The loss of human hair commonly referred to as baldness was once considered a sign of old age, however even young people are now going bald in today’s world. The human hair is considered a symbol of beauty and a decline in its volume or a complete loss of it is a cause for concern.
To put it simply, baldness or hair loss can be an embarrassing condition for a person. It is most prevalent among men, but a number of women to deal with baldness. In the quest to seek a cure for baldness, people have often asked these questions; Is there a cure for baldness that does not depend on medication, supplements or tonics? Read on to find the answer to this pressing question.
The hair begins it’s growth from the follicle beneath the skin. Blood vessels found at the base of the follicle provides the hair with blood and nourishment needed for growth. The hair typically passes through four stages of growth called the anagen, catagen, telogen and the exogen phases of growth. The hairs do not enter all the stages of the growth cycle at the same time, each hair enters a different stage at a different time.
The anagen phase is the growing phase which is responsible for the length of the hair, it usually lasts for about two to seven years. The catagen phase lasts for about ten days and it is also known as the transition point, The hair follicles shrink at this stage. The telogen phase is the dormant phase where some hairs become unresponsive to growth. While the hairs are resting, new hair will initiate another growth phase. It lasts for about three months and about 15% of hairs are found in this category.
The exogen phase is an extension of the resting phase where old hairs are shed and new hairs continue to grow. In this phase, about 50 to 150 hairs can fall out daily as a result of shedding. This isn’t a thing to be worried about as it is considered normal.
However, when hairs become dormant too early, excess shedding of a hair and a decrease in hair volume will occur, this is then referred to as hair loss, baldness or Alopecia. Alopecia can occur in different ways. It can occur suddenly or gradually, It may affect just a portion of the head or the whole head. A poor diet, stress, and heredity can all contribute to the gradual or complete loss of hair.
WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF BALDNESS
Baldness can take on many forms depending on the cause, age, heredity, and gender of the individual. The most common types of baldness are listed below :
Male pattern baldness: This is the type of baldness that is commonly associated with men. Also referred to as androgenic alopecia, it is mostly caused by genetics or heredity(having a family history of baldness). A type of male sex hormones called androgen has been implicated in causing androgenic alopecia. This hormone helps to regulate hair growth in men.
When there is a problem with this hormone, the hair growth cycle will become weak and the hair follicles will also shrink, as a result, there will be a decrease in hair length. Over time, the growth cycle will cease and there will be no replacement for lost hair. The male baldness is usually characterized by a receding hairline or a single bald spot.
Female pattern baldness: As with most types of baldness, the female pattern baldness occurs when lost hair is not replaced. As the name implies, it primarily affects women and it is preceded by a noticeable loss in hair volume.
Unlike in men where the hairline visibly recedes, the female baldness, on the other hand, is not characterized by a receding hairline or a bald spot, rather there is a general thinning of the hair and the scalp is visible. Although it is not as common and widespread as the male baldness, female hair loss often increases with age.
Alopecia areata: This type of baldness is a form of autoimmune disorder that is characterized by hair loss in small patches. In most cases, the hair loss doesn’t go any further than a few patches, but in severe cases, it can lead to a considerable or a complete hair loss in (alopecia totalis).
Involutional alopecia: This is the most recognized type of baldness. It is the baldness that commonly occurs in elderly people. The hair follicles in older people enter a dormant phase and the hair becomes thinner, shorter and fewer in number.
Scarring alopecia: Skin conditions or disorders that result in scars can cause this type of baldness. Scarring alopecia can cause a complete and permanent loss of hair. These scars affect the growth cycle of the hair and prevent the replacement of lost hair.
Telogen effluvium: When a mass of hair goes into the dormant phase at the same time, there will be constant thinning of the hair with no regenerative actions. This type of baldness is referred to as telogen effluvium and it is mostly transient. It majorly occurs because of fluctuations in the hair growth circle.
WHAT CAUSES BALDNESS
A well-defined cause for baldness is not known, but certain factors may play a role in this hair condition. These Includes:
Heredity: The transfer of genes from a parent to their child, can expose a person to traits of baldness.
Hormones: Fluctuations in androgen levels in men can result in an unregulated hair growth which can lead to baldness.
Medication: Certain drugs used in treating medical conditions can cause temporary hair loss. Examples of such drugs are chemotherapy drugs used in treating cancer, blood pressure drugs, and some contraceptives.
Stress/Illness: Fungal infections like ringworm can result in baldness. Childbirth and some stressors can all contribute to temporary loss of hair. Medical conditions like diabetes, thyroid disease, anemia, and eating disorders can also trigger hair loss.
Diet: proteins are essential for the good growth of hair. A diet lacking in protein can hinder hair growth to a great extent. Also, a diet that is extremely low on calories can cause temporary hair loss.
Injury and burns: injuries and burns are the leading cause of scarring alopecia. They leave scars that hamper the ability of the hair to regenerate. Hair growth is hindered once there is an injury, but it is usually restored as soon as the injury heals. But if scars result from the injury, the hair may never grow back.
It is imperative to note that excessive combing, excessive use of shampoos, too much perming, bleaching, tight braids, and some other beautification processes for the hair can contribute to hair loss by weakening the hair and causing damage to the scalp. However, once these damaging procedures are identified, stopped or limited, the hair can heal itself again.
