The science behind hair loss and hair restoration might seem complex, but it doesn’t have to be a mystery. In this blog, we’re breaking down the basics, including causes and treatments for alopecia. If you want to get to the root of your specific hair loss issue, schedule a free hair and scalp analysis with our expert team.
What is alopecia?
The term “alopecia” is widely used in the hair restoration industry, but it’s still often underestimated and under-explained.
Alopecia simply means hair loss, but there are many kinds of alopecia with a variety of different causes. Identifying the root cause of someone’s hair loss problem is important because it will affect what kind of treatment suits a client best.
What causes alopecia?
Like we mentioned, there are several reasons someone may experience hair loss. A few things that might cause alopecia include:
Damage to the follicle
This list might seem daunting. After all, a few of these causes are hard to avoid. However, these causes don’t prevent hair loss treatment with proven hair restoration techniques.
What are the different types of alopecia?
Alopecia is an umbrella term for many different kinds of hair loss, including:
Androgenetic Alopecia is the most common form of Alopecia, affecting 50% of men and 35% of women worldwide. It might result in baldness at the front, top, and crown of the scalp. That’s because the hair in those areas isn’t permanent hair, while hair along the occipital ridge (the lower, back part of your head) is permanent.
Hair loss on those top areas of the scalp begins when the hormone testosterone is activated to a skin enzyme called 5-alpha reductase. Once merged, dihydrotestosterone is created at the base of the follicle. But what does that mean, exactly? This process cuts off essential blood flow and nutrients that a hair needs to grow. If it’s left untreated, permanent balding occurs.
Alopecia Areata is a form of hair loss that develops in patches and occurs suddenly. This form of alopecia is actually an autoimmune disease, which occurs when the body attacks its own hair follicles. The size of the hair loss areas vary and can spread rapidly.
A form of Alopecia Areata, Alopecia Totalis affects the follicles of the scalp. Someone with this type of alopecia may lose all of the hair on their head.
Alopecia Universalis is also a form of alopecia areata, where all follicles on the body are affected. This includes hair loss affecting the eyebrows, arms, legs, armpits, and more.
Traction Alopecia is a form of hair loss caused by the overuse of tight hairstyles. Pulling and tension causes a follicle to become weak and eventually die from lack of blood supply to the area.
Can alopecia be treated?
While it may sound hard to get to the root of the issue with so many varieties of alopecia, it can be treated. Different forms of alopecia just require different treatment options.