Last Updated on December 15, 2020 by The Health Master
Hair today, gone tomorrow
Last year, filmmaker Amar Kaushik highlighted the problem of premature baldness in men through his movie, Bala. The story of Balmukund Shukla (Ayushmann Khurrana) from Kanpur in his late 20s indeed represents the fact that an increasing number of men are struggling with male pattern baldness.
And that the problem is not limited to any particular geographical location.
Medical professionals have observed that for every 10 people visiting hair reclamation clinics, eight are men. Earlier, men started losing hair in their late 40s. The figures coming up from Delhi-NCR are even scarier. Doctors say more than 70 per cent men in Delhi are facing hair loss, with the average age of patient being 25.
“In fact, boys in their teens and early 20s are coming to us for hair restoration,” says Dr Mayank Singh, Hony Secy, and Association of Hair Restoration Surgeons of India, who runs Radiance Cosmedic Centre at Greater Kailash.
Dermatologists say they are getting more patients from the IT sector.
“Since IT sector employees are generally more stressed, don’t have a proper sleeping pattern, eat irregularly, they experience more hair loss,” says Dr Arika Bansal, Founder, Eugenix Hair Sciences, Gurugram. Just as the pandemic has agg ravated other health issues, it has had a direct impact on hair loss too.
“Since we resumed OPD operations after Unlock, we have had nearly 180 patients with hair loss problems. Due to the lockdown, people were indoors, and experienced a possible Vitamin D deficiency which is manifested through hair fall,” says Dr Bhavuk Mittal, Dermatologist, Columbia Asia Hospital, Ghaziabad. As a result, the demand for hair transplants has surged since the Unlock.
“Most patients show androgenic alopecia or male pattern baldness (MPB) where hair loss begins at the temples or the crown of the head. In some cases, hair loss pattern happens in the shape of M,” adds Dr Mittal.
A majority of men who experience baldness are found with Vitamin B complex deficiency mainly B3 and B12, followed by Vitamin D and Vitamin C. In a nutshell, the significant reasons for hair loss are iron inadequacy, absence of daylight (nutrient D-3), stress, sporadic weight control plans, hormonal changes and related ailments like thyroid and diabetes. Coupled with this is poor lifestyle, stress, pollution and faulty nutrition. In some cases, the baldness is genetic.
“Those who smoke or consume alcohol also have a high incidence of hair loss compared to non-smokers. The carbon monoxide, which you inhale, damages the hair follicles. Additionally, nicotine hampers blood flow and affects hair growth,” says Dr Bansal.
Healthy, balanced meals can ensure proper supply of nutrients to hair follicles and suppress hormones such as Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) that play a major role in causing hair loss in men. Simple lifestyle changes can go a long way. “Proper sleep, nutritious protein rich food, enough water, regular exercise, yoga and meditation surely help,” says Dr Singh. Agrees Dr Bansal, “A good lifestyle and proper medication can delay the onset of baldness to 45, even in men who have genetic predisposition towards it,” she says. “Also, men must avoid cigarettes and alcohol, especially those who have baldness in their genes,” says Dr Mittal.
It is normal to lose 50 and 100 strands a day, but anything above that needs medical attention. Apart from stress, cigarettes and alcohol, use of excessive styling and colouring weaken the hair follicles causing hair to break easily.
By Rajkumari Sharma Tankha