The hair loss issue does affect long-term visitors in Bali, not just those here for a couple of weeks.
The reasons for hair
The reasons for hair loss are often related to the specific climate in Bali, the quality of water, and new habits that don't always positively affect hair quality and health. For example, an essential part of the Bali lifestyle is riding a bike. Over time, you get so used to two-wheeled transportation that you perceive it as something taken for granted, just like the helmet on your head. However, the helmet serves as a primary breeding ground for bacteria and dust. When we wear a helmet, the scalp starts producing more heat than usual. It's the sweating that contributes to hair issues. That's why it's crucial to regularly clean the helmet.
Among other common external reasons not related to health are the impact of seawater or pool water and exposure to the sun. After swimming in the sea or pool, it's essential to rinse your hair with fresh water. Additionally, after washing your hair in the shower, it's advisable to rinse them with 1-1.5 liters of drinking water. This, of course, depends heavily on the water quality in a specific area, and the water in Denpasar can vary significantly from the water in Ubud. Our hair can signal these differences.
Also, try to protect your locks from direct sunlight. You can approach it as a game and experiment with various headgear, of which there is a vast variety in Bali, or resort to the help of hair sunscreen. Special attention to hair care should be given to surfers.
Almost always, the main cause of hair loss is stress. It's not necessary to fall into depression directly. If you've been a bit nervous and forgot about it, it can still affect your body. You may not notice it immediately. The event that caused hair loss could have occurred several weeks or even months ago, and you only see the consequences now. If you've been living in stress for a long time, feeling nervous, going through a situation, sleeping poorly, having a fundamental concern, it leads to changes and disruptions in the functioning of many body systems, and, of course, including the disturbance of hair follicle nutrition. This results in hair weakening, thinning, and, consequently, hair loss without replacement. This whole process takes some time, so you may experience hair loss even when everything is fine.
The treatment of hair loss should begin with bringing the body and nervous system into a state of harmony and balance. By the way, moving and changing time zones is also stress for the body. It may seem that a 5-hour time difference is not so critical, but, for example, it took me a lot of time to get used to it. And even now, sometimes there are disruptions when you confuse day with night. So, first, you need to establish a daily routine. If there are still problems with sleep and falling asleep, you can take melatonin in therapeutic doses, either in a course or situationally. Teas with mint, chamomile, and lemon balm can also be helpful. Then, move on to yoga, meditation, breathing practices, sound therapy with bowls and gongs, chanting mantras, spa, or whatever else your soul desires. Find what works most effectively for you and stick to regularity in your practices. Not only your hair but your whole body will definitely say "thank you." And the best part is, there are no contraindications or side effects here. You won't make things worse for yourself for sure.
The treatment for hair loss should commence by harmonizing and balancing the body and nervous system. Moving and changing time zones can also be stressful for the body. Although a 5-hour time difference may not seem critical, it took me a considerable amount of time to adapt. Even now, there are occasional disruptions, confusing day with night. Therefore, establishing a daily routine is the first step. If sleep issues persist, melatonin in therapeutic doses can be taken either in a course or situationally. Teas with mint, chamomile, and lemon balm can also be beneficial. Subsequently, engage in activities such as yoga, meditation, breathing exercises, sound therapy with bowls and gongs, chanting mantras, spa treatments, or whatever resonates with your soul. Identify what works most effectively for you and maintain regularity in your practices. Your entire body will undoubtedly express gratitude. The best part is, there are no contraindications or side effects. You won't worsen your situation, that's for sure.
How to Help Yourself
It's advisable to undergo vitamin tests. Start with a complete blood count (Hemoglobin) and erythrocytes (Erythrocyte count). If hemoglobin is below the norm, the next step is to test serum iron and ferritin levels. The primary cause of anemia is iron deficiency, which automatically leads to hair loss. Deficiency of vitamins, especially iron, in the blood prompts the body to enter an "economy mode," providing the least amount of nutrients to hair and nails. Proceed to tests for vitamin D 250H, vitamin C, zinc, copper, magnesium, calcium, vitamin B12, and folic acid (vitamin B9). In Bali, you can do these tests at "Prodia" or "Quantum" laboratories, clinics like "Diagnos" and "Pramita" in Denpasar, and "Ananta" in Ubud.
Before taking vitamins, it's beneficial to start with a one-month course of Monolaurin, one capsule per day. This will restore gut and overall immunity. Then, you can introduce the vitamins that you might be deficient in, but it's advisable to consult with a doctor. Keep in mind that some vitamins do not mix well. For instance, iron supplements are better absorbed with vitamin C, and iron is entirely incompatible with calcium. In any case, taking biotin, which is vitamin B7 responsible for the beauty and health of hair and nails, and magnesium glycinate (preferably in the evening), will be beneficial. Vitamins can be ordered from Indonesian equivalents of online marketplaces like "Tokopedia" and "Lazada."
