Previously we have discussed several important factors affecting hair loss, such as sleep, emotion, and nutrition. Dealing with these factors is crucial to let the hair stop falling and start growing again. Obviously there are other factors that may cause hair loss, such as age, inheritance, drug effects, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and body condition, etc.
Traditional Chinese Medicine has done extensive studies about age and hair loss. Normally, the women’s hair has a cycle of 7 years. A young girl’s hair starts growing long and shiny at the age of 7, and her hair is at the best condition at the age of 28. When she is 35-year-old, the hair will start to become thin and less shiny. At the age of 42, she will start to grow white hair. For men the cycle is set at 8 years. A man’s hair starts to mature at the age of 8, and reaches the peak at the age of 32. The hair deteriorates after he is 40, and white hair appears after 48. At the age of 64, most men would have thin hair. This is the law of nature that is found in TCM, and no one can alter the law.
Now some of you probably would ask why some obviously elderly people still have thick shinny hair. The reason is simple. In the cycle of hair, a kind of energy plays a leading role. This is the “Kidney Qi” and in TCM it is considered coming from the “Kidney”. This Qi is very important. If this Qi can be continuously restored, the hair can be healthy and one’s overall health may also be improved. If you are interested, try to search for “Kidney Qi”. You will find many in-depth explanations online.
Conversely, if the Kidney does not have enough Qi, or in other words when the Kidney is weak, the hair would become thin and less shiny. Normally there would also be other conditions such as back pain, weak lower limbs, cold limbs, weak urinating, frequent urinating, fatigue, diminished sexual function, and diminished memory etc.
Here I would like to introduce a useful acupuncture point to strengthen the Kidney for hair loss patients--- the Taixi point. It is located at the depression between the internal ankle and the tendon behind it. This is the most frequently used point to strengthen the kidney in my practice. There are many TCM doctors throughout the history keep emphasizing the importance of the point. A prominent acupuncture professor of the modern times also used this point to treat diseases caused by weak kidney and achieved exceptional effects. This point can be located easily and is also my favourite. If a hair loss patient who also has weak kidney condition can consistently press the point daily for years, his health will be greatly benefited.
Hair loss associated with weak kidney often appears as thin, soft hair that turns white at early age. It can also be accompanied by fatigue or back pain. There is another kind of hair loss called alopecia, which often shows areas of circle or eclipse bald areas on the head. How can we treat this kind of hair loss with acupuncture? Which acupuncture points and methods should we use? Let us talk about it next time.