Alopecia is a catch-all term for hair loss. There are several types of alopecia which refer to patterns of loss and their different causes. Nobody ever wants to lose their hair. Unexpected hair loss from alopecia can evoke feelings of embarrassment and have a significant impact on your confidence and self-esteem. Although hair (or lack of) should never determine a person’s self-worth, it’s isolating to rapidly lose your hair, especially if you do not understand how or why it’s occurring. Fortunately, alopecia is completely treatable.
What is Alopecia?
Alopecia is the medical term for “bald.” Alopecia areata is a disease that develops when the body begins to attack its own hair follicles and causes hair to fall out in patches anywhere on the body. Sudden hair loss can occur on the scalp, eyebrows, eyelashes, face, and other parts of the body. It can also develop slowly and recur, often with years between instances.
According to the American Association of Dermatology, many healthy people develop alopecia areata with no other related conditions. Although they have hair loss and nail changes in some cases, they remain in good health overall. It isn’t something that’s contagious, but there is a potential genetic link. If a parent or close blood relative has or ever had alopecia areata, the child has an increased risk of developing it. While the risk is greater, not every child with an inherited risk will get alopecia areata.
The extent of hair loss varies amongst people. If the condition results in total hair loss, it is called alopecia universalis. This can prevent hair from growing back or falling out shortly after regrowth.
Types of Alopecia
Although alopecia areata is the most common, here are some additional types of alopecia:
Androgenetic alopecia hormone-related hair loss — it’s the common male-pattern or female-pattern baldness associated with aging.
Cicatricial alopecia hair loss occurs as a response to inflammation. This form of alopecia can lead to scarring.
Frontal fibrosing alopecia hair loss leads to a receding hairline. This is common among postmenopausal women.
Traction alopecia – hair loss occurs as a result of physical stress on the hair, such as constantly wearing hair in a tight ponytail.
Alopecia Risk Factors
Alopecia occurs for many different reasons – it can happen to anyone at any time. However, certain genetic and lifestyle factors can potentially increase your risk of developing alopecia.
You may have a higher risk of developing alopecia if:
- You have a family history of balding
- You are pregnant or were recently pregnant (postpartum hair loss is common due to hormonal changes.)
- You take prescription medications
- You have a certain medical condition that may cause hair loss, including diabetes or an autoimmune disorder like lupus
- You have a poor diet lacking necessary nutrients
How to Reduce Your Risk of Developing Alopecia
Not all alopecia risk factors can be controlled, but you can reduce your risk by:
- Eating a healthy diet: Some studies suggest a diet high in raw vegetables and fresh herbs can potentially delay the onset of androgenetic alopecia.
- Consuming more protein: Double-blind data from another study revealed a correlation between alopecia and amino acid deficiencies. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and hair follicles are made up of a strong form of a protein called keratin.
- Taking certain supplements: If you have vitamin deficiencies, taking supplements can help keep your hair full. Vitamin D and iron deficiencies are often linked to hair loss, so ensuring your levels are normal is important. Research also suggests that getting too much of certain nutrients, including vitamin A, can actually contribute to hair loss. Always discuss supplements with your doctor before starting.
Treatment Options for Alopecia
There is no cure for alopecia, but there are treatments that help hair grow back faster and even prevent future hair loss. One of the best treatments is a hair transplant.
Hair transplant NJ restoration through Eternal Hair & Esthetics is an excellent option for men and women who want to restore their hair to a full, luscious state. Eternal Hair & Esthetics uses Direct Follicle Implant technology to harvest hair from a donor region. The DFI method has an excellent success rate and produces no visual scarring at the implanted or donor area. If you’re suffering from hair loss, contact us today to find out how we can help you regain your confidence with alopecia hair loss treatment and hair transplants in NJ.