Hair Loss

Hair Loss

western medicine:

Hair loss is a common concern that affects millions of people worldwide, irrespective of age, gender, or ethnicity. From receding hairlines to thinning crowns, the loss of hair can have a significant impact on one’s self-esteem and quality of life. In this blog post, we will explore hair loss from a Western medical perspective, shedding light on its causes, diagnosis, and available treatments.


Understanding Hair Growth Cycle

Before delving into the complexities of hair loss, it’s essential to grasp the hair growth cycle. Hair grows in cycles, with each strand going through three distinct phases: anagen (growth phase), catagen (transitional phase), and telogen (resting phase). At any given time, approximately 90% of scalp hairs are in the anagen phase, while the remaining 10% are either in the catagen or telogen phases. This cycle ensures the continuous replacement of old hairs with new ones.


Common Causes of Hair Loss

  • Androgenetic Alopecia: Also known as male or female pattern baldness, androgenetic alopecia is the most prevalent cause of hair loss. It is largely influenced by genetics and hormonal factors, particularly the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT progressively miniaturizes hair follicles, leading to thinner and shorter hair until they eventually stop producing visible hair.
  • Telogen Effluvium: This temporary hair loss condition occurs when there is a sudden shift in the hair growth cycle, causing a large number of hairs to enter the telogen (resting) phase simultaneously. It can be triggered by various factors such as stress, illness, childbirth, certain medications, or significant weight loss.
  • Alopecia Areata: An autoimmune disorder where the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks hair follicles, leading to sudden hair loss in circular patches. In severe cases, it can result in complete hair loss on the scalp (alopecia totalis) or the entire body (alopecia universalis).
  • Medical Conditions and Treatments: Certain medical conditions like thyroid disorders, scalp infections, or hormonal imbalances can also contribute to hair loss. Additionally, some treatments like chemotherapy for cancer can cause temporary hair loss.


Diagnosis of Hair Loss

When experiencing hair loss, it is crucial to seek the advice of a qualified dermatologist or trichologist. They will conduct a thorough examination of your scalp and hair, review your medical history, and possibly perform some tests to identify the underlying cause of the hair loss.


Available Treatments

  • Medications: FDA-approved medications like minoxidil and finasteride are commonly prescribed to treat androgenetic alopecia. Minoxidil, available as a topical solution, promotes hair growth, while finasteride, an oral medication, helps to block the conversion of testosterone to DHT, reducing hair follicle miniaturization.
  • Hair Restoration Procedures: Hair transplantation is a popular option for those seeking a more permanent solution. During this procedure, hair follicles are harvested from areas with good hair growth (donor site) and transplanted to areas with thinning or no hair (recipient site).
  • Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT): LLLT involves the use of low-energy laser light to stimulate hair follicles, promoting hair growth. This non-invasive treatment option is often used in combination with other therapies.
  • Lifestyle Modifications: In cases where hair loss is related to lifestyle factors like stress or dietary deficiencies, making positive changes to one’s lifestyle, managing stress, and adopting a balanced diet may help improve hair health.


Hair loss can be distressing, but understanding its causes and available treatments from a Western medical perspective can empower individuals to make informed decisions about their hair care. If you are experiencing hair loss, consult a healthcare professional to identify the root cause and explore suitable treatment options. Remember, early intervention often leads to better outcomes in managing hair loss and preserving hair health.

Chinese medicine:

In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), hair is seen as an extension of the Blood and an indication of the overall health of the body. The ancient wisdom of TCM has provided valuable insights into the understanding and treatment of hair loss for centuries. In this blog post, we will explore the Chinese medical perspective on hair loss, delving into its underlying causes, diagnostic methods, and holistic treatment approaches.


The Concept of Qi and Blood

TCM revolves around the principles of Qi (vital energy) and Blood, which flow through meridians or pathways in the body. A harmonious balance of Qi and Blood is vital for overall health and well-being, including the nourishment of hair follicles. Any disruption or imbalance in these energies can lead to hair loss.


Common Causes of Hair Loss in TCM

  • Blood Deficiency: In TCM, Blood deficiency is a common cause of hair loss. When the Blood is insufficient, it fails to nourish the hair follicles adequately, resulting in weak and brittle hair that is prone to falling out.
  • Qi Stagnation: Stress, emotional turmoil, and a sedentary lifestyle can lead to Qi stagnation. When Qi does not flow smoothly, it obstructs the nourishment of hair follicles, leading to hair loss.
  • Kidney Yin or Yang Deficiency: The Kidneys play a vital role in TCM as they store essence and govern hair growth. Deficiency in Kidney Yin (moisture) or Kidney Yang (warmth) can disrupt the nourishing essence required for healthy hair.
  • External Pathogenic Factors: TCM also considers external pathogenic factors such as Wind, Heat, and Dampness that can invade the body and affect hair health. These factors may obstruct the flow of Qi and Blood, leading to hair loss.


Diagnostic Methods in TCM

TCM practitioners use various diagnostic methods to determine the root cause of hair loss. These methods include:

  • Observation: The practitioner observes the quality of the hair, scalp, and overall appearance to assess the health of the Blood and the presence of any external pathogenic factors.
  • Tongue Diagnosis: The tongue’s color, coating, and moisture provide insights into the overall balance of Qi and Blood in the body.
  • Pulse Diagnosis: Feeling the pulse at various positions on the wrist helps the practitioner identify imbalances in the organs and meridians.


Holistic Treatment Approaches

  • Herbal Medicine: TCM utilizes a wide range of herbal formulations tailored to the individual’s specific pattern of disharmony. These herbal remedies aim to nourish Blood, tonify the Kidneys, and dispel any external pathogenic factors that may be contributing to hair loss.
  • Acupuncture: By stimulating specific acupoints, acupuncture helps to regulate the flow of Qi and Blood, promoting hair growth and addressing imbalances in the body.
  • Dietary and Lifestyle Recommendations: TCM emphasizes the importance of maintaining a balanced diet and lifestyle. Foods that nourish Blood, such as dark leafy greens, goji berries, and black sesame seeds, are often recommended.
  • Stress Management: Since emotional imbalances can contribute to hair loss, stress management techniques like meditation, qigong, or tai chi may be suggested to promote relaxation and overall well-being.


From a Chinese medical perspective, hair loss is not merely a localized issue but a reflection of the body’s internal balance. Understanding the underlying TCM principles of Qi, Blood, and organ systems provides valuable insights into the causes of hair loss and its holistic treatment. If you are experiencing hair loss, consider consulting a qualified TCM practitioner who can offer personalized solutions to address the root cause and restore harmony to your overall health, thereby promoting the growth of strong and healthy hair.

Share this Page: