A natural process, since hair is continuously growing, but if hair growth temporarily slows down as is quite common after childbirth or after a feverish illness, hair is lost faster than it is replaced. Slight thinning is also common in men and women as they get older. Baldness is predominantly a male phenomenon tending to run in families; in men a receding hairline generally meets a thinning crown, producing a tonsure effect; in women only the crown thins. In babies rubbing can cause hair loss, but the hair regrows.
Rarely hair loss is caused by deficiency ailments such as hypothyroidism (see Thyroid Problems) or iron-deficient Anaemia, by a lack of zinc or B vitamins especially biotin, and inositol, or by cytotoxic drugs used to treat Cancer; too much Vitamin A or selenium and also oral contraceptives and anticoagulant drugs; can have the same effect. Generally speaking, once the cause is removed, hair starts growing again. Conditions which destroy hair follicles, however, such as Ringworm and Lichen Planus, cause permanent patches of baldness. In Alopecia Areata patches of baldness appear quite suddenly with all but a few hair follicles becoming inactive; the cause is not known.
The pharmaceutical industry has recently come up with a new drug which stimulates hair growth, but it has to be taken on a permanent basis and may have long-term side effects. Constitutional treatment can be helpful for thinning hair, giving a boost to the metabolism generally, but the remedies below should also be tried.
Specific remedies to be taken every 12 hours for up 1 month
- Hair loss after childbirth, or premature baldness and greying Lycopodium 6c
- Hair loss associated with boils on scalp and headaches which become more insistent at night, person very depressed Aurum 6c
- Hair is brittle and falls out in little tufts Fluoric ac. 6c
- Scalp feels painful when touched, loss of body hair as well Selenium 6c
- Hair loss related to hormone changes after childbirth or at menopause, indifference towards loved ones Sepia 6c
- Hair loss after grief or extreme emotion, predominant feelings are indifference and exhaustion Phosphoric ac. 6c
- Hair loss follows severe injury Arnica 6c
- Hair loss associated with dryness of hair and scalp Kali carb. 6c
- Hair loss in an elderly person who has poor circulation and is mentally slow Baryta carb. 6c
- Hair loss associated with dandruff and white crusts on scalp, especially around hairline, Natrum mur. 6c
- Hair falls out in handfuls Phosphorus 6c
Self-help: Hair which is regularly bleached, dried, permed, or straightened is more fragile than untreated hair. Over-frequent washing and conditioning encourage dryness and make the hair look greasy quickly. One application of shampoo is quite enough to remove dirt and grime; if possible let hair dry naturally. Scalp massage may be beneficial in some cases since it encourages circulation. Vitamin B complex, Vitamin C, zinc, and iron are recommended. Also, make sure diet contains sufficient protein (from vegetable as well as animal sources).