Is it Alopecia?
Your stylist or maybe you, begin to notice that your hair is thinning. It isn't as voluminous as it use to be. In fact, you begin to see hair all over your bathroom sink, in your brush, in the shower, on the floor, and you two just can't figure out why? But is it alopecia or just normal shedding? There are tell tale signs that you should look out for to know whether or not you are suffering from Alopecia and which type it may be.
What is Alopecia?
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, Alopecia affects 6.8 million people worldwide and is the loss of hair caused by illness, disorder, age, hormonal imbalance, injury, hereditary disposition, or extreme hair manipulation.
Normally, humans will shed between 50-150 hair per day. This daily shedding is known as the telogen phase, or resting phase of the hair cycle and accounts for 6-10% of hair on the head and can last up to 2 weeks. Should your shedding last longer and is more than normal you may need to visit a dermatologist or your primary care doctor.
1. Alopecia Areata is characterized by small smooth round patches that appear on the scalp and is typically caused by stress, genetics, and/or autoimmune disorders. While AA can happen suddenly and without warning, the hair typically can grow back as long as the inflammation within the scalp subsides. Treatment includes the use of anti-inflammatory drugs such as corticosteroids, which have to be administered by a physician. While there is little supportive medical research, some find certain organic anti-inflammatory topical treatments useful in speeding regrowth.
2. Traction Alopecia is caused by tightly pulled hairstyles and can become permanent if pulling persist. The condition is caused by trauma to the hair follicle resulting from consistent pulling from hairstyles including ponytails, braids, weaves, and locs. This condition is characterized by thinning around the region where tension is present and can be reversible if caught before scarring occurs.
3. Androgenetic Alopecia affects both men and women is considered permanent in advance cases and reversible in some cases. It is a gradual process of hair loss characterized by a M-shaped pattern of loss beginning at the temples and moving towards the back of the crown.
There are about 3 million cases reported every year of individuals suffering form androgenetic alopecia. The cause of the condition is said to be hereditary and is caused by the shortening of growth phase (anagen) of the hair cycle. Both male and female patterned baldness are signaled by the overactive hormone DHT, which causes follicular miniaturization. A physician can diagnose the condition and treatment includes the use of FDA approved Minoxdil, Rogaine, or hair implantation.
Alopecia can be life altering and emotionally stressful for those who are sufferers. The good news is that most types are reversible if caught early and only require a change of a hair style, an increase in TLC, and intake of nutrient rich foods and hair care products. However, It is important for those who believe they are experiencing abnormal hair shedding to seek the help of a professional cosmetologist and doctor, or dermatologist so that a diagnosis or
treatment can begin immediately.
Should you have questions regarding alopecia or hair loss email us at info@cocokendyll with the subject line (hair loss questions). We are your partner in healthy hair care!