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Average hairfall: How much is normal hair fall?
- On an average, an adult usually has 100,000 hair strands and daily hair fall rate varies by person.
- Most people lose between 20 to 50 hair strands in a day (not 100! as some people say) during washing, combing, running hands and sleep time. This is normal and you should not worry about it.
- In case your hair has started to come out in chunks/tufts or if you notice visible scalp due to hair thinning, only then is a cause for concern.
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Symptoms: What are the initial symptoms of hair fall?
- Check pillow: Abnormal number of hair(more than a dozen) on your pillow when you wake up in the morning.
- After combing/brushing: See chunks or more than normal hair left in your brush/comb.
- Visible scalp: Noticeable visible scalp due to hair thinning.
- Most men have their hair receding from the two sides of the forehead or top/turning part of the head. In most women, hair loss is gradual and occurs all over the head.
- Graying of hair: May cause hairfall but hair loss can be reduced if proper care is taken. Graying of hair occurs due to reduction in pigmentation, junk food, stressful lifestyles. Graying of hair is not only a result of aging but may occur in adolescents also.
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Reasons for hairfall: What are the main causes of hair fall?
- Inheritance: Majority of people loose hair due to genetic reason- inheriting from either father or mother side.
- Repeated pulling of hair: Damages hair follicle and contributes to hair loss. Cut your hair rather than pulling it.
- Chemical Interference: Ammonia hair dyes, some medicines and dandruff may cause hair fall.
- Physical/emotional stress: Severe dieting, extreme stress related to job, personal problems/health conditions.
- Improper diet: Poor diet- especially protein deficiency.
- Serious ailments: Like cancer, thyroid are known to cause tremendous hair loss.
- Temporary Loss: May occur due to pregnancy, illness or any medication. Usually gets restored to normal hair growth but full hair recovery takes time of about 6 to 9 months.
- Myths: Washing hair (even daily), moderate blow drying, wearing hat does NOT cause hair loss. Moreover, hair loss does not always lead to baldness. It generally results in scanty hair.
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Remedy 1: Scalp Oil Massage.
Frequency: At least once or twice a week.
- At bedtime, massage your scalp with olive, almond, coconut or brahmi oil mixture & wash it next morning.
- Once a month, use Vitamin E oil to massage your hair/scalp as it is known to slow/ stop hair loss.
- Ideally massage with a lukewarm oil as that also improves blood circulation at the root of the hair. This will also greatly help reduce/eliminate dandruff.
- Using oil with garlic and massaging it into your scalp is also beneficial. After applying oil at bedtime, cover the pillow with a towel to avoid any damage to the pillow.
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Remedy 2: Aloe Vera.
Frequency: At least once or ideally twice a day for 3 to 6 months.
- Drink 1/3rd cup of Aloe Vera juice or 1 tablespoon of Aloe Vera gel.
- You may add some triphla powder to aloe vera and consume this mixture.
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Remedy 3: Keep hair 'natural'. If need to dye, use proper dyes.
Frequency: Try to come as close to 'always'.
- If you need to dye hair, make sure to use only 'ammonia free' dyes which don't have ammonia.
- Avoid cosmetic hair styling therapies, excessive blow drying or hair ironing, rough toweling of wet hair. Keep your hair clean and healthy.
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Remedy 4: Neem oil/paste.
Frequency: 3 to 4 times in a month.
- Half an hour before taking bath, apply Neem paste (made from grinding neem leaves) or neem oil on the scalp.
- Wash during bath with a gentle herbal shampoo. Neem smells bad but has awesome positive impact on hair.
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Remedy 5: Apply Henna (Mehndi).
Frequency: Once a month.
- Apply henna paste to your scalp. Wash your hair after approx an hour. It acts as a cooling conditioner for hair.
- Use fresh henna leaves as most henna powders available in the market have artificial colours that may damage your hair. You may also add beet root leaves grinded with henna leaves as part of making henna paste.
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Remedy 6: Gooseberry (Amla) or Triphala churn/powder.
Frequency: At least 3 days a week for 6 months.
- Eat gooseberry (Amla) juice or pieces or apply it's paste on the scalp.
- Mix 1 teaspoon of triphala churn in 1 cup of lukewarm water. Alternatively, take a 500mg triphala tablet with lukewarm water. Have this twice a week at bedtime for 3 months.
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Remedy 7: Balanced Diet.
Frequency: At least 25 days in a month.
- Have good, regular intake of protein rich food (not protein powders!), iron rich food like apricots, raisins, green leafy vegetables, salads, fruits, sprouts, dairy products like milk, yoghurt.
- Note: Bit of rich food to satisfy your taste buds is ok once in a week.
- Adults may take a daily multivitamin supplement.
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Remedy 8: Stress reduction techniques.
- Yoga/Pranayam: 30 minutes every day for at least 5 days a week regularly. Click here for details.
- Massage your neck muscles and shoulders before taking a shower at least once a fortnight.
- Make sure you get 7 to 8 hours of sleep time and go to bed at the right time.
- Its important not to worry frequently and solve your problems that give tension.
- Click here for solutions to most common problems related to youngsters.
- Click here for solutions to most common problems related to husband/wife.
- Click here for solutions to most common problems related to parent/child/sibling.
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General itchy scalp or lice: Treatment
- Vinegar or Lemon Juice: Pour 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice in a mug of water and pour over the head. Wait for 5 minutes and then rinse by pouring clean water. This acts as a disinfectant and gives relief from itching and lice.
- Following remedy steps 1 and 4 mentioned above also helps in treating itchy scalp.
- Expect relief within 7 days by following the above routine daily.
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Doctor help: Consult a dermatologist/doctor if you experience the following
- Abnormal hair fall for more than a month.
- Chronic itching or bald patches on your scalp.
- Doctor may ask for common blood tests to rule out thyroid, iron deficiency, diabetes, autoimmune diseases and any infection as they contribute to hair loss.
- For acute baldness: Consult a doctor to gauge whether hair transplantation is feasible in your case. It is a good, more long lasting but an expensive option. Choose this when the remedies mentioned above are not working for you.