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A headful of hair

What is hair?

Hair, apart from being one of the defining characteristics of a human, is a protein, particularly alpha-keratin.

Why do we need hair?

When talking about scalp hair, in particular, it provides some amount of warmth and insulation, especially through piloerection. It also provides a certain amount of protection, and touch sense. But the most important function of it today is its social and aesthetic significance, being the most manoeuvrable when it comes to the external appearance of a person.

Whatever the need might have been phylogenetically speaking, hair is one of the signs of health and beauty today.

Let’s learn more about this fantastic bio material below.

Why does hair grow?

When we talk about hair, we only talk about this part. Right? The shaft or the visible tip of the iceberg.

But hair runs deeper than that. The practical aspect is that to maintain healthy hair, it's imperative to understand that every single aspect from the hair shaft to the root, to the sebaceous gland and the blood supply are equally important.

Hair grows in 3 phases:

  • The anagen (growth) phase. This is the active growing phase, during which your hair grows to its full length.About 85%–90% of the hairs on one's head are in the anagen phase at any given time.

  • The catagen (regression) phase. This phase marks a transition of the hair from active growth into a resting phase.

  • The telogen (resting) phase. During this phase, your hair follicle becomes dormant and doesn’t actively grow.

Simply put, a healthy human scalp will be in a mix of all three phases, but predominantly in the anagen phase.

How do we maintain healthy hair?

As much as we’d like to think that hair care about what we do on the outside, it is actually the opposite. Hair care is more about what you put inside your body and do to your body than what you put on the scalp.

Your hair's rate of growth is influenced by things like:

  • age

  • hair type

  • overall health

  • certain health conditions such as chronic diseases, anaemia, thyroid disorders etc.

  1. Maintain your vitamins, minerals and nutrients - You are literally what you wat. Maintain a healthy balanced diet and multivitamin supplementation. Your plastic surgeon would order some blood tests to assess the same and supplement the micronutrients you are deficient in.

  2. Regular workouts and destressing through yoga and meditation can do wonders for your overall health as well as hair.

  3. Shampoo your hair and condition only once every other day or once in a few days. If your scalp is itchy/ visibly oily, then it maybe time to shampoo. This would again vary from person to person. Use a conditioner everytime your shampoo.

  4. A regular haircut - As paradoxical as it sounds, regular haircuts trim the weakest edges of the hair shafts, thus preventing breakage and splitting. Treat yourself to scalp massage. A gentle scalp massage with essential oils is both a stress reliever as well as improves blood supple to the scalp.

  5. Rest - A good sleep routine for an undsitrubed 6 to 8 hours is as important as a healthy diet.

if you are doing all the above and more, and still feel that you are losing hair, the next question would be,

How much of hair loss is normal?

On an average, It's normal to shed between 50 and 100 hairs a day .

If you have a hair fall rate more than the average, or more than usual, it maybe time to consult your plastic surgeon.

Once you visit your plastic surgeon,

  • After obtaining your history in detail and assesment of your scalp, he/she may suggest some blood tests to assess the underlying cause for the hair loss.

  • They may perform the "pull test" to assess the severity and location of the hair loss.

  • Your surgeon may examine the hair follicle under the microscope.

Hair restoration/ Hair fall treatment options:

Non surgical hair restoration options:

1. Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP)

2. Topical Solutions: Hair Loss Products in the form of foam, liquids or soaps may be suggested

3. Low-Level Light Therapy (LLLT)

4. Microneedling in select cases.

Hair transplant surgery/ surgical hair restoration options:

  • Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)

  • Follicular Unit Transfer (FUE)

Which hair restoration method is suitable for you?

The response to a particular treatment option varies from patient to patient.

So how do you make the right decision?

  • You are ideal candidate for a hair transplant if,

  • You are between 24 and 60 years of age

  • You have no other health disorders.

  • All the underlying causes of hairfall have been identified and treated.

  • You have already tried the non surgical methods and are not happy with the results.

  • You understand and are willing to comply to maintain and sustain hair restoration methods as advised.

In conclusion, your hair is a remarkable reflection of health. Earlier detection and treatment leads to a long lasting results and a happy headful of hair.

Please leave your feedback and questions if any.

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