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Hair loss travails

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Getting to the root of the problem Losing hair can be traumatic. Even though we all know losing 40 to 100 hairs per day is normal, seeing a clump of hair on your comb can be distressing. This problem gets acerbated either during or soon after pregnancy, at menopause or after an illness. While experts assure us that losing a few strands every day is normal, thinning hair or baldness is a frightening prospect for women. There are several causes of female hair loss but before you splurge on a host of costly hair preserving serums, lotions and treatments, first try and identify the cause. Experts suggest that that stress is one of the commonest causes of hair loss in women. Physical as well as emotional stress can take a toll. The average woman is a consummate multi-tasker, juggling home, work, kids, in-laws and social commitments. Too little sleep, food on the go and life in the fast lane can have a detrimental effect on not just your hair but skin, nails and teeth as well. Stop crash diets Crash diets are called that for a reason. They bulldoze your health and crush your skin’s natural glow, leave your nails brittle and hair stringy and brittle. Nykaa fitness expert Dr Vishakha Shivdasani reiterates that a poor diet lacking in vital nutrients can damage skin, hair and overall health. The key, she says, is moderation. Make sure your lifestyle isn’t too frenzied. Eat a balanced diet with adequate protein, iron and calcium, and take a supplement if you are a vegetarian or following a diet lacking in certain nutrients. According to another Nykaa expert Suman Agarwal, popular weight loss fads such as cutting down on main meals,  only eating fruits till noon, going off milk and milk products, fasting to lose weight, eating high protein diet or following soya-only diets, and exercising heavily but not eating enough to replace lost nutrients, can all play havoc with skin and hair. She stresses the importance of being fit and well-nourished to reverse hair fall and replenish the body’s stores of iron, calcium and protein. Harsh hair products Apart from a faulty diet, other reasons for hair fall could be certain shampoos, dyes and hair products that contain harmful ingredients that damage hair over time. Typically, a synthetic shampoo contains about 20 chemicals and if your hair fall is a recent occurrence, you might want to consider changing your hair products. Life stages Occasionally life stages such as pregnancy, childbirth and menopause, and illness can also cause hair fall. It’s common to lose hair about three months after childbirth due to fluctuations in hormone levels. This condition rectifies itself once the hormone levels plateau. Menopause-related hormonal imbalance is the commonest cause of thinning hair in older women.  Heavy doses of antibiotics, exposure to radiation and chemotherapy can also cause hair fall though this is usually reversible. Nourish from within Apart from gently massaging the scalp with nourishing hair oils and serums, it’s advisable to increase your intake of nutrients and supplements. You might want to avoid harsh hair treatments like straightening and perming for a while. Drink plenty of water. Get regular exercise and finally, don’t lose sleep over thinning hair. Most likely, it will grow back.
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