Is there a way to stop balding?

Dear doctor; I am just 27 but already having receding hairline. I am losing my self-esteem. Is there a way to reverse it without the out-of-my-reach way of hair transplant?

Dear doctor;

I am just 27 but already having receding hairline. I am losing my self-esteem. Is there a way to reverse it without the out-of-my-reach way of hair transplant?

Jean, Nyagatare.

Dear Jean,
Hothair add to the over all cosmetic appearance of a person and a receding hair line is indeed disturbing, particularly when one is young. Receding hairline is a type of progressive  hair loss mainly experienced by men and some women where the hairline will begin to thin commonly on either sides of the forehead before one gets a bald patch on top of the head. This happens gradually and is associated with much hair falling while combing or brushing.

Hair loss and baldness are common in elderly people, but studies show that about 25 per cent people can have it in young age as well. Progressive hair loss occurs due to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a derivative of is male sex hormone androgen. Due to genetic factors, this hormone may remain preponderant in males after puberty and even in women. This binds to hair follicles, prevents their nourishment leading to hair loss. Alopecia is a hereditary condition where hair tend to fall in patches or in toto.

Other hormonal disorders as that of thyroid and adrenal gland can also cause premature hair loss and baldness. Tobacco use is also known to cause recession of hair line. Some drugs like medicines used for treating cancers, heart diseases, high cholesterol, can  cause hair loss. Harsh chemicals present in hair shampoos and conditioners result in hair damage and loss. Hair loss can also be due to any injury or burn. Eczema, seborrhoiec dermatitis of the scalp, fungal infections of the head, all these result in hair loss apart from other signs. Physical and or mental stress also can cause hair loss. Trichotillomania is a behavioral disorder, where a person voluntarily pulls off hair causing hair loss over time.

Diet is important for good health of  hair  and a diet poor in proteins manifests as falling of hair, along with dry brittle hair.

Correction of the underlying cause as in infections, hormonal disorders, usually improves hair growth. In case of hair loss caused by medicines, stopping the offending drug reverses the condition. Improving one’s diet, improving hair hygiene, complete relaxation, avoiding tobacco are also useful in preventing hair loss. Regular oiling of the hair and avoiding dryness of the scalp with natural oils like cocoanut or olive oil is said to keep hair healthy.

Drugs like minoxidil is useful both as topical application and tablet form in improving early baldness. Finasteride helps men in a small way to improve hair loss. Local injections of steroids help in improving hair loss in alopecia. Apart from these, change in hair style to cover baldness, use of wigs or hair transplants are other options to manage progressive baldness.

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