NATURAL WAYS TO TREAT BALDNESS
ESSENTIAL OILS: These oils are very useful in stimulating the scalp to increase blood circulation which is necessary for hair growth. They also contain some nutrients, antibacterial and antioxidant properties that are beneficial for hair growth and repairing damaged hair. The oils can be heated up for a few seconds or minutes and then massaged into the scalp. These oils include tea tree oil, olive oil, jojoba oil, coconut oil, pumpkin seed oil, and peppermint oil to mention but a few.
ONION JUICE: onions, when juiced and massaged into the scalp, can stimulate hair growth to a good degree. This is because onion plays a role in the rejuvenation of hair roots. It also stimulates blood circulation in the scalp. It has also been shown to be highly efficient in treating alopecia areata. For even better results, it can be mixed with honey and applied on the bald scalp. Simply grate or blend a few onion bulbs, squeeze out the juice, add honey if required and massage the mixture into your scalp using your hands or a cotton bud. The strong stench of onions might be a turn off for some people though.
ALOE VERA: This wonderful plant is known for its numerous health benefits and maximizing hair growth is one of them. Aloe Vera acts by creating a balance in the Ph levels of the hair. It also moisturizes the hair, releases excess oils from hair follicles that make them blocked, and causes a decrease in hair dandruff which inhibits hair growth. You can massage naturally grown aloe Vera gel into your hair and scalp a few times every week. If you can’t find the natural ones, you can opt for organic versions sold in stores.
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR: Just like aloe vera, apple cider vinegar balances the Ph levels of the hair. It also paves room for enough blood circulation in the scalp which helps the hair follicles to regenerate new hair. It also has anti-microbial properties that keep hair damaging bacteria at bay.
EGG YOLK: The key to healthy and fast hair growth is feeding the hair with plenty of proteins. Egg yolks contain enough protein to stimulate hair growth. You can apply it directly to your hair as a mask once or twice every week. You can leave the mask on for an hour before washing it off. After rinsing out the mask from your hair, you can apply your regular shampoo which helps neutralize the stench from the egg yolks. Egg yolks also improve hair texture.
LEMON: Lemon in its juice or oil form can enhance hair growth. Lemons are packed full of vitamin c which helps to stimulate fast hair growth by increasing the production of collagen. Its acidic content is also good for making hair follicles tight to prevent hair fall.
It also contains anti-fungal properties that keep the scalp and hair free from infections. You can apply lemon juice to your hair a few times every week for at least 15 minutes before rinsing it off and washing your hair with shampoo. You can also use lemon oil contained in a carrier oil.
LICORICE ROOT: The Licorice root fights against baldness and it enhances hair quality and growth. It contains mollifying properties that unclog the hair pores. It is also great for soothing the scalp and eliminating scabs and dandruff. A simple licorice root hair treatment recipe is to add about a half cup of milk and a pinch of turmeric to the licorice root powder to make a hair mask.
The hair mask is then thoroughly massaged into the hair, while focusing on the scalp and roots of the hair. The mask is left on the hair overnight. Ensure to cover the hair with a shower cap or a bonnet for maximum results and to avoid staining your sheets.
COFFEE: A large percentage of people are unaware of the benefits coffee provides for the hair when applied topically. The caffeine in coffee has been shown by scientific research to improve hair rejuvenation(because of its flavonoid content).
It also promotes hair texture by making it softer and more lustrous in appearance. In addition to this, it can serve as a hair dye too, because it stains hair black when applied to the hair. To gain the hair benefits of coffee, simply make a coffee rinse by brewing coffee and applying it to your hair when cooled. You can use a spray or an applicator bottle to make application easier.
The coffee rinse is usually applied to the hair after washing and conditioning. The rinse is left to sit in the hair for about 20 minutes before washing off.
SAW PALMETTO: A study that spanned a period of two years showed that saw palmetto can promote hair growth in men suffering from male pattern baldness. After taking saw palmetto every day for two years, participants in the study reported an increase in hair volume.
A RICH DIET: The hair needs nutrients to thrive, especially protein. A diet lacking in a sufficient amount of protein can trigger hair loss. Also, an iron deficiency which causes anemia is another cause of diet-related hair loss or baldness. It is important to include a wide range of proteinous foods into your diets such as foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids, nuts, chicken, fish, lean meat, eggs, milk, and yogurt.
You should also include iron-rich foods like spinach, pumpkin seed, lentils, and oysters. Iron plays a role in the growth and maintenance of hair.
Vitamins like A, B, C, and E are important for healthy hair growth. They stimulate healthy blood circulation and provide nutrients that are essential for hair growth.
HOW TO PREVENT BALDNESS
It is of utmost importance to take very good care of your hair in order to keep it healthy and far from the shackles of baldness. You can prevent your hair from baldness through the following ways :
- Do not comb your hair too often. Excessive combing of the hair can damage the hair follicles and impede its functions.
- Moisturize your hair with essential oils or hair butter to prevent it from getting dry. The oils will also provide nutrients that will promote hair growth.
- Use cold or normal water to rinse your hair always. Refrain from using hot water as it can weaken your hair follies and cause thinning of your hair.
- Do not use hair accessories or beautifying objects that can put a strain on your hair and cause hair damage.
- Limit the use of cosmetic procedures on your hair like perming, dyeing and the use of hot combs (stretching), to the barest minimal.
- Eat foods that contain nutrients that are essential for the growth and maintenance of your hair.