There are many myths surrounding hair loss including the one about wearing hats. But it seems head-gear of another kind, the turban, does actually lead to hair loss. The Farjo Medical Centre has reported that a growing number of its patients now come from the male Sikh community. Men as young as 20 years old are considering surgery to counter the effects of Traction Alopecia, caused by the turbans pulling on their hair.
Sikh religious laws require a man to wear a turban to cover his long, uncut hair which is wound into a ‘rishi’ knot, with the turban, on top of the head. Most Sikhs wear their hair in this way for 24 hours a day (removal of the turban is forbidden). However the knot can pull on the hair, resulting in hair loss, particularly in the frontal scalp area. Male Sikhs start to wear their hair in knots from a young age, sometimes as young as 5 years old, and this style is continued when they begin to wear turbans at a later age. Traction Alopecia is usually seen in women as the excessive tension placed on the hair can also be caused by hair extensions, braids and tight ponytails.
The turban has been worn by Sikh men for hundreds of years. Today there are approximately 10 million male Sikhs worldwide and most of them are unaware of how turbans can affect their hair. Dr Bessam Farjo, founder of the Farjo Medical Centre, advises that turban wearers help prevent hair loss by winding their turbans less tightly to reduce the stress put on the hair. Dr Farjo said, “We are treating a significant number of patients who have suffered hair loss caused by wearing a turban.” While Dr Farjo recommends surgery such as Follicular Unit Transplantation to restore lost hair, it is possible to treat hair loss non-surgically.
There are two hair loss treatments that have shown sufficient evidence in large scale clinical trials to be both safe and effective. Minoxidil and Propecia can be combined and tailored to suit a man’s individual stage and type of hair loss. When used alongside the correct hair growth booster, these treatments can bring about optimum re-growth. With regards to hair loss caused by wearing a turban, senior hair loss specialist at the Belgravia Centre, Leonora Doclis, says, “It is possible to treat this condition but regrowth depends on the severity of the condition”. Doclis adds, “If the hair follicles are shriveled completely, then surgery may be the only option, providing there is enough donor hair.” However, it is worth noting that hair transplantation will require the use of a treatment programme post-surgery, so it is advisable to see if these medications can assist with hair loss before considering surgery which can be costly and carries risks.
The majority of men, whether they wear turbans or not, suffer from Male Pattern Baldness which is caused by rising levels of Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), the hormone that attacks hair follicles causing hair growth to slow and eventually stop. A tailored treatment programme can also help manage this condition and prevent hair loss without the need for sugery. To see the kind of results achieved using these treatments, take a look at one man’s hair loss video diary.
If you are concerned about hair loss and would like to find out more about non-surgical treatments, contact the Belgravia Centre for a free consultation with a specialist. To book an appointment, just call 020 7730 6666 or message the centre. Alternatively, if you are unable to visit the London-based clinic, complete the online diagnostic form for a consultation via the website and a mail order treatment service.