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Hair disorders is a broad category that includes the following conditions:
Signs and Symptoms
Hair disorders are accompanied by the following signs and symptoms, depending on the type:
What Causes It?
Hair disorders can be caused by any of the following:
Who's Most At Risk?
People with the following conditions or characteristics are at risk for developing hair disorders:
What to Expect at Your Provider's Office
If you have symptoms associated with a hair disorder, you should see your health care provider. A physical exam can help identify the type of hair disorder, and laboratory tests can reveal any underlying diseases. In the case of hirsutism, imaging may help diagnose the cause.
Eating a well-balanced diet and avoiding potentially damaging hair treatments can help prevent some types of hair loss.
The primary goals of treatment are to treat the underlying cause, regrow the hair when possible, and correct damaging grooming practices.
Your health care provider may prescribe the following medications:
Hair shaft disorders:
Surgical and Other Procedures
Complementary and Alternative Therapies
A comprehensive treatment plan for hair disorders may include a range of complementary and alternative therapies.
Nutrition and Supplements
Following these nutritional tips may help reduce symptoms:
You may be able to address nutritional deficiencies with the following supplements:
Herbs may help strengthen and tone the body's systems. As with any therapy, you should work with your health care provider to diagnose your problem before starting treatment.
You may use herbs as dried extracts (capsules, powders, teas), glycerites (glycerine extracts), or tinctures (alcohol extracts). Unless otherwise indicated, make teas with 1 tsp. herb per cup of hot water. Steep covered 5 - 10 minutes for leaf or flowers, and 10 - 20 minutes for roots. Drink 2 - 4 cups per day. You may use tinctures alone or in combination as noted.
For alopecia and hair shaft disorders:
Topical applications of essential oils may benefit skin infections and stimulate new hair growth. Use 3 - 4 drops each of peppermint (Mentha piperita), rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), and sage (Salvia officinalis) in 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil or olive oil. Massage gently into affected area 1 - 2 times daily. If using topical medications such as Minoxidal consult your health care provider regarding possible interactions between topical natural products.
Although few studies have examined the effectiveness of specific homeopathic therapies, professional homeopaths may consider the following remedies for the treatment of gastritis symptoms (such as nausea and vomiting) based on their knowledge and experience. Before prescribing a remedy, homeopaths take into account your constitutional type -- your physical, emotional, and psychological makeup. An experienced homeopath assesses all of these factors when determining the most appropriate treatment.
Some of the most common remedies include Ignatia, Pulsatilla and Sepia. Acute dose is 3 - 5 pellets of 12X to 30 C every 1 - 4 hours until symptoms are relieved.
Acupuncture and Massage
Acupuncture may help alleviate symptoms of hair loss. Acupuncture may help enhance immune function, normalize digestion, and address disease conditions.
Although not all abnormal hair loss is associated with stress, psychological stress can alter thyroid and sex hormone levels in the body, potentially leading to hair loss. Yoga, prayer, guided imagery, and a variety of other methods may help retrain your body's response to stress. Group support can also be a vital component of any stress reduction plan and can have measurable physiological impact.
Mind and Body Therapies
Techniques such as yoga, meditation, and counseling may be helpful.
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Review Date: 6/5/2012
Reviewed By: Steven D. Ehrlich, NMD, Solutions Acupuncture, a private practice specializing in complementary and alternative medicine, Phoenix, AZ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
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