Hair loss is often distressing and can have a significant effect on the patient’s quality of life. Patients may present to their family physician first with diffuse or patchy hair loss. Scarring alopecia is best evaluated by a dermatologist. Non scarring alopecia can be readily diagnosed and treated in the family physician’s office. Androgenetic alopecia can be diagnosed clinically and treated with minoxidil by allopathic physician.
Alopecia areata is diagnosed by typical patches of hair loss and is self-limited.
Tinea capitis causes patches of alopecia that may be erythematous and scaly and must be treated systemically. Telogen effluvium is a nonscarring, noninflammatory alopecia of relatively sudden onset caused by physiologic or emotional stress.
Once the precipitating cause is removed, the hair typically will regrow.
Stages of hair growth
Normal phases of hair growth: There are different phases of hair growth including anagen, catagen and telogen phase. After completion of the last stage, the entire cycle is repeated. Every single hair undergoes these three phases of growth independent of the other hair on the scalp.
1. Anagen phase (growth phase) – It lasts for 3 to 5 yrs. This is the active phase where hair root divides at a high pace and results in hair growth. At a given time around 85% of hair strands are in this phase.
2. Catagen phase (regression phase) – Around 1- 3 % of the hair are in this phase at a given time. It lasts for approximately 10 – 20 days when the hair strand stops growing.
3. Telogen phase (resting/shedding phase) – At a given time approximately 10% of the hair are in this phase. It lasts for around three months after which the hair falls.
Some of the common indicated medicines for hair loss are described below:
- ARNICA MONTANA – One of the best hair tonics, which can be used internally as well externally. Indicated for chronic hair loss after injury, accidents, trauma (both mental and physical).
- COCHLEARIA ARMORACIA- One of the well-known remedies for hair loss due to dandruff.
- FLUORICUM ACIDUM: – One of the best homeopathic remedies for Alopecia areata. Indicated when hair loss occurs after a fever such as typhoid. Hair is dry, lustreless, tangles and easily break off.
- LYCOPODIUM CLAVATUM- Indicated when hair loss is associated with gastric ailments, after delivery, ovarian dysfunction. Hair loss occurs in bunches. Also one of the well known remedy for graying of hair.
- NATRUM MURIATICUM- Indicated when the hair loss occurs after child birth. Also indicated when the patient is thin, pale, anaemic, poorly nourished due to gastric disturbances.
- PHOSPHORUS- This medicine is indicated when hair falls out in bunches. Hair loss occurs from vertex, crown area and forehead. Baldness of single spot is marked. Itching of scalp. Dandruff is present.
- PHOSPHORICUM ACIDUM- Indicated for thinning of hair. When hair started falling at an early age and started turning grey early in life.
- PILOCARPUS (JABORANDI)- One of the powerful glandular stimulants and a hair vitalizer. Helps in re growth of hair and improving the quality of hair. It can be used internally as well as externally.
- THUJA OCCIDENTALIS- Indicated for dry, lustreless hair. When hair fall is associated with white, scaly dandruff.
- VINCA MINOR- Indicated when hairs are matted together. Corrosive itching of scalp. Bald spots are present from which moisture oozes out. Irresistible desire to scratch. Indicated for Plica polonica.
- WIESBADEN- One of the well-known hair tonics. Hairs grows much more rapidly than usual. Hair falls out and grows again rapidly.
SOME IMPORTANT RUBRICS FOR HAIR FALL: –
Few common rubrics from KENT REPERTORY which can be used along with mental and physical generals to reach the simlimum are discussed below-
- [Head]hair; dryness
- [Head]hair; falling
- [Head]hair; Falling: grief, from
- [Head]hair; falling handfuls, in
- [Head]hair; Falling: Menopause
- [Head]hair; Falling: Parturition, after
- [Head]hair; Falling: Pregnancy, during
- [Head]hair; Falling: Spots in
- [Head]hair; Falling: Forehead
- [Head]hair; Falling: Occiput, on
- [Head]hair; Falling: Temples
- [Head]hair; Baldness
- [Head]hair; Baldness: Patches
- Illustrated synopsis of Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases, 6th edition, Neena Khanna
- Boericke’s New Manual of Homeopathic Materia Medica with Repertory, William Boericke.
- A Dictionary of Practical Materia Medica- J H Clarke
- Repertory Of The Homoeopathic Materia Medica, James Tyler Kent