Switching shampoos wont stop hair fall, seeing a dermatologist will!

Hair is the crown that we always wear. Luscious, strong, shiny hair is what every woman desires and every man dreams of. And the beauty industry has definitely banked on the endless desires one possess for healthy hair. No wonder the allies of a shopping mall are filled with innumerable cosmetic brands all selling shampoos to control hair fall. But are shampoos really worth the hype? Here’s a quick fact check.  

What are shampoos?

Shampoos are liquid detergents packed in a bottle. They are synonymous to a bathing soap or a syndet bar except the detergents in a shampoo are in liquid form. Just like soap, shampoos are meant to cleanse the scalp and do nothing more. But, when does this obsession over shampoos begin?

Ironically, Indians were the first to use “organic” shampoos to cleanse the scalp. In fact, it’s still popular amongst many rural villages where they use concoction of “amla”, “ritha” and “shikakai” to cleanse the scalp. During the colonial rule, Britishers introduced the concept into Europe and since then the shampoos industry has come so far.

What are the real benefits of shampoos?

Shampoos have been marketed to stop hair fall, increase hair density and volumize hair. Many of such claims are not even close to reality. Shampoos can remove dirt, hair serums, hair styling products, sweat and sebum from the scalp. However, they can neither increase the density nor the volume of hair. However, there are certain anti-fungal containing shampoos that help in “controlling” dandruff, the keyword being “controlling dandruff” as dandruff can never be permanently cured. Other shampoos containing coal tar, salicylic acid or ketoconazole helps in removing thick adherent scales of scalp psoriasis. Medicated shampoos containing antiseptics are also used to treat scalp folliculitis or prevent secondary bacterial infection in seborrhoic dermatitis. Hair volumizing shampoos use hair glazing conditioners on your hair strands which form a coating around the hair making it look fuller and thicker. This however is a temporary effect that is easily removed once the hair is washed. Shampoos cannot control hair fall or strengthen your hair. But then what or in fact, who can control your hair fall?

Role of dermatologist in treating your hair fall

Board certified dermatologists can treat any skin problems, hair loss, hair fall or even frank baldness. If you are suffering from patchy hair loss, excessive hair fall or even hair thinning, it’s best to consult a dermatologist in Delhi for the same.

What are the common causes of hair fall?

Broadly speaking most of your hair concerns can be divided into hair loss, hair thinning or baldness.

Hair loss simply means shedding a bunch of hair, be it hair lying on the floor, bedsheets, pillow covers, clogging your drains, basically everywhere. This hair loss or hair fall should be distinguished from normal hair fall. Approx. 10-100 hairs per day is normal and should not be an alarming sign. Any hair fall more than this needs intervention. Usually this kind of hair fall disease is known as telogen effluvium and based on the time duration, it can be acute or chronic. 

 

Telogen effluvium could be a result of recent stress, trauma, surgery, pregnancy, rapid weight loss, long term illness, hospitalisation and in the current scenario even post COVID 19. You might start seeing excessive hair loss 3-6 months after the triggering event but it usually is self limiting and it spontaneously improves in 6-12 months time. A subset of individuals, usually females, continue to have hair fall even after the stipulated time. These are the ones who suffer from chronic telogen effluvium and are very difficult to treat.

 

Hair thinning is another concern that usually affects men and women equally. Decrease in the thickness of the hair shaft can lead to hair thinning even when the total hair density remains the same. Hair thinning usually runs in the family and therefore is very resistant to any kind of medical intervention. However, if your hair thinning is pretty recent, this could be part of early androgenetic alopecia. Androgenetic alopecia is a special type of hair disorder that can lead to patterned hair loss both in men and women. It follows a specific pattern in males with recession of hairline, deepening of frontotemporal angles, thinning of crown and eventual baldness. This pattern of androgenetic alopecia is known as male pattern baldness and is divided into 7 grades of severity on Ludwig scale. Females however have  a pattern of hair loss significantly different from their male counterparts. They either have diffuse thinning of hair or widening of the central partition line. This Christmas tree pattern is known as female patterned hair loss.

 

Baldness: Areas of scanty to no growth are termed as baldness. If it’s in patches, you might be having alopecia areata or else you might have advance grade androgenetic alopecia. Medical treatment and intralesional tricort works for alopecia areata. Frank baldness seen in advanced grade androgenetic alopecia responds to hair transplantation. Hair transplantation is the only permanent method of hair restoration for baldness.

 

Thus, it becomes imperative to consult a highly skilled dermatologist to find the correct diagnosis, understand the cause behind your hair loss and then design a customised treatment as per your hair issues.

 

If you’re experiencing significant hair loss, it may seem like switching shampoos will solve the problem. However, while using a different shampoo may temporarily slow down hair fall, it’s not a permanent solution. The best way to stop hair fall and promote healthy hair growth is to see a dermatologist.

 

Dr. Geetika Srivastava is one of the best dermatologists in Delhi and can help you find the root cause of your hair loss and develop a treatment plan specifically tailored to your needs. She has extensive experience in treating all types of hair loss, including alopecia areata, male pattern baldness, and Telogen Effluvium.

 

If you’re ready to take control of your hair health, contact Dr. Srivastava today for a consultation.

 

 

 

 

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