Are you experiencing hair loss due to alopecia? Hair loss can be a frustrating experience, and looking for solutions can be overwhelming. But don’t worry, you’re in the right place.
In this article from the team at Foli Sim, we will learn about alopecia, some of the common causes and the treatment options available, including scalp micropigmentation.
What Is Alopecia?
Alopecia is a general term that is used to describe hair loss. This hair loss can be anywhere on the body where it would be normal to have hair growing. Alopecia can occur at any age in both men and women. Some people may experience localised alopecia, while others may experience it over their entire scalp or body. There are many different types of alopecia, which we will be discussing in further detail.
Before we do that, we want to look into some of the causal factors behind alopecia.
What Causes Alopecia?
There isn’t a one-size fits all answer to what causes alopecia. Rather there are numerous possible reasons for the occurrence of alopecia, as well as different causes for each of the different types of alopecia. If you want to determine why you are losing hair, it’s best to book in with a healthcare professional, so you can be diagnosed with the specific type of alopecia and discover recommended treatments.
Some of the common causes include:
- Hormonal factors
- The body’s immune system attacking hair follicles
- Extreme stress
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Certain medications
- Radiation therapy
Types Of Alopecia And How They Affect Hair Growth
Here are some of the types of alopecia listed:
Androgenetic alopecia is the most common type of alopecia. You may have heard of it when also referred to as male pattern baldness or female pattern baldness. It is caused by both genetic and hormonal influences, leading to progressive thinning and hair loss. With this condition, it’s possible that over time the affected follicles will stop growing hair altogether, leading to hair thinning and baldness.
A common question asked is ‘is alopecia an autoimmune disorder?’. Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder that causes the body’s immune system to wrongly attack hair follicles which leads to hair loss. There are three types of alopecia areata; patchy alopecia areata, which results in, as the name suggests, patches of hair loss. Alopecia totalis results in total or near-total hair loss on the scalp. Finally, alopecia universalis results in total to near-total hair loss in all body areas. It’s possible for hair growth to resume spontaneously, or it could stop and start; unfortunately, however, the condition is unpredictable and will be based on the individual.
This type of hair loss occurs after a physical or emotional stressor, such as an illness, post-surgery, childbirth or after experiencing extreme stress. Telogen effluvium is usually temporary, and the hair will come back.
To read more: Does Stress Cause Hair Loss?
This is caused by excessive tension and pulling of the hair, likely due to tight hairstyles, braids or hair extensions. If the tension is not relieved, this type of hair loss can lead to permanent damage to hair follicles.
Is Alopecia Genetic?
Some types of alopecia are caused by genetics, and some aren’t. For example, androgenetic alopecia, the most common form of hair loss, is caused by genetics. Alopecia areata is also believed to have a genetic component in combination with other factors.
How To Prevent Alopecia From Spreading
Whether or not you can prevent alopecia from spreading will depend on the underlying cause. It’s best to speak with a medical professional to ensure you understand why you are experiencing alopecia and what you can be doing with your individual condition to limit the spread.
Generally, there are some lifestyle decisions you can make to improve overall hair health and possibly prevent alopecia.
- Maintain a healthy diet and ensure you are getting all of your micronutrients.
- Manage your stress by either reaching out to family and friends or booking in to see a professional.
- Avoid tight hairstyles.
- Be gentle when brushing hair, and avoid brushing when wet.
- Consult a healthcare professional.
Common Misconceptions About Alopecia
Below we will address some of the common misconceptions about alopecia.
- Alopecia only affects men — While it is true that the most common type of alopecia, androgenetic alopecia, does affect men more, it still occurs in women. Likewise, the other types of alopecia affect both men and women.
- Alopecia is caused by washing your hair too often — it is not true that alopecia is caused by washing your hair too often; clean hair is important for overall hair health.
- Cutting or shaving your hair can encourage hair regrowth — unfortunately, this is not true; cutting or shaving your hair won’t result in increased hair growth.
- Alopecia is contagious — alopecia is not contagious, so there is certainly no need to worry about catching hair loss from somebody else.
Treatment Options For Alopecia
There are several treatment options available for alopecia; the best treatment plan for you will depend on your age, how extreme the alopecia is and what the underlying cause of your alopecia is. For this reason, it’s best to consult a doctor to get a better understanding of the best treatment option for you. Below we will list some of the common treatment options.
- Over-the-counter medications — for some forms of patchy hair loss or total hair loss, it’s possible to buy over-the-counter topical medications to encourage new hair to grow.
- Prescription oral medication — there are some oral medications available that can block the hormone responsible for hair follicle shrinkage.
- Hair transplant surgery — this is a form of medical treatment that transplants hair from one part of the scalp to the thinning or balding area.
- Laser therapy — laser therapy can help to encourage hair regrowth by increasing blood flow in the scalp.
- Scalp micropigmentation — scalp micropigmentation can help to manage alopecia by tattooing small dots on the scalp that mimic the appearance of hair follicles.
How Scalp Micropigmentation Can Help Manage Alopecia And Improve Self-Esteem
Scalp micropigmentation is a non-invasive treatment for thinning, patchy or balding hair. By tattooing small dots on the scalp, scalp micropigmentation mimics the appearance of hair follicles. As SMP creates the illusion of a fuller head of hair, it is the ideal treatment for male and female pattern baldness, alopecia areata and patchy hair loss. The colour is carefully matched to your shade to ensure a streamlined and natural look. For the most part, SMP takes between 2-4 sessions to achieve the desired result, with the finished product lasting for several years.
Foli Sim is a reputable family-owned SMP provider offering compassionate, judgement-free consultations and services to get you back on track to feeling confident with your hair. We offer both scalp micropigmentation for men and scalp micropigmentation for women for varying degrees of hair loss.
All of our staff have been carefully trained to ensure you are in the best hands, so if you are considering scalp micropigmentation to help with your alopecia, please reach out to the Foli Sim team today!