Alopecia or baldness is hair loss usually noted with respect to the scalp of both men and women. While generalized hair loss is known as alopecia, small and circular bald patches are termed as alopecia areata. Noticeable hair loss and the resulting premature baldness can be psychologically very disturbing, since a luxuriant hair growth on the scalp is considered a sign of good health, grooming and personality. Premature hair loss is usually caused due to a genetic tendency, chronic diseases, medications, stress, injury or damage to the hair, and as a side-effect of strong treatments like chemotherapy and radiation therapy. While actual baldness is more apparent in men, severe hair loss and apparent thinning of hair is more common in women; however, both types of hair loss can prove to be devastating for affected individuals.
Treating baldness or hair loss constitutes a booming medical industry, and various treatments for this condition have emerged, which include allopathic and alternative medications, local scalp treatments using laser therapy, shampoos and conditioners, as well as specialized treatments like wigs and hair grafting. Medicated oils for treating hair loss are available at all chemists over-the-counter, with new medical preparations being added regularly.
Ayurvedic herbal treatment for alopecia is a systematic process of looking for the cause of the condition and giving comprehensive treatment for it. A careful history is important in order to identify and treat specific causes such as chronic diseases and the use of specific drugs or harmful treatments. It is best to avoid any known cause for the condition, if possible. Anxiety, stress, a harmful lifestyle, and improper nutrition to the hair roots are usually the commonest causes of premature hair loss in men and women.
Ayurvedic treatment can be given as a combination of oral medication and local applications. Oral medication involves the use of medicines which can treat the known causes for the condition. In addition, medicines which have a specific action on the scalp as well as the hair roots are also important in the management of this condition. These medicines improve the blood supply to the hair roots and thereby provide better nutrition to the scalp, while at the same time removing toxins and unwanted elements from this area. These medicines also provide stimulation to the hair roots so as to help regenerate new hair and prevent hair loss.
Oral medication is usually supplemented with local application in the form of medicated ointments, pastes, and oils which have to be applied regularly so as to provide good results. Local applications not only provide nutrition for hair roots but also treat skin inflammation, infection and dandruff, and thereby reduce the tendency for hair fall. Regular massage with medicated oils not only aids in hair regrowth but also relaxes the scalp and neck muscles and induces good sleep.
It is equally important to give herbal medicines to treat stress and anxiety which are important factors which continue to propagate severe hair fall. It should also be remembered that the rate of regrowth of hair should be much more than the rate of hair fall in order to prevent noticeable hair loss and baldness. Most individuals affected with this condition require regular treatment for 6-9 months in order to get significant benefit from Ayurvedic treatment.