Hair loss is not just about beauty; it affects mental health also!
Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. But what if the beholder only notices my flaws, my receding hairline, or the million hair strands lying around on the floor, and all the objects I come in contact with? These are some of the thoughts one would go through while losing hair daily. Throughout history, hair is considered an element of beauty, prosperity, and good health. How good your mood is can be known by how good your hair looks! Unlike insisting upon one type of hairstyle, individuals nowadays have learned to acknowledge their diversities in hair texture and tend to it accordingly. But hair loss is inevitable given our changing lifestyle choices, air and water pollution, unhealthy food intake, stress, and side effects of other medications. Experts claim that they also have a psychological impact on lowering our confidence and self-esteem, causing extreme stress and anxiety, increasing the risk of depression, and increasing suicidal thoughts in some cases.
Alopecia or hair loss can be due to several reasons such as physical disorders such as auto-immune disorders, inflammatory disorders, infections, congenital disorders, chemical imbalance, hormonal changes, or neoplasms. A study analyzing patients from metro cities such as Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi, and Bangalore has been conducted by a cosmetic surgeon and dermatologist. The study examined the impact of alopecia/hair fall on the quality of life among adults in India and the study results have been published in the journal of Dermatological Reviews. The study was questionnaire-based and the participants included 442 men and 358 women in number. The study responses highlighted that hair fall impaired their social life. Social isolation, depression, shame, embarrassment, frustration, humiliation, and annoyance are some of the terms participants used to explain the distress alopecia caused in an individual's life.
The social stigma about women becoming bald is one of the main reasons why women are affected more by alopecia. There are some social expectations placed on both men and women, for instance, in the institution of matrimony, a candidate would expect their potential prospect to have dense hair as an indicator of good looks and personality. Jobs that require employees to present themselves well place pressure on them to groom their hair according to the newest trends. This includes spending thousands of rupees on salons and hair care products, dyeing the hair, using electrical devices such as hot air blowers, hair straighteners, curlers, etc., and using chemicals such as sulfates and keratin in the form of shampoos, conditioners, and serums.
Social media markets their haircare products feeding on our insecurities. The number of crash diets, homemade remedies, and sponsored products endorsed by influencers floods our screens. But here are some dermatologist-recommended foods to be added to the diet to tackle hair loss, nuts rich in biotin, omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, Vitamin-B, magnesium, and protein, salmon fish rich in omega 3 fatty acids, eggs rich in protein and biotin, and for vegan options, green leafy vegetables such as spinach rich in antioxidants and beans rich in zinc and fibers. Other healthy practices include cleansing the scalp and the hair regularly, avoiding excessive washing, using lukewarm water, using sulfate-free hair care products, and sensible use of heat styling tools, combing and detangling regularly, and avoiding exposure to pollutants.