Hair Loss in Children
Hair loss in children is quite a huge epidemic nowadays. The drastic changes in lifestyle, unhealthy life choices and adverse environmental factors have resulted in huge populations of people getting sooner. People are having hair loss at a much faster rate, even while they are young, such that hair loss is no longer bound to being caused by the process of aging.
People are facing hair loss irrespective of their age or gender. Not only has the proportion of people experiencing hair loss increased, but the causes of hair loss are also increasing. Mankind keeps making the same mistake each time. We are so focused on pleasure and immediate gratification that we are blind to the need to preserve the health of our body (inclusive of hair) and mind.
People are demanding an immediate solution for their problems, even in hair loss, but they fail to understand that change requires time and patience; anything that promises a quick remedy may not always be the safest means and could have serious consequences.
Hair loss in children can be treated naturally, but not many lack the self-control and patience to go through this slow process of natural treatment.
We have reached a point in time when even children, in whom the process of growth is at optimum functioning, face hair loss. Hair has become so important to human beings due to the excessive cultural and religious significance which have been imparted on it. Such that, where there is no hair, there is a lack of self-confidence; there is inferiority; there is a weakness. Media doesn’t help much in the cause as well.
The portrayal of unattainably beautiful hair by models has worsened how we feel about ourselves. All of these not only affects adults but also children. Children, who are at the weakest point of emotional and mental development, are greatly injured by criticism and ridicule. This is more than just a hair problem; it is a problem of principle; a problem that needs to be rectified as soon as possible.
While hair loss is children is not an abnormality, it becomes a cause of concern when it occurs at an increased pace and continuously. The causes of hair loss in children are:
• Alopecia areata:
It occurs when the child’s immune system begins to attack the child’s own hair follicles. It occurs as patches of hair suddenly falling to form around pattern on the child’s head. This may go on until all the hair on the child’s head falls off. But it is a rare autoimmune disease. This condition may be caused by genetics or may be associated with another autoimmune disease.
• Telogen effluvium:
Telogen effluvium is a hair condition in which the hair life cycle undergoes a sudden drastic change, resulting in a large portion of hair going into telogen or resting phase and eventually falling off at a rapid rate. Telogen effluvium may occur due to stress, high fever, as a medicine side effect or injury. But this condition is reversible.
• Tinea capitis:
It is the most common cause of hair loss in children. It is caused by ringworm that harms hair. It causes scaly, ring-shaped lesions to occur on the scalp. Tinea capitis is a contagious fungal infection that affects all forms of facial hair, including the eyebrows and eyelashes. It can be treated by antifungal medicine.
• Hair shaft trauma:
Excessive physical stress on hair can cause hair loss. It manifests in children diagnosed with trichotillomania, a mental illness characterized by obsessive hair pulling behavior, and in children who tie tight braids and ponytails. Excessive strain on hair causes hair strands to elongate and eventually tear.
When the body is not able to secrete enough thyroid hormones (which regulate metabolism), dry hair or hair loss occurs.
• Nutritional deficiency:
Deficiency of iron, niacin, biotin, zinc, proteins and amino acids can cause hair loss. Excessive vitamin A can also cause hair loss.
Treating cancer with chemotherapy, in children, can cause hair loss. This is common even in adults.
• Excessive heat on hair:
Increased exposure to heat to hair can result in excessive hair loss. It causes hair to become dry and brittle.
In order to treat hair loss in children, two things are required:
1. The need to follow natural remedies for hair growth and prevention of hair loss. This needs to be continued lifelong in order to preserve hair and ensure that it is healthy.
2. The need to consult with a pediatrician or trichologist. It is important to consult with experts regarding abnormal hair loss in children. Specialists can help treat hair loss effectively through medication.
The natural remedies include:
1. Applying oil:
Oils such as coconut oil, castor oil, almond oil, olive oil, and jojoba oil provide nutrition to hair and rejuvenate hair follicles. Oils help strengthen hair and prevent hair fall. Apply oil overnight and wash hair the next day.
2. Apple cider vinegar solution:
Applying apple cider vinegar solution on hair and scalp, followed by rest for at least 6 hours and washing hair and scalp, not only nourishes hair follicles and the scalp but also helps reduces the acidity of hair and gives hair a gleam.
3. Healthy diet:
Food rich in proteins, vitamins, and minerals can help contribute to hair growth and nourishment. It is important to consume foods rich in iron, zinc, and Vitamin E (green vegetables, cereals), Vitamin C and Vitamin A (citrus fruits), and proteins (egg, milk).
Amla, or Indian gooseberry, stimulates hair follicle nourishment and growth. Its juice or powder can be mixed with oil and lime juice and then applied on hair and scalp, followed by a wash.
5. Aloe vera:
Aloe vera can work miracles on hair. It not only provides nourishment but also helps fight off dandruff. Applying aloe vera gel on hair and scalp, letting it rest and then washing both hair and scalp can help prevent hair fall and promote hair growth. For the best result, it is recommended that it be performed at least thrice a week, every alternate day.