It wouldn't hurt to check your hormones. There's even a term for "hormonal hair loss." Since hormone levels constantly change throughout life, influenced by factors like stress, this can lead to hormonal fluctuations, which, in turn, result in changes to the hair structure and subsequent hair loss. For example, you experience significant stress, a hormonal imbalance occurs, and severe hair loss starts 2-3 months later. The two main hormones influencing hair condition and quantity are estrogen (estrogen levels test) and androgen (tests for testosterone, 17-OHP, DHEA-S are needed). Insufficient estrogen or excessive androgen shorten the hair's lifespan, accelerating its loss. It's also good to check the thyroid hormone levels, especially since Bali experiences iodine deficiency in the soil, directly affecting thyroid function.
So, the action plan to restore beautiful and voluminous hair is established: meditate, restore diet and sleep patterns, boost gut immunity, and take necessary vitamins. If you feel you're doing everything right but see no results, consult a gastroenterologist. Perhaps you're taking the right vitamins, but they're not being absorbed. Online consultations with your test results are always an option.
Simultaneously, you can support your hair with various beauty and healing procedures.
First and foremost, this includes head massage and spa procedures. Hair begins to grow faster primarily due to improved blood circulation and skin regeneration on the scalp. You can either visit a salon once or twice a week or massage your head at home. Having a friend's help is handy here, as it's preferable to massage with strong pressure using the pads of the fingers to stimulate blood circulation.
Mesotherapy is another procedure. Its essence lies in injecting a special preparation enriched with vitamins, microelements, and other substances directly under the skin through microinjections to promote intensive hair growth. The cosmetologist tailors the composition of the meso cocktail and the number of procedures individually. The advantage of this procedure is that, unlike "external" treatments, the beneficial substances go directly into the hair follicles, significantly improving hair condition, and the effect usually occurs quite quickly. In Bali, there are both Russian practitioners offering mesotherapy services and local clinics and salons of various segments. You can find options with reviews on Google Maps using the query "mesotherapy hair bali" or "mesotherapy bali." Among the recommended clinics are "Rejuvie Aesthetic and Anti-Aging Clinic" in Kuta and Sanur, "Asian Prophecy Aesthetic Clinic" in Ubud, "Mysa Clinic" in Canggu, and so on. The procedure takes about 45 minutes, and prices range from 700,000 to 1.2 million rupiahs.
Acupuncture. I unexpectedly discovered this method to combat hair loss and was very pleased with the result. Holists believe that stimulating specific points on the body with fine needles helps restore a healthy flow of energy and unblock the energy of Qi = life. In my opinion, the whole secret is that the needles act directly on the hair follicles, improving blood circulation, which leads to hair growth. I noticed the effect after the first procedure – new hair growth started to appear. However, later I changed my place of residence, and traveling became very far and inconvenient in terms of time, after which it seemed like my hair started falling out again. The doctor advised starting with 10 procedures and then adjusting based on the result. The cost of one procedure was 200,000 rupiahs at a clinic in Denpasar. I'm sure in Ubud, the prices can be at least doubled.
Home procedures. Home care products, various scrubs, balms, conditioners, masks, etc., should contain components such as nicotinic acid, caffeine, menthol or peppermint, B-vitamins, stemoxidine, aminexil, taurine, and zinc. Warming masks and compresses that stimulate blood circulation work well. Bali offers an abundance of locally produced products. Budget-friendly options include the "Wardah" anti-hair loss shampoo and conditioner and a decent hair tonic with ginseng extract from "Natur."
In a vast array of options, products from "Bali Alus" are available, including vitamin oils for hair starting from 13,000 rupiahs, various hair masks, including ginseng ones from 35,000 rupiahs, hair cream masks with extracts of ginseng, seaweed, avocado, and aloe vera from 20,000 rupiahs, shampoos, and conditioners. You can find them at any Indo or Alfa supermarket, priced from 20,000 to 35,000 rupiahs per product.
For pricier options, there is a hair mask from "By-cosmetics," produced right here in Bali in Tampak Siring, with all components in the product being natural. Also, shampoos and masks from "Sensatia Botanicals" priced from 200,000 rupiahs, renowned shampoos and conditioners from "Cantika," recognized for their natural ingredients. They hardly lather but excel in their performance. Moreover, a significant portion of the components is handmade. Shampoos and hair oils from the brand "Utama Spice" priced from 100,000 rupiahs. All these products can be ordered on Tokopedia, purchased at Bali Buda, or specialized points found throughout the island.
And to conclude, it's a simple reminder: the health and beauty of your hair are in your hands, just like their presence. The island gives us so much, and at times, takes something back. Let the fallen hair be the least of losses on this journey.