonal changes in the environment and by improving mental health.
a) Ayurveda takes a philosophical approach based on the Vedas to health while Allopathy focuses on scientific clinical trials making use of all measures that have proved to be of value in treatment of disease.
b) Ayurveda the focus is on prevention of disease and to find the root cause to bring the body back into balance rather than the focus on treating symptoms with interventions as in Allopathic medicine.
c) Pure use of herbs and no chemicals or substances. Downside: Slow to react as compared to allopathy. All effects are noticeable after a long period of taking the prescribed dosage. For Hair Loss: known to have a large success rate based on the type of alopecia that’s being treated.
Holistic Medicine and its practicality
Holistic practices are claimed to have the healing effects of medicine but which are impossible to prove, or are excessively harmful in relation to their effect. The scientific consensus believes that the therapy does not, or can’t work because the known laws of nature are violated by its basic claims. Alternative therapies or diagnoses are not part of medicine or science-based healthcare systems and consists of a wide variety of practices, products, and therapies ranging from those that are biologically plausible but not well tested and believe to have harmful and toxic effects. Some Holistic treatments such as Alternative medicine, such as using naturopathy or homeopathy in place of conventional medicine, this based on belief systems not grounded in science.
Alternative medicines systems are based on traditional medicine practices like Traditional Chinese Medicines and Ayurveda in India. They do have useful applications and have been researched and accepted within ordinary medicine, However the underlying belief systems are seldom scientific and are not accepted. Though highly criticized for their unorthodox concept and system of healing practice, Holistic medicines have shown tremendous positive results in those who do have faith in them. Faith, that’s the main fundamental operational concept behind all of these new age alternative medicines practices.
Do they actually work? If taken into account that our body does consist of energies and chakras as they so clearly put it and imbalance of these can cause chaos within the mind and body. Bringing a perfect balance through these somewhat unconventional practices, they claim they can help us find that inner peace and be healed by our own faith and our bodies self-healing mechanisms get activated through our own abilities to see beyond the conventional reality. Shiatsu, Thai Massages, Aroma therapy , Reiki, Tibetan Eye Chart, acupressure , acupuncture, Meditative self- healing and Ayurveda are just a few of these alternative healing therapies that seem to have had a tremendous following throughout the world. The truth behind it is the fact that we all do not realize our own inner strength. Strengthen the mind and the body follows.
How to maintain the inner balance, in alignment with your body mind and soul
Our lives have since the beginning of time, have been completely chaotic. The more civilization progressed the more toxic our lives became, the more complicated our needs became the more we chose to destroy our bodies by succumbing to this vicious cycle of surviving this ever changing world. We are in competition with everything around us, and no one knows who truly started this rat race and where does it end.
Happiness they say is the key to finding inner peace. Let’s face it in the lifestyle we have chosen today it’s practically impossible to find even a moments rest let alone happiness. What is happiness? For some it may be being financially secure or being incredibly successful or just perhaps having a full head of luscious hair. What if I tell you that, the entire life cycle we plan out for ourselves from the time we begin to learn the ways of our world are completely toxic for our body, mind and soul. Would you be willing to make that change?
We take ourselves so much for granted. The opulence of our overindulgent lifestyle is the reason to why many of us suffer from disease we at times can’t control. Stress, Malnutrition’, fatigue, excessive drinking, binging, lack of exercise , anger , depression are just few of the toxic behavior we subject our body to go through. Living a balanced life is quite simple than most expect. This is life, you’re human. You are to feel, experience and achieve beyond the barriers of adversities. Find what makes you detach from all that stresses you or weakens your mind. Know that no matter what course of treatment you choose to deal with whatever that’s ailing you, you are stronger and can make it through it. A positive mind that’s detached from the world’s irrational and yet sometimes traditional opinions will always find its inner peace and balance. Your body also needs just as much love and care.
Allopathy, Ayurveda, Alternative medicines can all help you , but know that it’s finding calmness within your mind through the chaos is what will get you through. Find what helps you heal and never let it overpower you. An excess of anything can harm you, everything done in moderation is the way to go. Be as natural and pure you can be in your daily life, be it your eating habits or just channeling positive energy through detaching your mind from a stressful environment. Do it! The power is within you to learn how to maintain the body and mind in a balanced and healthy state which would have positive effects into all areas of your life!
Happy Healing Ya’ll!