Hair, hair...nowhere!

Hair, hair...nowhere!

A receding hairline has been every man’s nightmare for ages and that nightmare is coming true for many at an early age today. Blame it on increasing levels of stress, poor lifestyle, pollution but the truth is that men are today balding as early as their 20s. While hair is a factor largely dependent on a person’s genes, today the way we live is more to blame than the DNA one is carrying.

When the male hormone – testosterone is exposed to 5-alpha-reductase, an enzyme in the hair follicle, it produces another hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which causes permanent hair loss. This hormone (DHT) causes the hair follicle to shrink and grow a finer hair that is lighter in colour, shorter and less deeply rooted than its predecessor.

Dr Arvind Poswal, hair transplant surgeon, A’s Clinic, says, “Most often, the hair in the balding region will continue to grow at an increasingly slower rate until hair growth ceases completely.”

While male baldness has existed for as long as we know, the worrying trend is that men have started balding earlier in life. Today, a lot of young men in their late 20s are already experiencing a receding hairline and are visibly embarrassed about the development, like Bollywood actor Akshay Khanna too faced a visible male pattern baldness at a relatively younger age.

“While it is normal to lose between 50 to 100 hair strands a day, a loss that is greater than this indicates an abnormal development. The high stress lifestyle can partially be blamed as hair loss is often a side-effect of stress. From morning till night, people are either sorting out issues at workplace or struggling with traffic woes, sleep deprivation, non-stop travelling. People often skip meals or eat unhealthy quick meals. Night shifts have become a common phenomenon in today’s work-life that is often compounded by habits like excessive smoking or drinking,” adds Dr Arvind.

A packed life schedule also doesn’t leave us any time for exercise or stress relieving, often turning men into couch potatoes. Stress, both physical and mental, poor nutrition and an unhealthy lifestyle, all these together are causes of early baldness. Since hair is made up of a protein called keratin, a protein rich diet is a must for ensuring good growth. A low-protein diet will deprive hair of nutrition.

For people in whom hair loss has already started, transplant remains a viable option to retain their look. “Hair loss often takes place in a horseshoe pattern leaving behind a stretch of hair on a particular area of the scalp. The hair in this donor area provides the basis for surgical hair transplantation. These hair, when transplanted into thinning or balding areas, will take root and grow, and continue to grow for the rest of a person’s life,” shares Arvind.

The newly restored hair will grow and requires the same maintenance as the original hair. They can also be coloured, permanently waved or styled in a variety of ways too. One can even shave them off and they will grow
right back!

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