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Millennials are Losing Hair Prematurely



Hair loss has become a nightmare for millennials. Receding hairlines and thinning are quite common in young males and females. Hair is often seen everywhere on the living room, bathroom and bedroom floor. Besides making a mess, hair loss also makes a person look older, which can negatively affect one’s confidence. In addition, it is a reminder that one should start paying attention to his/her own health.


Research indicates that daily hair loss and growth are a normal part of the hair metabolic cycle. TCM suggests that losing no more than 100 hairs per day is within the normal limit. In TCM, there is a saying that goes “hair is the extension of blood”. If a person is healthy, the hair should look healthy as well. If there is any kind of “blood deficiency”, one will experience hair loss.


Causes and characteristics of hair loss

A stressful and fast-paced lifestyle, using one’s brain too much, stressors from work, anxiety, irregular dietary habits, and overconsumption of greasy and spicy foods are all contributors to premature hair loss. Most premature hair loss belongs to the seborrheic type, which is more common in males than females. It forms the typical receding hairline, has an early onset, and progresses quickly. Hair loss in females often starts from the top.


TCM classification of hair loss:

  1. 1. Heat in blood: The cause is an erratic lifestyle and diet leading to an accumulation of heat and dampness internally. It was traditionally referred to as “cavity hair loss”. It presents as greasy hair, thirst, constipation, yellow urination, and higher body temperature.
  2. 2. Liver and kidney deficiency: Essence and blood deficiency results in lack of nourishment and hair loss. It is referred to as “white dandruff”. It commonly presents as dry hair lacking any shine, dandruff, sallow complexion, weight loss and weakness, etc.


What are the best ways to treat hair loss?

For young people with very greasy hair, appropriate prescriptions are TianMa GouTeng Yin and TianMa ShouWu Pain. These formulas soothe the liver, nourish the kidneys, and clear wind and dampness from the body, stopping hair loss quickly. For those with kidney deficiency, QiBao MeiXu Dan and LiuWei DiHuang Wan are appropriate prescriptions. It will often alleviate symptoms of hair loss after treating for a while.


Moderate hair loss can also be treated by culinary medicine. One can use knotweed (He Shou Wu), black sesame, false daisy (Han Lian Cao), and glossy privet (Nv Zhen Zi) in powder form, directly with meat stew, or just soup alone for hair protection and slow down hair loss. One can also lightly tap the mid-sagittal line, two parasagittal lines, and two auricular lines daily, 5-10 minutes at a time, three times daily. Perform this home exercise for 15 consecutive days, and you should see a difference.


Lifestyle prevention is key

A chronic stressful lifestyle, poor sleep quality, brain overuse, irregular mealtimes, and over-consumption of greasy and spicy foods can all exacerbate hair loss. Therefore, emotional health, physical fitness, sleep hygiene, and a good diet are all important aspects of hair loss prevention. Limit foods that can generate heat and dampness, such as lamb, red hot pepper, grilled or fried foods, and butter, and substitute them with black sesame, black beans, banana, spinach, lean meat and fish, etc.

Hair can be damaged by overuse of hair products, strong alkaline or poor quality products, inappropriate perming techniques, frequent coloring, washing, brushing, or blow-drying. Coloring and perming come with the price of hair loss. If you notice unusual hair loss in a short period of time, consult a professional to figure out the cause and receive treatment accordingly.