Dermatologist Dr Lynette Low Shares More About Hair Loss and Grey Hair
Some people fuss over their hair to the point where their life depends on it. To them, losing or greying hair can be a devastating occurrence. How does it happen and what can you do about it? We speak to Dr Lynette Low, Specialist in Dermatology, Raffles Skin & Aesthetics for some answers.
What causes Hair Loss?
Hair loss is common and affects most people at some point of their lives.
A variety of reasons could lead to hair loss, including physical and emotional stress, serious illness and post-pregnancy. Low calorie diet, rapid weight loss, consuming too much Vitamin A, and taking too little iron or Vitamin D can also cause hair loss.
Hair loss can also be symptomatic of underlying diseases including systemic autoimmune conditions like thyroid dysfunction, lupus or localised scalp infections.
What causes Grey Hair?
Greying hair is a natural occurrence as you age. With age, our pigment cells in our hair follicles die and no longer contain as much melanin, leading to white hair.
The process of greying hair is multi-factorial. Although stress may play a role in gradual greying, no clear link has been established.
Grey hair runs in the family. If you notice your parents had white hair when they were younger, it is highly possible that it will happen to you as well. Similarly, the reverse is true too.
Similar to losing hair, hair greying can also be a symptom of underlying autoimmune diseases like thyroid disorders, pernicious anaemia or vitiligo.
How can we prevent hair loss or greying hair?
Take care of your overall health and maintain a healthy diet. Try to reduce physical and emotional stress.
Maintain good hair hygiene through regular shampooing. When shampooing, gently massage the scalp and rinse off with cool water. Don’t scrub or scratch your scalp. Use conditioners on long hair for easier grooming.
Stop smoking. Smokers have a much higher chance of their hair losing pigment as compared to non-smokers.
Eat well to ensure you get sufficient vitamins and minerals. A good diet can help prevent early greying, so consider including Vitamin B5, folates and copper in your diet.
If all else fails, you may wish to see a dermatologist who can devise a solution that works best for you.