From: London Acupuncture Tips,
With August being Hair Loss Awareness Month, we thought we would take a look at what can be an extremely distressing condition. Hair loss affects approximately 1.7% of the population, with an estimated 8 million women in the UK suffering from serious hair loss.
Alopecia (pronounced al-oh-PEA-sha) is a general term to describe hair loss from anywhere on the body, including hair on the head. It can affect men, women, and children with onset often being sudden, and although not physically damaging to health, it can have serious impacts on emotional health and quality of life, especially as hair loss frequently re-occurs.
Alopecia Areata is the most common type of baldness characterized by random round smooth areas of complete hair loss on the head without any clinical signs of inflammation, such as redness or scaling skin. However, there are many types of hair loss that can affect different parts of the body. A few include:
The exact cause of the most common form, Alopecia Areata, is currently unknown, although it is generally believed to be a combination of immunological, environmental, psychological (stress), and genetic factors. In many patients there is also a positive family history. It is generally thought that the immune system attacks the affected hair follicles by mistake. This halts hair growth at the anagen stage and causes a move to the resting (telogen) phase where the hairs are then abruptly shed.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) alopecia is known as gui ti tou (ghost-shaved hair) or you feng (glossy scalp wind) and is often the result of a deficiency; primarily deficiency of the energy of the blood, which is vital for healthy hair growth. This deficiency can be a result of long-term illness, emotional stress, inadequate rest and overwork, and poor diet (lack of iron, zinc, B vitamins, biotin, or folic acid).
Excessive consumption of alcohol, spicy, fatty, sugary, refined or processed foods can also lead to hair loss as in Chinese Medicine these are very heating items that put a lot of heat in the body (inflammation), which can rise up and ‘scorch’ the scalp resulting in hair loss. In this case you may see signs of inflammation such as redness or itching on the scalp.
Laura Jones BSc MBAcC practices Traditional Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture, Facial Acupuncture and Reiki/Seichem at Content Beauty/Wellbeing in Marylebone London.
I practice Traditional Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture, Facial Acupuncture & Reiki at Content Beauty/Wellbeing in London. Areas of interest include skin conditions, women's health, gastro-intestinal health, pain relief & stress related conditions. In this blog I'll be sharing my top tips for a healthy and happy lifestyle.See my profile »