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Ad­vice on hair­care, ed­u­ca­tion and im­age is­sues

Friday - - Beauty -

I’M 21 AND LOS­ING HAIR DRAS­TI­CALLY

Q I moved to the US from the UAE three years ago for col­lege and I have no­ticed that my hair fall has in­creased. I ap­ply co­conut oil one or two times a week, but it hasn’t made a dif­fer­ence. I am 21 years old. What should I do?

ACom­plaints of ex­ces­sive hair fall have in­creas­ingly been re­ported dur­ing the past 10-15 years. This ei­ther re­flects that both men and women are be­com­ing more con­scious of it now com­pared to the last gen­er­a­tion, or that per­haps the in­ci­dence has risen.

It’s usu­ally a hard task for a der­ma­tol­o­gist to reach a con­clu­sive di­ag­no­sis of the prob­lem with­out a thor­ough clin­i­cal ex­am­i­na­tion to de­ter­mine the pat­tern of the hair loss. There are sev­eral clin­i­cal pre­sen­ta­tions of ex­ces­sive hair loss, a con­di­tion med­i­cally known as alope­cia.

In your case it seems that you are likely suf­fer­ing from a two-in­one type of prob­lem – which means it might have started with an early man­i­fes­ta­tion of male an­dro­ge­netic alope­cia. But after reach­ing the US, an ad­di­tional psy­cho­log­i­cal pres­sure of set­tling down in new aca­demic and so­cio­cul­tural en­vi­ron­ments might have ac­cel­er­ated the pre-ex­ist­ing com­plaints of hair loss – a con­di­tion called stress-in­duced hair fall.

There is no def­i­nite treat­ment for an­dro­ge­netic alope­cia. How­ever, there are sev­eral sup­port­ive ther­a­pies to slow down the ac­tiv­ity of the dis­or­der, re­sult­ing in re­duc­tion or some­times a com­plete stop of ex­ces­sive hair fall. But re­mem­ber, los­ing 100-150 strands of hair a day is con­sid­ered nor­mal. It can reach up to 200 on the day of sham­poo­ing, par­tic­u­larly in women. It could be higher if you use a fine-toothed comb. And stress could play a huge role too.

For a de­tailed di­ag­no­sis of your con­di­tion, con­sult a der­ma­tol­o­gist. DR IKRAMULLAH AL NASIR

is a lead­ing spe­cial­ist der­ma­tol­o­gist based in Dubai

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