Hair loss among the elderly is quite a usual occurrence and it is best thwarted through early diagnosis and treatment. As has been often seen, hair loss can speed up gradually over years or happen abruptly. But if the hair loss is more than usual, then the doctor should be consulted immediately to determine the underlying cause(s) of hair loss and recommend treatments accordingly.
Causes of Hair Loss
The causes of hair fall vary from one person to another however, there are a few symptoms that are common to most people:
Extreme stress can accelerate hair loss because it takes a toll on our system. Apart from hair loss, stress causes many other deficiencies as well. Many a time, it causes your body to enter “survival mode” in which it rations fuel and energy to support its most vital functions.
Now, every hair follicle goes through growth and resting phases. A body under stress pushes hairs out of the growth phase and into the resting phase. Resting hairs eventually fall out. You might see your hair starting to shed around 3 months after a very stressful event, and it can last for 3 to 6 months. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, stressors that induce hair loss include death in the family, break up, job loss, and many other conditions.
The elderly who are suffering from hair loss should be screened for medical history, dietary history and examined via a physical exam for risk factors for nutrient deficiency. Iron deficiency (ID) is the world’s most common nutritional deficiency and is a well-known cause of hair loss. What remains unclear is what degree of ID may contribute to hair loss. Vegans and vegetarians are also at higher risk for ID, as their requirements for dietary iron are considered to be 1.8 times higher than for meat consumers. Non-heme iron, found in plants, has a lower bioavailability than heme iron, found in meat and fish. Apart from iron, many nutrient deficiencies like zinc, vitamin E, Folic acid etc contribute to hair loss.
While hair texture might not change due to hormonal fluctuations, there are certain life events that can cause a dramatic difference. Pregnancy, breastfeeding, and menopause, all affect hormones which, in turn, affects the hair cycle. Hormones that can cause hair loss include Oestrogen, Testosterone, Insulin, Thyroid etc.
Dramatic Weight Loss
Your body looks at sudden weight loss as physical trauma even if the weight loss is planned. Although the reasons for hair loss in the elderly may also include loss of diet which ,in turn, may be causing excessive weight loss.
Fret not, for there are certain hair loss tips that can be used are eating and making sure your body is well hydrated.
Remedies For Hair Loss
Now that we are aware about the reasons of hair loss, most of us might wonder if there are any steps we can take to ensure that hair fall is reigned in before it gets out of hand. Here are a few.
1. Green Tea
Given the growth-promoting properties of green tea and green tea extract, many hair products include them as main ingredients. Green tea contains anti-inflammatory properties that can help your hair grow back! It also makes your scalp clean and free from all infections. The unwanted inhabitants weaken your hair roots and that often leads to hair fall. Wash your hair with green tea to fight and keep these parasites out of reach! It is one of the best home remedies to treat hair fall.
2. Beetroot Juice
Beetroot is rich in vitamins and irons, minerals, potassium, and antioxidants. Beetroot has loads of calcium, Vitamin B and C, protein, and phosphorous which help in the growth of healthy hair. By tightening the pores in your scalp, potassium in beetroot prevents your hair from falling. Beetroot also contains antioxidants that give your hair a natural shine. If you eat healthy foods, it is bound to reflect on the outside.
Here’s another fact – the lack of potassium is the cause of falling hair which makes it very important for hair growth. Beetroot juice is a rich source of potassium which is why you need beetroot for hair growth.
Baldness and hair breakage affects many people nowadays. Interestingly, you can apply beetroot to prevent baldness. The iron and electrolytes found in beetroot repair damaged hair and reduce hair breakage.
Many of us use coconut oil for massaging the scalp. You can do the same with Amla oil. It will strengthen your hair follicles and reduce hair fall. It will also improve blood circulation and promote hair growth. Its anti-bacterial properties keep dandruff at bay. You can repeat this process twice a week and don't forget to warm the oil before application.
4. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera contains vitamins A, C, and E. All three of these vitamins contribute to cell turnover, thereby promoting healthy cell growth and shiny hair.
Vitamin B12 and folic acid are also there in aloe vera gel. Both of these nutrients can keep your hair from falling out. When your scalp has been cleansed and your hair has been conditioned with aloe vera, you might see that hair breakage and loss slows down.
5. Fenugreek Seeds
Fenugreek is a green leafy herb that originates from the southern parts of Asia and the Mediterranean. The tiny seeds from this plant have many potential health benefits, including healthy hair and hair growth. Fenugreek seeds are high in protein and nicotinic acid content which are known to help combat dandruff and hair loss, explains Annie Gonzalez, MD and a board-certified dermatologist at Riverchase Dermatology in Miami.
6. Onion Juice
Using onion juice is a sure-shot method for boosting hair growth and promoting hair regrowth. Onion juice for hair growth has received great reviews online from users with noticeable before and after results. Onion juice helps improve hair growth by boosting the level of antioxidant enzyme catalase. This enzyme helps decompose hydrogen peroxide, optimizing the hair growth cycle.
7. Liquorice Juice
This herb prevents hair loss and further damage to the hair. It helps soothe the scalp and get rid of any dry flakes/dandruff. Make a paste by adding a tablespoon of ground licorice root and a quarter teaspoon saffron to one cup milk. Apply this to your scalp and hair length and leave it on overnight.
Even during your later years, you can stop or even reverse hair loss with the right care and treatment, especially if it’s due to an underlying medical condition. Hereditary hair loss may be more difficult to treat.
At Emoha, we offer plenty of elder home care services that range from catering to medical emergencies, running errands to community engagement so that the elders have a sense of belonging. For us, it is always #EldersFirst