In the Fourth part of this series, Trichologist Dr Shahid Shamsher talks about the effect of length of hair on hair loss.
How does the length of hair influence hair loss?
There is a very direct correlation between the length of hair and hair fall. Maintaining a certain length of hair in proportion to the strength of hair roots definitely helps in controlling the hair loss problem. Often in hair loss cases, due to the damage to the hair roots, they have been weakened already. Long hair then tends to put further pressure on the weakened roots and aggravates the hair loss even more.
But Indian women love keeping long hair.
No doubt in normal circumstances that’s a very good thing, but if you are going bald along with that, then you need to reconsider your priorities. Just sometime back I saw a patient whose hair length was well up to her knees, but on the other hand was clearing balding out from the front. What is more, due to the long length, she had lot of difficulties in hair care and would end up washing hair just once a week, due to which she also developed fungal infection in the scalp.
Unfortunately by the time she saw me she had already lost quite a bit of hair and therefore was very willing to following a new hair care regimen. However the same practical evaluation a little earlier would have most probably saved her from going so bald, so fast. Thus even if you look at this issue from a purely a beauty point of view, it does not make sense to have hair-thinning visible when one looks at your face, and have long hair at the back of the head. But not just women, this happens to men as well.
Can you give some examples?
With all due respect, we see same phenomena in Sikh men who pull their hair back to tie the turban. This is a procedure called “tying the phatka”, where many of them end up developing appreciable baldness on their forehead and temples, due to the hair being pulled back while tying it. It is a condition known as traction alopecia. Traction alopecia is also seen in case of many actresses who they use hair extensions to have long hair.
Due to the tying of hair extensions at the back of the head with glue or with weaves, they often up losing considerable amount of hair. In U.K in fact, the courts have dealt with several such cases where the patients have been awarded compensation for hair loss which has occurred due to these procedures carried out in the saloons.