5 Common Hair Concerns and How to Treat Them
Our hair is not only a defining aspect of our appearance but also an essential part of our overall health. Various hair concerns can arise due to a combination of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors. We’ve explored five common hair concerns from a healthcare perspective and provided insights into their causes and effective treatments.
Head lice infestations are a common problem, especially among children. These tiny insects feed on blood from the scalp and can cause intense itching and discomfort.
Signs of headlice include:
- Small white egg (nits) in the hair
- A constant itchy scalp
- A rash on the back of the neck
- A feeling as though something is moving through the hair
To treat head lice, start by using over-the-counter medicated shampoos or lotions specifically designed to kill lice and their eggs (nits). Follow the instructions carefully and repeat the treatment if necessary. Additionally, combing the hair with a fine-toothed nit comb can help remove any remaining lice and nits. If you aren’t able to remove head lice with these treatments then you should seek medical attention from a GP. There is no way to prevent headlice but combing hair regularly to catch them early can help remove lice faster.
Alopecia refers to hair loss, which can occur in various forms. The causes of alopecia can range from autoimmune disorders to hormonal imbalances and stress. Treatment for alopecia depends on its underlying cause. Many people come across Alopecia areata when they suddenly noticed an area on their scalp where there is no hair. This patch is often oval or round. Single or multiple patches of hair loss appear suddenly on the scalp and can be quite startling if you’re not sure what it is. There is no treatment for alopecia but speaking to a GP will mean they can help you find the right treatment so that it’s manageable and keeps you feeling confident with your hair.
Male and female patterned baldness also known as androgenic alopecia is a hereditary condition that results in hair thinning and baldness and can affect both men and women. While this condition is primarily influenced by genetics, hormonal factors play a significant role.
- Gradual hair loss on the top of the scalp
- A change to your normal hairline
- Your scalp becoming more visible
There are different medications like minoxidil that can slow down hair loss and promote regrowth in some cases. Consultation with a dermatologist or a hair specialist can help determine the most suitable treatment plan. Speaking with a GP as your first port of call is best, then they can get you the treatment you need or refer you to a specialist.
Dandruff is a common scalp condition indicated by flaking skin and itchiness. It can be caused by dry skin, a fungal infection or a scalp condition. It often causes itching and can result in unsightly flakey skin in your hair or clothes that causes you to feel self-conscious. Regular washing with anti-dandruff shampoos and similar products, that you can buy over the counter can help manage dandruff. Regular use of these shampoos can effectively manage dandruff and improve scalp health. If you don’t see any improvement or it is causing you discomfort you should speak to a GP about further treatment.
Excessively greasy hair can be the result of overactive sebaceous glands on the scalp. While sebum is essential for hair health, an excess of it can leave hair looking oily and unclean. To treat greasy hair, start by using a clarifying shampoo that can help remove excess oil and product buildup. Washing hair every other day or as needed can strike a balance between keeping the scalp clean and avoiding the overproduction of sebum. Avoid using heavy hair products and conditioners near the roots, as they can increase the greasiness. Additionally, avoid touching your hair excessively during the day, the natural oils from your skin can transfer into your hair causing it to look greasier.
Remember, addressing hair concerns from a healthcare perspective involves understanding the root cause and seeking appropriate medical guidance when needed. Whether it's combating head lice, managing hair loss conditions, or treating scalp conditions, a comprehensive approach can lead to healthier and happier hair. If you're experiencing any persistent hair concerns, you can book a same-day doctor's appointment at any of our London Doctors Clinics. A 15-minute appointment with one of our private GPs will be plenty of time to discuss any treatment options. Your hair deserves the best care for it to thrive and reflect your overall well-being.