What is Baldness?
Baldness is hair loss or absence of hair that can either be genetic, medical or the result of a stressful and unhealthy lifestyle.
There is no definite way or pattern in which hair loss might affect you. It might be a gradual process or a sudden attack on the scalp. Some of the symptoms include:
- Circular or patchy bald spots: These are smooth, almost coin-shaped bald spots occurring mostly at the back of the head.
- Gradual thinning on the top of the head: Baldness might first start gradually with a receding hairline and slowly make its way through the scalp.
- Patches of scales across the scalp: This might be due to the presence of ringworm. It is accompanied by swelling, redness and broken hair. In such cases, consult your doctor immediately.
- Weak and brittle hair: If you are losing a substantial amount of hair while brushing or merely running your hands through them. This might be a cause of weak roots or loosening of hair due to emotional or physical shocks. This is usually more indicative of hair thinning than baldness.
It is normal to lose 100 strands of hair per day. However, this is a natural process and not indicative of baldness. Hair loss is typically related to one or more of the following causes such as:
- Medications: Baldness can be a side-effect of medicines and supplements. Several drugs used for cancer, cardiac issues and others often lead to hair loss.
- Genetic: Hereditary reasons are the most common causes of baldness, generally defined by a pattern in men and women. It is usually age-related and occurs in the form of bald spots or thinning of hair.
- Stress: Intense emotional and physical stress creates & sends shock waves in your body, including the scalp. This loosens the roots and result in hair loss. It is often temporary and can be rectified with the right lifestyle modifications.
- Unnatural treatments and styling: Incessant hair styling and excessive use of hair clips that hold the hair tight, can lead to hair loss known as traction alopecia. Hot oil treatments too aren’t completely safe, they can burn the scalp and may lead to permanent baldness.
While cases of hereditary baldness cannot be avoided, there are preventive measures to negate the impact of other types of hair loss.
- Wash and comb your hair gently instead of sweeping it up harshly.
- Avoid hairstyles like tight ponytails or those which require regular hot treatments like straightening or curling.
- Do not use medications without medical supervision.
- Quit smoking. Several studies indicate a close connection between baldness and smoking in men.
- Cover your head to protect your hair from harsh sunlight and pollution.