While it is normal for a healthy scalp to shed old hair, baldness is caused when it fails to grow new hair. This is caused by various factors, like genetics, hormonal changes, stress, illness, use of some types of medication, medical treatments, improper hair care, inadequate nutrition, and excessive use of chemicals on the hair.
However, the most common form of baldness, called male pattern baldness or androgenic alopecia; is a progressive hair thinning condition that affects males. Though rare, the condition may develop in females, and is called female pattern baldness. Pattern baldness is mainly caused by hormonal changes, genetics, and aging. Unlike baldness caused by other factors, pattern baldness is almost permanent, but you can avail medical treatment or opt for surgical hair transplant. Other types of baldness can be prevented to some extent, by treating the underlying cause or through proper hair care. You can also avoid some of the causes of hair loss, like stress and inadequate nutrition.
How to Prevent Baldness
- Avoid foods, which are high in fats, caffeine, alcohol, and sugar. These elements can raise the levels of hormones, like adrenaline and cortisol, that can gradually lead to hair loss and baldness. You must also avoid nicotine, and reduce intake of common salt.
- Eat healthy to avoid hair loss, and to boost the growth of healthy hair. A proper and balanced diet provides all the necessary nutrients for hair growth. Such a diet may also prove beneficial for reversing hair loss in those, who are deprived of necessary nutrients. The diet should be rich in lean protein, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and dairy products. Drink lots of water; at least eight glasses of water per day is recommended. You may also take daily vitamin and mineral supplements.
- Avoid regular use of harsh chemicals on your hair. Heating equipment, like flat irons and curling irons may also contribute to baldness in the long run.
- If hair loss is caused by any underlying medical condition, you must consult your health care provider and treat the same, to prevent hair loss and baldness. Intake of certain medicines may also cause hair loss; and in such cases, you can approach your physician for a change in drugs, if possible.
- Regular exercise is always advisable, and it is also good for preventing baldness. Exercising can increase the blood circulation in the body. An increase in the blood circulation to the scalp is good for hair growth. Aerobic exercises are said to be beneficial in lowering the levels of androgens in the body, thereby preventing baldness.
- Measures to reduce stress levels are also beneficial to prevent baldness. You can try breathing techniques, like 'pranayama', for this purpose.
- Saw palmetto is very popular as a herbal remedy for baldness, but there are some speculations about the side effects of this herb.
- Drugs, like finasteride and minoxidil are prescribed as a cure for the condition, and these medicines are found to be effective for baldness prevention in males.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice. Visiting your physician is the safest way to diagnose and treat any health condition.