In the theory of Traditional Chinese Medicine, the hair is related to the lung, kidney, and liver. Therefore, these three places are checked first whenever a TCM doctor deals with hair loss problems. Acupuncture has been proved very effective to all kinds of hair loss conditions except the scar-related hair loss.
Therefore, when a TCM doctor treats hair loss, he would use herbs and acupuncture at the same time. Normally, the treatment starts with hair loss prevention, and then more treatment to cure the problem will follow. It is important that the prevention treatment works first, because if the hair loss is not prevented, any treatment to grow more hair will end in vain. Normally the prevention treatment takes up to fifteen sessions.
Lung and Skin
TCM doctors believe the skin is closely related to the lung. There has not been enough studies done to test this theory, but there is one thing that the lung and the skin shares. That is the function of breathing. The Lung is essential to breathe and the skin can somehow breathe. This may be the indication that these two are closely related.
A pair of strong lungs is the key tender and smooth looking skin. The hair grows on the skin, hence is the lung related to the hair. Therefore, when a skin disease is preventing the growth of the hair, it is better to treat the condition from the lungs. Once the lung becomes healthy, the skin will be healthy so that the hair loss will be cured.
“Qi” of Kidney, and a lack of Blood
At the same time, hair growth can reflect whether the “Qi” is abundant in the kidney. The TCM theory states that, in simple words, the essence of the kidney (the “Qi” of the kidney), is material for the blood, and blood is the nutrients of hair. Therefore, a new born baby has a few “Qi” of the kidney, and this “Qi” grows more and more abundant as the baby grows until teenage. Therefore a person’s hair is most abundant at teenage. After teenage the “Qi” of kidney eventually drains out, so does the hair. Therefore hair loss may be a result of lack of Blood caused by lack of “Qi” in the kidney. Therefore if the hair loss is caused by a weak growing ability of the hair (i.e. hair being too soft or too thin), we need to check the kidney to have any effects.
Liver and Hair Loss
In TCM, liver’s function is quite special. It is thought to be able to affect the emotion. For example, anyone who is easily angered, or is depressed for a long time, usually feels pain behind the ribs beside the liver. Another negative effect of emotional conditions is that the blood circulation of the whole body is harassed, resulting in hair loss.
Therefore, alopecia areata and emotion-related hair loss should be treated from the liver.
Doctor Yu’s experience: Acupuncture + Herbs
As said, acupuncture has been proved very effective to all kinds of hair loss conditions except the scar-related hair loss, and the effect will be much better if it is combined with herbs.
Meanwhile, here is some food is good for your hair:
Food rich in vegetable protein: oatmeal, peanut, corn, walnut, and beans;
Food rich in iron: potato, beans, spinach, carrot, shrimp, egg, banana, poultry;
Food rich in iodine: seaweed, amaranth, kelp, jelly fish, sea cucumber, laver, persimmon;
Food that is alkaline: fruits and vegetables;
Food that is rich in vitamin E: sesame, mustard, spinach.
Avoid Certain Food
In contrary there is some food that you should avoid, especially if you are suffering from hair loss or have a high potential of hair loss. Please eat the food that is good for hair growth, as listed above. At the same time please avoid eating spicy food such as those cooked with chili pepper or numbing pepper. The oily and deep fried food should also be avoided. Food rich in sugar, fat and salt should be avoided at all cost. Alcohol drinking and smoking is also very bad for the hair and should be avoided too.
Avoid Staying up Too Late
This is a kind reminder from Dr. Yu. If you are suffering from hair loss, you should always have enough sleep. If you stay late all the time, your “Qi” will be drained, and your blood circulation will become worse. You will also become more likely to get depression. All these factors can negatively affect the growth of hair.