Hair loss and Alopecia: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment
Alopecia, a medical term for hair loss can take effect anywhere on your body, but in this blog post, we will be looking at hair loss on your head.
Alopecia refers to excess falling out of the hair on your scalp resulting in balding; this occurrence is not gender-specific as both male and female suffer from this condition, but it is more prevalent in men than women.
Alopecia or hair loss can be heredity, medical induced or by diseases like cancer/chemotherapy, hormonal changes, and age.
People react to hair loss differently some people embrace the whole process while others are shaken by the condition, and will do anything to prevent the spread of the disease.
However, if you are suffering from hair loss, don’t be too quick to sit on a doctor’s chair, but seek more information about the condition – you will be surprised that leading a stressful life can also lead to alopecia.
Types of Hair loss (Alopecia)
To truly understand the causes of alopecia, the types of hair loss need to be explained.
Also known as pattern baldness affects both men and women. People with this condition experience hair loss on the crown and hairline or their head or a U-shape pattern at the back very common in men.
This is a more serious and complicated form of hair loss where the patient loses hair in all areas of the body. Patients with this condition lose hair on their head, nostrils, and eyelashes, leaving them exposed to the elements.
This is an autoimmune disorder where the patient loses hair over the whole scalp. The condition can be a gradual process on some people or a very fast making the patient complete bald with a couple of weeks or month.
Is a common type where the immune system attacks the hair follicles and hinders hair growth and formation of new ones? Although the cause is still vague, certain conditions have been known to trigger it.
This is age-related hair loss; the hair gradually thins with age, while other strands become dormant causing the hair to reduce in quantity and length.
This is a very common trend among women who wear their hair on a ponytail or in styles that have a pulling effect on the front part of their hair resulting in hair loss.
This is a permanent hair loss condition due to skin inflammation and other skin disorder that scar the upper layer preventing hair from growing again.
Due to the various types of alopecia, scientists are still not sure what exactly triggers this condition; hence pinpointing the cause can be a bit tricky.
However, hair loss has been found to result when the white blood cells (our body’s defense mechanism) attack the cell in the hair follicle causing stunted hair growth, shrinkage and falling out of the hair.
Precisely why the immune system suddenly attacks the hair follicles is still not known, but genes have been linked to hair loss either as a direct or indirect genetic association.
Hormonal imbalance – whether it is due to puberty, pregnancy, menopause or androgens, they are all ways to loss hair.
Medication and prescription drugs – chemotherapy, blood thinners, blood pressure pills, and birth controls drugs are all causes of hair loss
Stress, Trauma, infection, and depression – can cause temporary or permanent hair loss depending on how the victim deals with the situation. Infections like ringworm cause hair loss in patches and if left untreated can damage the scalp surface preventing hair from growing again.
Accidents, burns, and cosmetic mishaps – these are factors that can cause hair loss, and if scars are produced, the hair will never grow again.
Aside from the above, hair loss can also be due to medical conditions like internal disease, poor diet, low calories, and aging, alopecia or hair loss are caused by illnesses, emotional trauma, lack of adequate protein (resulting from strict dieting), hormonal changes _ puberty, pregnancy, and menopause.
Other health conditions that can trigger hair loss are anemia (iron deficiency), syphilis, and thyroid disease.
Symptoms of Hair Loss
Waking up to hair all over your pillow or having a large quantity of hair follow your hairbrush as your groom are obvious signs of alopecia. The symptoms of alopecia are
• Constantly itching your hair and scratching on your scalp even when your hair is neat
• Inflammation of the hair scalps
• Patches of hair loss or a spontaneous disappearance of the hair
• White hair growth on areas where hair has fallen off
Aside from the signs and symptoms can be seen on the nails. This is actually a notable point where you can detect alopecia before it starts happening to your hair. People with alopecia have a white line on their fingernail and losses it’s shine.
Prior to seeking treatment, see your doctor and explain any changes in your current lifestyle to enable him to conduct the appropriate test for a proper diagnosis.
However, it is safe to say there is no current cure, but research is on-going on various cosmetic institutes and facilities across the globe.
Alopecia can’t be cured, but with early diagnosis, it can be treated and hair re-grown. Some remedies are
• Immunotherapy is used in cases where hair loss is much and repetitive. In this process, a chemical is applied to the scalp to produce an allergic reaction that can stimulate hair re-growth.
• Corticosteroids – are anti-inflammatory drugs that help soothe the pain of inflammation on the scalp
• Using drugs like Minoxidil that have proven to cause hair restoration in as little as 12 weeks.
Other non-medical methods are:
• Try to lead a more relaxed and stress-free life
• Remove your wig when going to bed
• Reduce the rate at which you use extensions and sew-in weaves on your hair
• Maintain a healthy body weight and imbibe in good eating habits
• Avoid using too much chemical and hair treatment on the hair
Finally, alopecia may not have a cure, early diagnosis and seeking treatment should restore your hair and looks.
Since the symptoms of alopecia or hair loss are very obvious, one should be alert when your hairbrush pulls out more hair than normal or you suffer from any of the signs above, seek help from a qualified hair specialist.
In the worst case scenario, hair transplant is an equally good option if you are a good candidate.
We have professionals who can help you deal with this issue and more beauty and hair issues, please use the contact us form so we can book a session to get your glam up.