As you get older, you notice that your hair starts falling out. Losing hair can be upsetting for anyone, at any age. But seeing your child’s hair fall out could come as a real shock. Many of the causes aren’t serious. Still, losing hair can take a toll on a child’s emotional well-being at a certain age. There are many possible causes of hair fall in children, broadly categorized by infection, physical cause, autoimmune cause and reactive cause. Hair fall in children is commonly caused due to fungal or bacterial infections, the most common in kids being scalp ringworm, which is a treatable fungal infection.
Whether your child has thinning hair or distinct bald spots, the loss of hair can be frightening.
CAUSES OF HAIR FALL:
Tinea Capitis: It is the most common paediatric infection worldwide. It is a kind of contagious fungal infection and usually spread by coming in contact with infected hairs on comb, brushes, hats, or pillow cases. It is also possible to catch ringworm from infected animals such as dogs, cats, horses or farm animals.
Alopecia areata:- It is an autoimmune disease that causes hair loss in children. About 1 out of every 1,000 children has the localized version called alopecia areata. It happens when the body’s immune system, which normally fights infections, attacks the hair follicles. This disrupts hair growth. The hair loss that comes with alopecia areata can be upsetting, but it is not contagious.
Telogen effluvium:- Hair is an epidermal appendage. It has a regular cycle of phases where hair grows (anagen), rest (telogen) and has a transition phase (catagen). Telogen effluvium is one of the most common causes of diffuse hair loss. During this phase, hairs shed with more than normal amount of hair loss over a short period of time. Diffuse hairs are lost over weeks to months and more hairs are shed if pulled.
Nutritional deficiency:- Iron deficiency is world’s most common deficiency and is a well known cause of hair loss. Good nutrition is essential for a healthy body and for healthy hairs too. When kids don’t get enough vitamins, minerals, and protein, their hair can fall out. Nutritional deficiency may impact both hair structure and hair growth. Data from studies suggests that vitamin D plays a role in hair follicle cycling. A small trial from 2010 found that vitamin E improved hair growth in people with hair loss. It’s thought that the vitamin’s antioxidants properties help reduce oxidative stress in the scalp.
Blow and dry:- Blow and dry can also damage hair and cause it to hair fall out. Excess heat from blow-drying or straightening can harm hairs to a great extend. It’s not advisable to blow it and dry everyday to minimise heat exposure.
Hair ties:- Pulling your child’s hair back into a tight ponytail, braid or bun causes trauma to the hair follicles. Keep ponytails and braids loose to prevent hair loss. Hair can also fall out if child brushes or combs it too hard. Be gentle on hairs.
NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS TO CURE HAIR LOSS IN CHILDREN:
Mostly Vitamin Bs- Riboflavin (B2), biotin (b7), folate (B9) and B12 deficiencies have been associated with hair loss.
- Riboflavin (vitamin B2) plays a crucial role in hair growth by activating vitamin B6 and B3; these two vitamins are key to hair development. Vitamin B6 also gives hair melanin and is known to prevent hair loss. You can get good amount of riboflavin by eating a variety of foods including: Dairy, yogurt, cheese, eggs, black/ wild rice, mushroom, brinjal.
Biotin (vitamin B7) plays an important role in the growth of healthier, thicker hair. It’s also one of the only natural hair loss treatments backed up by science, with study data showing that use of biotin can show a remarkable increase in hair growth in people with a deficiency. Foods that contain the most biotin includes almonds, walnuts, fruits like avocado, bananas and certain vegetables like sweet potatoes, tomato.
- Folic acid (vitamin B9) deficiency may leads to thinning hairs and hair loss in kids and in adults as well. It is responsible for healthy cell growth. These cells are found inside skin tissues, hairs, and nails. Foods that contain high amount of folate include dark green leafy vegetables like asparagus, broccoli, avocado, beetroot, sunflower seeds, peanuts, beans, legumes.
- Vitamin B12 promotes healthy hair growth by producing oxygen rich red blood cells, which feed hair follicles. Hair is made up of protein called keratin which is a dead substance that is why it doesn’t hurt when you get your hair cut. Cheese, milk, fortified cereals, mushrooms, eggs are great sources of vitamin B12.
Recipe for Raisin Cookie
- Equal part semolina, wheat flour, oats and half part melon seeds and half sunflower seeds
- One Handful raisins or dried berries or mix of both (puréed with little milk)
- Honey (as per more sweetness)
- Pinch salt
- Cinnamon powder (¼ tsp)
- 2 tbsp ghee or unsalted butter (heaped spoon)
- Milk as little as to make firm dough (if needed)
Roll in between two baking/parchment papers. Preheat oven for 5 min. Place rolled cookie with baking sheet on the middle rack. Bake as a single piece at 200 for 15 min. Once edges begin to brown, take it out. Cool on rack. Once completely cool, spread melted dark chocolate on it. Break the cookie as you like or just eat rightaway.
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