Young people can also suffer from hair loss. A young man once asked me, “My father and grandfather are bald, will I also be bald?” This is possible. So how can you avoid baldness?
Does baldness run in the family?
If you see a receding hairline on both temples of your head, this could mean that you may have hereditary hair loss. And it may take years before you become bald. The activity of the male hormones also plays a role in hair loss. Everyone has both male and female hormones in balance, but men tend to have more male hormones than female hormones.
It is easy to become bald if a person has hereditary hair loss with higher male hormone levels. Some men are bald on both temples in their twenties, but once they reach their forties when female hormone levels are at their lowest, he will begin to lose all his hair. It is common to see men in their forties start balding. Whereas in women, they are more likely to bald from their fifties when their female hormone levels are decreasing and male hormones are increasing during menopause.
3 ways to use traditional Chinese medicine to minimise hair loss and prevent baldness
1. Si Wu soup (四物汤) to prevent excessive hair loss
Chinese herbs: Chinese angelica root, Sichuan lovage root, white peony root, rehmannia root, 1/2 of whole chicken.
Method: Double boil all the ingredients together.
Both men and women can drink Si Wu soup to prevent excessive hair loss and encourage hair growth.
Traditional Chinese medicine believes the soup will nourish the hair by boosting the “Yin”, replenishing blood and increasing the release of female hormones.
Women should drink Si Wu soup after their monthly menstruation. This will make the menstruation less painful and replenish blood loss.
Western medicine is cautious about Chinese herbs as they believe that this may result in more endocrine-related medical problems. However, traditional Chinese medicine believes women with endocrine-related conditions such as ovarian and uterine tumours can drink Si Wu soup but this should be done cautiously by consulting a qualified Chinese physician.
2. Avoid extreme emotions and minimise stress levels to prevent hair loss.
Extreme emotions can cause baldness, which is also known as “ghost shaving head”. Hair with circular or patchy bald spots are known as “ghost shaving head”. This type of hair loss is due to extreme emotional problems resulting in poor immunity that is unable to fight off infections. This type of person usually faces extreme mood swings with anger, depression, excessive worries, anxiety and high stress level.
In Chinese medicine, the seven emotions (喜、怒、忧、思、悲、恐、惊) are known to cause poor health. Extreme mood swings can damage the liver, spleen, lungs and kidneys. Therefore, we have to maintain a healthy state of mental health.
I have a patient in his twenties with a “ghost shaving head”. I spent 6 months treating him. He recovered with normal hair growth. However, his hair loss problem recurred months later due to excessive stress in life.
I have a friend who is a doctor himself, who did not recover from his hair loss problem due to enormous stress from his exams, his father’s illness and his wife’s poor health.
Therefore, good mental health is of utmost importance and not just treatment itself to prevent hair loss.
3. Massage the scalp acupuncture point to stimulate hair growth
The scalp acupuncture point is located on the edge of the earlobe. Use one hand to massage the acupuncture point at the earlobe and use the fingertips to tap on the scalp at the same time. Change to the other earlobe to repeat action. This will help to improve hair growth and to darken hair color.
4. Treat the underlying medical causes of hair loss
There are various medical causes of hair loss, for example, fungal infection, eczema, seborrheic dermatitis which can cause excessive itch and loss of hair follicles.
I have a patient whose excessive hair loss was due to fungal infection. His scalp health improved after incorporating more neutral herbal remedies.
Another point to take note of is to avoid using the fingernails to wash hair. Use your fingertips instead to massage your scalp.
Daily hair washing might prevent fungal and bacterial infections but some shampoos contain harmful chemicals, hence damaging the scalp. It is advisable to use organic hair shampoo without harmful preservatives.