Everyone knows that hot and humid weather plays havoc with one’s hair. Not only does it look frizzy and unkempt, but hair loss becomes a major issue. Dr. Tauqeer Ahmed tells Mahlia Lone about the latest technology to combat thinning hair
Explain the biology behind hair.
On average, a human head has 100,000 strands of hair made of keratin, a protein. Each hair grows out of a follicle anchoring it to the scalp. A tiny hair bulb with living hair cells lies at the root; building up the hair shaft and making it grow. Once the hair strand grows out and becomes visible to us, itâ€™s made up of dead cells. Blood vessels in the scalp deliver nutrients to the cells in the hair bulb. Nutrients, hormones, and genes determine your hairâ€™s appearance and growth. Thatâ€™s why itâ€™s very important to have nutritional and hormonal balance for healthy hair. Viviscal Supplements for Men and for Women are great to ensure your body doesnâ€™t lack in the essential vitamins and minerals. But at the end of its cycle, every strand of hair will shed regardless.
Tell us more about the hairâ€™s lifecycle?
The lifecycle of a strand of hair is approximately six years. The less healthy your hair is, the shorter its lifecycle. Each strand passes through three stages:
Anagen is the active growth phase. The strand sprouts out of the hair follicle and grows for about 2-6 years depending on hair health and genes. About 90 percent of your hair is at this stage at any given time.
Catagen is like hitting a pause button for about a month. This is a transitional phase during which hair growth slows down.
Telogen occurs when the strand stops growing completely, gets detached from the follicle and is shed.
So when is hair loss considered excessive?
In men, itâ€™s when a receding hairline and hair loss at the crown becomes marked due to male pattern baldness. In women, menopause and perimenopause may play a role in marked overall thinning of hair. The hair growth cycle shortens and miniaturization of the hair occurs till it completely stops growing back.
In men, the hormone DHT is mainly to blame and there are several products on the market that block DHT but they carry side effects. In women, it occurs when estrogen levels decrease and androgen levels increase. Again, chemical hormones are proven carcinogens.
â€œIn three to four month InshAllah, you will experience new hair growth and be very pleased with the resultsâ€
â€”Dr. Tauqeer Ahmed
As you know, a natural way to reduce hair loss is to improve the blood circulation of your scalp and deliver much needed nutrients to hair bulbs and follicles. Traditionally, we get oil massage for this reason. A more advanced solution is using Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP), Carboxy therapy and laser treatments for thinning hair, especially if used in conjunction.
That sounds great. What does that entail?
First, a numbing agent is applied to your scalp. While you wait for it to take effect, a laser helmet is slipped on, the light of which stimulates hair growth. A vial of your blood is taken, spun in a centrifuge machine and the enriched cells or the platelet-rich plasma is extracted from it. PRP contains essential proteins needed to stimulate natural hair growth. This plasma is combined with another nutrient rich formula and injected into targeted areas of your scalp using a special PRP gun. Itâ€™s a painless procedure. PRP Therapy for hair is done once a month.
As a weekly procedure, I recommend Carboxy Therapy. Again after numbing your scalp, tiny doses of Carbon Dioxide are delivered to your scalp using a needle. Oxygen rich blood rushes to the spot increasing blood circulation.
Combining the two treatments proves most effective.
This sounds very Star Wars Storm Trooper-esque, but how well does it work?
PRP contains a powerful concentration of seven growth factors activated from your own blood that stimulates the stem cells around hair follicles, encouraging hair to grow back that had stopped, as well as makes existing hair grow thicker, stronger, faster and healthier. I also add extra hair growth nutrients to PRP Plus. Depending on your hair loss, a treatment protocol is developed specifically to suit your needs.
In three to four month InshAllah, you will experience new hair growth and be very pleased with the results.
The only time when these treatments may not be effective is when you have a completely smooth scalp and truthfully in that case only a hair transplant will work.