Experiencing hair fall is very common as part of our body’s natural renewal system. It is usual for us to lose 50 – 100 hair strands every day. However, when one starts losing an unusual amount of hair, it becomes a concern.
Hair loss is prevalent amongst the elderly due to age. As we age, our hair starts thinning, and hair regeneration slows down. Other than age as a factor, stress, hormones and health conditions contribute to hair loss. Many might lose confidence in their appearance when they start experiencing hair loss – resulting in the constant lookout for treatments and cures.
Through this article, we will discuss how traditional Chinese medicine approaches hair loss and determine suitable medication and treatment.
How TCM Views Hair Loss
Traditional Chinese medicine has a long history of treating hair loss, stimulating hair growth and preventing further hair loss from occurring. It is believed that the liver circulates blood to both sides of our heads. Therefore, if our liver is under pressure, blood is unable to circulate well, which causes our hair to thin and eventually leads to hair loss. However, TCM is not an immediate cure to hair loss. Instead, it provides gradual treatments to promote hair regrowth and strengthening.
Hair loss is divided into two main aspects, gradual hair loss and sudden hair loss. Gradual hair loss could be caused by damp heat and liver and kidney deficiency. Sudden hair loss could be caused by blood heat and qi and blood deficiency.
Gradual Hair Loss
Gradual hair loss is the most common type of hair loss. It causes gradual hair thinning on top of the head. Typically, women will experience broadening of hair parting and men would experience thinning of hair along their hairline. The two conditions in TCM that causes gradual hair loss are liver and kidney deficiency, as well as damp-heat accumulation.
Liver And Kidney Deficiency
In TCM, the liver and kidney play an essential role in the maintenance and growth of hair. The liver ensures that blood and energy flow smoothly, and it governs the health of muscles. The kidney plays a key role in growth and development. It controls the flow of Qi to the scalp, which is vital for hair nourishment.
Usually, the liver and kidney help promote voluminous and rich hair. However, when one organ is under pressure or stress, the blood circulation is disrupted, and it reduces the vital essence. This causes hair to thin, and it leads to gradual hair loss.
Damp Heat Accumulation
Damp heat is the combination of heat and dampness that usually occurs with fatigue, fever, heaviness and poor appetite. In TCM, damp heat accumulation arises when one consumes too much oily, sweet and rich food.
The accumulation in the body will cause dysfunction to the kidney, lungs and spleen. Damp heat causes damage to the root of your hair and scalp. This results in a greasy and sticky scalp, which loosens hair roots and causes hair fall. In some cases, it could cause you to get an itchy scalp when the flow of Qi or blood is interrupted.
Sudden Hair Loss
Sudden hair loss could be the cause of emotional shock or a medical condition. Due to the sudden loosening of the hair, handfuls of hair may drop out even after a gentle tug or when combing. The two conditions that cause sudden hair loss in TCM are Qi and blood deficiency, as well as blood heat.
Qi And Blood Deficiency
Qi refers to the energy in one’s body, as such, Qi deficiency means low energy. In TCM, healthy hair is reflected with a good flow of Qi and blood to the scalp. This flow can be interrupted by your diet or emotions, which leads to insufficient nourishment to the scalp.
Qi and blood deficiency are common when one has a serious illness or when experiencing postpartum. Due to the lack of Qi and blood flowing to the scalp, your hair is unable to develop. This causes a slow body renewal system that leads to a sudden hair loss.
Blood heat gives us many skin problems, and sometimes, it causes hair loss. Usually, blood nourishes our body and carries away the unwanted matter. In TCM, blood heat is caused by your diet or mental stress. This is more prevalent amongst youths as they tend to elicit stronger emotions and an unhealthy diet. If you are easily irritated or angered, it could eventually lead to blood heat. Hair loss occurs as blood in your body is unable to nourish your scalp with enough nutrients.
Stimulate Hair Growth With TCM
Traditional Chinese Herbs
Chinese herbs have been used for hundreds of years to cure hair loss and stimulate hair growth. The following herbs are commonly used in Chinese medicine for hair loss.
- Fo-Ti, He Shou Wu; this is one of the most well-known Chinese herbs for hair. It strengthens and supports both the liver and kidney organ system. Many claims that they are able to regrow their hair within three months with this herb.
- Goji Berry, Go Ji Zhi; well known as a superfood, goji berry is an anti-ageing fruit. TCM prescriptions for hair loss include this herb as it nourishes the kidney, liver and lung organ.
- Glossy Privet Fruit, Nu Zhen Zi; one of the oldest Chinese herbs, it promotes hair growth and darkening as it helps increase blood circulation to the scalp.
Other than taking medication for hair loss, TCM practitioners would also recommend scalp massages. Massages help improve blood circulation to the scalp and enhance the strength of your hair roots.
Scalp massages can aid in stress relief and in turn, stimulates hair follicles to grow hair. The aim of this is to reduce tension to the scalp and promote hair growth.
Trust Tong Jum Chew For All Your TCM Needs
Tong Jum Chew was founded in 1965 as a medical hall. Since then, it has grown into a manufacturer and distributor of traditional Chinese medicine Singapore health supplements. We boast a modern manufacturing facility in Singapore that includes a clean room environment. All products are produced using modern machinery and undergo stringent checks to ensure that they are safe for consumption or usage.