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Follicular fears

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

You run a brush through your mane and find a bunch of hairs stuck in the bristles. The feeling is awful, but it’s something that can be combated! Sameer Bharde tells you more

A common side effect of our hectic lifestyles is hair fall. Hairstyles lend great personality and style to our looks, and when there’s hair loss, it’s natural to worry. Hair fall experts say that losing fifty to a hundred strands of hair a day is normal, but if you are losing more, you may need to take corrective measures. For a simple test, run your hands through your hair and lightly tug on it as you go across your scalp. If you see more than 20 strands in your palm, there is likely something amiss. Don’t fret though. With certain home remedies and good care, your locks can be restored to their true and shining glory.


Coconut

The humble coconut is not only known to promote hair growth, but it also acts as a great conditioner. With essential fats, minerals and proteins, coconut oil reduces hair breakage.

  •  DIY solution: To reap its benefits, warm a spoon of coconut oil and massage it into your scalp. Leave it on for an hour and  rinse it off. You can also apply coconut milk on specific areas where there is hair fall. Leave it on overnight and wash your hair in the morning.

Greek yoghurt
Yoghurt contains vitamin B5 and protein, and these fight hair fall. Yoghurt acts as a natural conditioner for your tresses. Greek yoghurt in particular has probiotic effects, which help promote hair growth.

  •  DIY solution: In a cup, mix two tablespoons of Greek yoghurt, a tablespoon of honey and a little fresh lemon juice to form a paste. Apply this to your scalp and hair, and rinse it off thoroughly after 30 minutes.

Onion
The sharp chemicals in an onion, the ones that bring tears to our eyes, also have antibacterial properties that can eliminate bacteria on your scalp. Onions are rich in sulphur, which can improve blood circulation to your hair follicles.

  •  DIY solution: Squeeze an onion and extract its juice. Add a teaspoon or two of honey to the juice, and if the odour bothers you, mix in a little rose water. Apply the mixture to your hair and scalp, and wash it off with cold water after an hour.

Potato
Potatoes are rich in potassium, iron and vitamin C — three ingredients that boost hair health.

  •  DIY solution: Wash a potato and peel it, cut it into small pieces and toss these into the blender to make a puree. If the puree is too thick, strain it through a muslin cloth and add a teaspoon of honey to the paste. Apply it to your scalp and hair, and wash it off with shampoo after 30 minutes.

Lemon
An astringent, the juice of a lemon tightens pores, quite literally controlling your rate of hair fall. If you suffer from oily hair, lemon juice can help. Besides this, lemons contain alpha-hydroxy acids that wash away dead cells and dandruff, and are also rich in vitamin C, which boosts hair health.

  •  DIY solution: Squeeze out the juice of a few lemons, add warm water and apply it to your hair and scalp. Rinse it off after five minutes with cold water.

What causes hair fall?
The reasons for hair fall are many, and it is not a single factor but likely a combination of a variety of factors that lead to hair fall. Here, we tell the most common ones.

Stress
Severe illnesses and physical trauma can cause stress, and this is a known trigger for hair loss. Stress disturbs the hair growing cycle and leads to the shedding of hair. A particularly stressful event can lead to hair fall for as much as three to six months after.

Lack of protein
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, if your diet does not include adequate amounts of protein, your body rations it out and shuts down hair growth. Just like stress, lack of protein may start showing up as hair fall two to three months after a drop in your protein intake. Include fish, meat and lentils in your diet.

Genes
Two out of three men experience some kind of hair loss by the age of 60, and the major reason for this is male-pattern baldness, which is down to a combination of genes and sex hormones. It is best symbolized by an M-shaped hairline that recedes at the temples. Hair fall is also seen in women; however, much less so. This is characterised by thinning of the hair which is sometimes very noticeable.

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