It can start with a few extra strands in your hair brush and then before you realize it, thinning patches begin to occur. Many patients describe their hair loss as happening gradually and then suddenly. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, more and more men and women are suffering from hair loss than before. They estimate that at any given time 30 million women and men in the USA are affected by some form of hair loss during their lifetime.
Luckily, Chinese medicine has a long history of treating hair loss in both men and women. According to the principles of TCM, the growth and development of hair depends on proper functioning of qi and blood that is governed by the Kidney and Liver organ-meridian systems. The Liver organ-meridian governs hair health and is supported energetically by its connection with the Kidney, which influences the growth of all body cells, including hair. The Liver blood nourishes the hair follicle and the hair itself is seen as an extension of blood. The most common causes of declining hair condition, such as premature graying and hair loss, are deficient and/or stagnant Liver blood and Kidney qi deficiency. One example of this is postpartum hair loss. Many women experience hair loss in the several months after childbirth. According to Chinese medicine, this can be due to blood loss and/or the taxation of the Kidneys (the Kidney system can be likened to our reserve tank of the body) with childbirth and the postpartum months. Acupuncture can improve the flow of qi and blood in the scalp and can help hair to regrow and Chinese herbs can nourish qi and blood to stop more hair from falling out.
From a Western medicine perspective, poor hair condition or hair loss can be attributed to a variety of causes, including hormonal imbalances (such as androgenic alopecia and hypothyroidism), autoimmune disorders, side effects of medication, and/or nutritional deficiencies.
At San Francisco Integrative Medicine, we use both acupuncture and herbs together along with nutritional suggestions and lifestyle changes to help our patients who are suffering from hair loss. These combined therapies not only help in preventing further hair loss from occurring but also support future regrowth.
Tips for Hair Loss