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29 June 2017Last updated
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Ask the expert: Teenager facing severe hairfall

Ayurveda expert suggests tips to reduce hairfall

FR_170108_Ask_the_Expret_Shyam_VL_AIZA05-(Read-Only)
30 May 2017 | 03:38 pm
  • Source:iStock

I’m a 16-year-old girl suffering from severe hair loss. I don’t oil or shampoo my hair often. Please help.

Most people lose about 50 to 100 strands of head hair a day. These hairs are replaced — they grow back in the same follicle on your head. This amount of hair loss is totally normal and should be no cause for worry.

An average human carries roughly 100,000 hair follicles on the scalp and a follicle can produce many hair shafts over a lifetime; on average, around 20 times.

Approximately 85 per cent of all hairs are in the growing phase at any one time. This phase can vary from 2-7 years; hair grows approximately 10cm per year. After one year it will be 12 cm long. Waist-length hair will have taken about seven years to grow.

The resting phase follows the growth phase and normally lasts about 5-6 weeks. During this time the hair does not grow but stays attached to the follicle. Approximately 10-15 per cent of all hairs are in this phase at one time.

At the end of the resting phase the hair follicle re-enters the growth phase and a new hair begins to form. If the old hair has not already been shed the new hair pushes the old one out and the growth cycle starts all over again.

A variety of factors can affect the hair growth cycle and result in temporary or permanent hair loss. The major causes are hormonal and nutritional factors. During puberty your body starts producing hormones known as androgens. Excess amounts of these hormones cause hair loss in teens.

The first step to remedying teenage hair loss is to discover the cause of the problem. Mechanical causes include extreme hair care treatment, such as excessive hair drying, curling or other heat treatments, bleach treatments, teasing, tight hairstyles such as pony tails.

A wholesome diet rich in proteins, calcium and iron will help reduce or prevent hair loss. Green, leafy vegetables are good mineral sources. Eat plenty of iron-rich foods, like whole grain cereals, dark green leafy vegetables, eggs, dates and raisins.

To encourage hair growth, adhere to a diet rich in protein. Green gram and soy protein reinforces hair and may stimulate its growth. Other good sources of protein are: low-fat cheese, eggs, fish, beans, and yogurt. Another important nutrient for hair health, silica, is found in the outer coverings of potatoes, green and red peppers, cucumbers and bean sprouts. Vitamin C improves the absorption of iron. Vitamin E is important for healthy hair growth; eat avocados, nuts, and olive oil on a regular basis.

Meet an Ayurveda doctor in person for a proper diagnosis and treatment.

Reduce spicy, sour and salty foods.

Favour orange, amla, melons, strawberry, cabbage, broccoli, peas, spinach, and seeds and apricots in your diet.

**Please consult your doctor before taking home remedies.

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FR_170108_Ask_the_Expret_Shyam_VL_AIZA05-(Read-Only)

Dr VL Shyam

Dubai-based Ayurveda practitioner