Explores the Meeting Ground Between Science and Hair Care

Trichology was developed in London in 1902,and has since used the science to detect and effectively treat hair and scalp diseases. When confronted with a hair problem, trichologists first conduct tricho-anlaysis of the hair and scalp to diagnose the problem before choosing from an array of scientific tools to tackle it. Of the 355 trichnologists all over the world,Dr Apoorva Shah and Dr Sonal Shah,are India’s first certified trichologists. They are also the first to start a training program for aspiring trichologists under the auspices of International Association of Trichologists (IAT).

Role of a Trichologist

In today’s world,fashion and stress have become a part of life and every second person is facing some hair problem or the other.As a result,hair and scalp problems such as dandruff,hairloss,premature greying and alopecia have also increased. So,how does it affect us? Hair and skin play a very important role in building one’s self image,prestige and confidence levels.Also,no other part of the human body grows at the rate of half-an-inch a month, which is why your hair,apart from your crowning glory,is also your body’s barometer,indicating good health or the lack of it.
Hair can be an early indicator of following diseases: + Thyroid and parathyroid problems + Addison’s disease + Cushing’s syndrome + Anemia + Deficiency diseases + Hormonal imbalance + Ovarian cyst disease + Dietary deficiency

Common Hair Problems

Male Pattern Thinning:The most common form of hair loss that we see is male pattern thinning.Generally,the pattern of loss starts with a receding hairline,which then advances to thin ing on the top of the head,in a Ushaped formation.The hair follicles shrink with each new growth cycle.The hair shaft narrows,and your hair get finer.The culprit here is the male hormone Androgen.On achieving puberty, the male hormone Androgen starts flowing freely in the body. It is Androgen that is responsible for the growth of hair all over the body in the post-pubescence stage. Ironically, the same hormone causes the destruction of the hair follicles in those who are genetically predisposed to baldness.When the hair follicles are attacked,your hair begins to thin, you begin to go bald.

Female Pattern Thinning:In women, Androgenetic Alopecia appears as diffuse hair loss or thinning in the fronto-vortex region (i.e.- on top of the frontal region) and the frontal region is spared in most cases.This hair loss happens at a slower rate than in men and it happens at a much later time in life.But age does not make it less traumatic for a woman,especially if she has had luxuriant hair before.The crux of the problem lies with our hormones.Women have both the male hormone Androgen (which is responsible for hair growth all over the body) and the female hormone Oestrogen. In men,Androgen ironically causes the destruction of the hair follicles in those who are genetically predisposed to this kind of baldness.This is known as Androgenetic Alopecia. Fortunately for women,the hormone Oestrogen counteracts and stops this negative action of Androgen. However, in periods when the Oestrogen level falls,Androgen starts attacking the hair follicles and as the hair follicles are destroyed, hair starts to thin.


Dr Apoorva Shah says,“Hair oiling is very necessary as it is a very good hair and scalp nourisher. Oil your scalp every alternate day to stimulate blood flow and relieve stress.Sluggish blood flow and stress can both cause hair loss.Use hair oil to massage your hair ones a week,leave overnight and wash off the next day.”

HAIR DO’S AND DON’TS Do: Brush your hair gently.This helps distribute natural hair oils. Brush strokes should always move outward from the scalp. Don’t: Brush your hair one hundred strokes a day. Excessive brushing can tear the hair, pull it out and damage the cuticle layer causing split ends, especially in people with dry and colour-treated hair. Do: Shampoo your hair. Shampoo is merely a cleansing agent and whether you use it in the form of soap or a liquid makes no difference, as long it is suited to your hair type. People with oily hair should, in fact, shampoo more frequently. Don’t: Wash your hair too often. It is advisable not to wash your hair more than thrice a week, unless you find it distinctly greasy or dirty. If you are a sports-person, or travel a lot and thus your hair gets dirty, don’t hesitate to use shampoo while washing your hair – make sure it is formulated for daily use. Do: Make sure you have a balanced diet, rich in proteins. Hair also requires minerals like iron, copper and zinc in the right proportions and deficiency of these will affect the condition of hair. More importantly, if you do suspect that you are losing hair excessively, it would be advisable to pay a visit to a trichologist. Don’t: Try shaving your head or oiling it to stimulate hair growth.There is no evidence to suggest that shaving helps.This holds good even for body hair. Oiling performs the essential function of scalp conditioning. It will not stop hair from falling, nor will it accelerate the rate of hair re-growth.

Hair Tips

Dr Apoorva Shah shares some hair care tips.

Eliminate or cut back on smoking, caffeine and carbonated sodas which weaken the body and block maximum hair growing potential. Avoid use of hot water,hot blow dryers or other hair care tools that may stress the hair. Have a weekly scalp massage and brush your hair regularly to stimulate to the hair follicles. The first step to beautiful hair is cleanliness.You must wash your hair every alternate day or even daily with a mild shampoo formulated for daily use,if necessary. Your shampoo and conditioner should be used separately. Henna has a very drying effect on your hair but is a good scalp conditioner. Cumin,turmeric and black pepper are some “hair- friendly”spices Stress can be seriously injurious to long term health and color of hair Brahmi also helps balance the minds and nourishes the hair and scalp. Massage your scalp with your fingers daily to stimulate circulation of nourishing agents to your scalp Avoid extreme cold and heat exposures.Use head coverings in extreme weather to prevent sudden cooling / heating of scalp and hair. While drying your hair with towel, use the blotting technique instead of rubbing it vigorously. Use a wide toothcomb to avoid pulling the hair Avoid applying hair creams,hair lotion ,styling gels and sprays directly on the scalp. Keep your hands out of your hair. Twirling your hair between your fingers weakens the hair. Common causes of Hair Loss + Lack of Oiling + Thyroid Problems + Acute Illness + Maltreatment of Hair + Anemia + Medication + Stress + Dandruff + Nutritional deficiency + Hormonal imbalance

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