Everything you need to know about alopecia and its effective remedies
Alopecia is the term used to describe hair loss. It’s often confused with Alopecia Areata, which is an autoimmune disorder that affects billions of people across the world. Male pattern baldness is more common, but women can also experience hair loss. Medication, medical conditions, genetics, or hormonal changes causes it.
It isn’t contagious and it doesn’t make you “sick”. For some people, however, it can have negative effects emotionally and it can be traumatic. It warrants treatment to address this, as well as the hair loss itself.
- What are the different types of alopecia?
- What are the main causes of alopecia?
- How can alopecia be treated?
- What are the natural remedies for hair loss?
What are the different types of alopecia?
There are several types of alopecia that can affect men, women and even children. Hair loss is more common in men who have a family history of it, and it’s also more significant in men. You can experience hair thinning on your head, chest, face and back.
In women, balding areas occur on the scalp, the eyebrows and eyelashes. The loss of hair can occur all at once and gradually expand. So for children, it can be extremely distressing, especially for children under 5 when they start comparing themselves to their peers.
Each type of balding (on the skin or body) benefits from a slightly different treatment method. The extent of the hair loss, and other symptoms, defines the category. Here are the different types of alopecia:
This is the “patchy” form of hair loss. It’s distinguished by the coin-sized patches that occur on the head or anywhere on the body. The condition will change into Alopecia Totalis or Alopecia Universalis if the affected areas remain untreated. As mentioned earlier, this type is caused by genetics. Therefore treatment of alopecia areata is only successful through hair surgery.
This variant is noticeable by a total loss of hair on the scalp. Expansion of initial coin-sized patches typically causes it.
As well as hair loss on the scalp, you will lose hair on your face, including eyebrows and eyelashes. However, other areas on the body can see significant balding issues too.
Diffuse Alopecia Areata
Instead of circular patches of hair loss, sudden hair thinning occurs.
Ophiasis Alopecia Areata
This type of baldness causes a band of baldness around the sides and back of the head.
It’s an autoimmune disease and is commonly known as male pattern or female pattern baldness.
The hair follicles undergo excessive pressure when tight hairstyles are worn. Therefore, the continuous force on the hair follicles then results in hair loss.
In this type, temporary baldness occurs to hairs that are in the telogen phase. Telogen effluvium happens when the individual has experienced a traumatic event or a significant shock to their system.
This is where pathologic hair loss occurs to hairs that are in the anagen phase. Those going through chemotherapy typically get this because radiation therapy causes it.
This is hair loss, caused by a fungal infection on the scalp, eyebrows, and eyelashes. The infection attacks the hair shafts and hair follicles. So it’s reversed by treating the infection.
A rare and permanent type of balding due to inflammatory destruction of hair follicles, forming scar tissue. Hair can’t grow back naturally on scar tissue because the hair follicles are destroyed. The only cure is a hair transplant.
What are the main causes of alopecia?
Alopecia occurs at any age. Hair loss is sudden, painless, and can start from any area of the body like beard, lashes, or scalp. Alopecia starts small, so it takes a while for you to notice it. While in others, it progresses to visible bald patches and total balding.
Stress, medication, the DHT hormone, product build-up, tension on the hair, and the over-use of harsh chemicals cause hair loss.
A family affair
There’s a strong correlation of heredity in Alopecia Areata, as one in five patients have a family history of hair loss. Extreme cases of stress can trigger the disorder, but it’s more commonly caused by genes. In addition, other medical conditions contribute to it, including other autoimmune disorders.
Balding of any type, at any age, can be a source of anxiety and depression among individuals. You can suffer greatly emotionally, socially, and psychologically. Should you suffer from those, you can find a local support group on the Alopecia UK website.
How can alopecia be treated?
There’s no cure for hair loss at the moment, but there are several methods that boost hair growth. These include:
Corticosteroids are the most common initial treatment option for Alopecia Areata. They are used as a topical cream, intralesional injections, or tablets. Steroids suppress the immune reaction, and new hair growth is seen after a few weeks.
5% topical minoxidil is known to stimulate hair growth by accelerating the natural hair cycle. When combined with steroids it’s more effective. Although this medication should not be taken without a doctor’s agreement first, as minoxidil is well known for its side effects.
This option is best for long-term hair loss that isn’t responding to medication or lifestyle changes. At Elithair we recommend a hair transplant as the results are natural-looking and permanent. Moreover, it’s also the best option for baldness in eyebrows and the beard.
The benefit of this treatment option is that transplanted hair is not affected by alopecia causing factors. In conclusion, for men and women, hair transplants are life-long solutions.
What are the natural remedies for hair loss?
Although there are several medications to help your hair grow back if you have alopecia. There are also many natural ways to encourage hair growth in the area where thinning and baldness have occurred. These natural remedies may or may not work depending on the cause of hair loss.
You may turn to natural treatments for hair loss if you’re not comfortable taking medications, or perhaps you want to try natural options first. The top natural remedies include:
Research has shown that drinking and / or applying green tea to hair can reduce hair loss. This tea also promotes hair growth and slows down the greying process. The stimulating properties of this tea are actually included in many hair care products.
This oil is packed full of fatty acids which influence the signals within the body that stimulate hair growth. It has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties while also increasing blood flow to the scalp.
Naturally, the body prioritises vital organs when transferring nutrients throughout the body. So, it’s important to ensure the body is receiving an adequate supply of nourishment to promote healthy hair growth. For instance, the best foods to consume should be rich in protein, Omega3, Biotin, Zinc, Iron, and Vitamins C, A and E.
Alopecia is a huge, life-changing condition that doesn’t directly affect health, but it affects the emotional and psychological factors of an individual. Appearance is a large part of people’s lives, and when this is compromised by uncontrollable hair loss it’s distressing.
With advancements in medical science, you can find natural and medical treatments for every type of balding issue. However, some treatments take time for hair regrowth. Thus, hair transplants are leading the way, across the world, as the most effective form of hair loss treatment.
There are a lot more benefits to opting for hair transplants over medical management, with fewer side effects. It is the best choice for both androgenetic and patchy alopecia as it is a permanent remedy, and the hair is not affected by recurrence as in patchy hair loss.
Are you looking for the solution to your hair loss? Talk to our friendly team who can provide you with advice and answer any questions you have. Take the first step to benefit from Dr. Baliwi and Elithair’s expertise for a successful and affordable hair transplant in Turkey!