Hair loss

    • Brief

    • Bald spots happen when you lose a lot of hair on parts of your body where they grew before. These spots can be permanent or temporary. It is common to have bald spots on your head, in your beard or your eyebrows. These can be caused by hormonal changes, medical treatment or may be a normal part of ageing. Hair loss may occur when your body attacks your hair cells. Bald spots may cause you embarrassment and can affect your confidence.

      Hair may fall off gradually, or a patch of hair may loosen suddenly. With chemotherapy, hair loss is usually sudden, while with chronic diseases or male pattern baldness, it may be more gradual. It is important to identify the cause of your hair loss before beginning any treatment or intervention.

    • What are the causes?

    • Hair loss and bald spots are caused by your body attacking its hair cells. However, there are other causes which include the following:

      • Skin infections such as ringworm (lapa lapa) and eczema.
      • Medicines that treat cancer, heart disease or swelling of joints can cause bald spots as a side effect.
      • Damage or injury to your head can prevent hair from growing in the affected place.
      • Inadequate vitamins A, C, D or minerals such as iron and zinc in your diet.
      • When you are stressed for a long time, it may cause the thinning of your hair. This hair loss is usually temporary.
    • When to visit a doctor?

    • To prevent total hair loss or other complications, it is important to visit your healthcare provider if you notice any of the following:

      • Lots of hair falls out when you comb or wash your hair.
      • The hair loss on your scalp or beard does not grow back in a few days.
      • You suffer from diseases that attack your body cells (auto-immune diseases).
      • You have other skin conditions such as eczema and ringworm.
      • Your hair loss affects your self-esteem.
    • How to prevent?

    • You can't prevent hair loss due to ageing but you can slow it down by keeping it clean and using gentler products on your hair.

      If your hair loss is caused by an underlying condition, it can be treated to prevent further loss or slow down the speed of hair loss. In people taking medicines for cancer, you may be given a medicine that reduces how much hair you lose.

    • How to manage and treat?

    • Treating any underlying condition is important when treating bald spots or hair loss. You can manage or treat this symptom in the following ways:

      Self-care tips

      • A proper hair care routine keeps your hair healthy and may help your hair regrow. This includes washing your hair with a mild shampoo, and treat skin conditions such as dandruff.
      • Cosmetic aids may be an option for some people, such as wearing wigs or a hair tattoo.

      Treatment options

      • Your doctor may prescribe medicines that help your hair grow. These medicines may be in the form of liquid (e.g. minoxidil), pills or injections.
      • A hair transplant surgery is possible but inaccessible for most people in Nigeria.
      • Your healthcare provider may want you to focus on the underlying condition first and use a cosmetic solution in the meantime.
    • Kulawa cares

    • In men, hair loss often comes with age and is natural. You may find bald spots or hair loss uncomfortable and embarrassing. If you do, use hats, caps or wigs to cover these spots while you are treating them.  If your hair loss is due to an underlying health condition, follow your healthcare provider’s recommendations for the quickest possible recovery.