• 22
  • Oct

A reader asks: I need clarification, would bleaching makes hair thin and makes you bald? That’s what I have noticed. Is there multivitamins to open hair follicles. Please advice?

Dr Jomol Mariam Thomas, Dubai Health Authority licensed Ayurveda Practitioner, Senior  Ayurveda Consultant, Dr Shyam’s Ayurveda Centre, Dubai, replies: By bleaching, you are changing the structure as well as the strength of your hair, making it more susceptible to damage and snapping. The chemicals in the bleach penetrate the cuticle and removes your natural pigment .The process of bleaching hair literally opens the shaft of the hair and removes the colour by reaching the melanin in the core of the hair to change its composition. The process also lifts the cuticle of the hair which allows the product to reach the core. If hair is over bleached, the cuticle will not lay flat again and this is what causes hair to break easily, feel coarse and to look dull and lifeless with split ends .
If you are experiencing hair loss due to frequent bleaching ,the first method of treatment is to avoid the cause. Make a doctor's appointment as soon as possible to identify any other  cause for your hair loss before you attempt to treat it.
More than 95% of hair thinning in men is male pattern hair loss (also known as androgenic alopecia) and the other causes of hair fall are nutritional deficiencies and complication to certain scalp and skin diseases .There are a number of other causes for hair fall like acute illness, high stress, and thyroid imbalance, certain medications , sudden weight loss , prolonged or intermittent fever etc.
If you feel that the inadequacy of nutrients is the triggering factors you just can try replenishment with the supplements. According to the hair experts nutrients that your hair requires to grow well and shine are:

Vitamin B-complex supplement particularly
Vitamin B7 Biotin,
Vitamin B3 Niacin
Vitamin B5 Calcium pantothenate
Vitamin B12  Cobalamine, which are found necessary for stimulating new hair growth and preventing hair loss.
2) Copper, Iron, manganese and Zinc supplement may also help in the hair growth.
3) Iodine if deficient causes  hair loss and it can be supplemented.
Ayurvedic hair care
According to Ayurveda the genetic component or the bodily humor called as pitha  when vitiated  is responsible for the excess hair fall in general. Ayurveda states that Pitha  in the body is increased by hot climatic conditions, excessive intake of  hot spicy, salty and sour food,  tea, coffee, alcohol, excessive smoking etc.
Balancing of pitha with the intake of herbs and vegetables with bitter and astringent flavour should be done. An adequate ingestion of raw vegetables, fresh fruits, salads, green leafy vegetables should be included in the diet on a regular basis. A high protein and iron rich diet is recommended for hair loss.
Identification  of causative factor and its avoidance plays an important role. Ayurvedic general tonics like Chyavana prasam Narasimha rasayanam, etc are effective for improving hair growth. In case of  systemic diseases, treatment of the same is highly recommended .
Ayurveda recommends certain natural and effective ways for treating the hair problems.
Oil application  and massaging of scalp on a regular basis is very beneficial for stopping the hair loss. Certain medicated oils like 'Neelibhringadi oil', 'Kunthala kanthi oil', 'Kanjunnyadi oil' Bhringamalakadi  oil, Brahmi oil  etc are very useful.
Use a natural hair and scalp cleanser: Leaves of Hibiscus, Aloe vera gel, Amla (embilica officinalis), Shikakai (Acacia concinna) or Thriphala or soaked methi (fenugreek) are very good for washing the hair. It Sustains the natural oiliness of hair while removing dirt and dust, gives strength and shine to hair.
A paste of Yashti madhu (licorice) or Hasthi dantha mashi (charred elephants’s Ivory) made  in  goats milk can be applied in the bald patches, which may help in re-igniting the hair follicles . Gently massage your scalp before and after washing the hair. It increases the blood circulation, and activates the hair follicles.
Traditional Ayurveda therapies like Shiro Dhara, Abhyangam, Thala pothichil, Nasya etc with hair revitalizing oils and herbs are found to be of great benefit for the restoration of existing hair and for the stimulation of hair follicles.
Eating a proper healthy diet along with avoidance of unnecessary stress,  a proper sleep, and proper scalp and hair care can be helpful to a greater extend .
Consider making an immediate effort to preserve your remaining hair, as re-growing hair is often more difficult than maintaining your existing hair.
Disclaimer: This blog is a conversation and is not an alternative for treatment. The recommendations and suggestions offered by our panel of doctors are their own and Gulf News will not take any responsibility for the advice they provide.