Trichologist Dr Shahid Shamsher talks about the impact of rising heat on hair loss.
1. How does the summer heat affect hair loss?
It particularly affects a certain type of people. To know which type, we can borrow a little understanding from the system of Ayurveda. The Tri-Dosha concept in Ayurveda tells us that some people have a hot constitution, known as “pitta” and such people often react adversely to hot surroundings. And this is what we see in everyday practice as well. Some people tend to have more sweating and more sebum secretion on the scalp as compared to others. This group invariably ends up with more itching and scratching on the scalp and associated increase in hair loss.
2. So does itching and scratching lead to more hair fall?
I think we have to make a very careful statement here. As the heat levels increase, some degree of itching is inevitable and in fact quite normal considering the circumstances. But some people will have a higher than normal itching on the head. Scalp examination in such cases will often reveal that these people also have scalp infections, which contribute to the greater than normal scalp itching. Such people then have associated hair loss due to the scalp infections. But one cannot say that itching or the act of scratching leads to greater hair fall. Instead both itching and hair loss are due to higher heat levels of summer.
3. What precautions can one take here?
One obvious precaution is to keep the scalp very clean. There are patients where the scalp sweat-sebum secretion is so high, that they need to even wash their head twice a day. In these circumstances there is nothing wrong with that. However it would be a mistake to confuse this itching as due to scalp dryness and apply oil. In fact oiling would worsen the situation. If you are wearing a helmet and traveling quite a bit, wear a cotton scarf inside the helmet, which you can then put for washing everyday.
Dr Shahid Shamsher is a leading Trichologist certified from UK, Australia & India. Practicing since 27 years in the field of Trichology, even today he consults every patient personally himself rather than leave it to assistants. He can be reached on 080 42067474 / 75.