Q: Can acupuncture help with balding?
It can be scary finding you are losing your hair and there are many causes
for it. Among them are: stress, poor nutrition, hormonal imbalance, use of
certain prescription drugs, physical conditions such as thyroid disease or
cancer, genetic pattern baldness - all of which can affect both men and
women. However, genetic pattern baldness is by far the dominant factor,
accounting for a high percentage of all hair loss in men and also affecting
millions of women.
One of the most widely accepted factors related to genetic
pattern baldness is the chemical DHT (5-alpha DiHydroTestosterone is its
full name). It has been found that increasing levels of DHT in hair
follicles cause a reaction that reduces blood flow in that area and
adversely affects the health of the follicle and the growth cycle of the
hair. Over time, the follicle shrinks and produces finer and shorter hairs,
eventually dying and producing no hair. Areas that are 'shiny bald' no
longer have live follicles. Areas with shorter, finer hairs still have live
follicles, which have gradually shrunk over time.
In Chinese Medicine, hair is a direct reflection of blood: a
lack of circulation or insufficient amounts can result in the gradual lose
of hair. The conditions of the hair follicles are directly affected by the
toxicity in the blood. The hair follicles are responsible for the
nourishment of the hair and they also support the growth of hair. The first
step in treating hair loss is to improve circulation to the head as well as
improve the quality of the blood, by strengthening the kidneys. Kidneys are
the organ/meridian system that is responsible for the production and quality
of blood and qi. Acupuncture is very effective in improving circulation to
the scalp. Strengthening the kidneys requires the use of herbal medicine.
Early intervention is the key to limiting hair loss and promoting re-growth.
Treatment plans can vary from 3-12 months depending on the severity of the
• Use mild shampoos and conditioners made from natural ingredients.
• Use a good brush and don't pull or damage the hair.
• Avoid frequent colouring with chemical treatments.
• Regular scalp massage will promote circulation of nutrients to the hair
• Regular aerobic exercise stimulates oxygen flow in the scalp.
Jasmine Sufi HBSc, BHSc, D.Ac
About our Doctors
This month's Ask the
Doctors question was answered by:
Jasmine Sufi HBSc, BHSc,