Did you know the word “alopecia” is originated from the Greek word “alōpēx”? In Greek, it means “fox” and refers to the constant hair loss suffered by these animals during life. Alopecia is a very common problem that may affect a lot of people. You don’t hear the term “alopecia” very often, but it simply means hair loss. So, it refers to a situation when your hair falls out in small patches. It varies in different people and sometimes the patches are not even noticeable. However, when they connect together, you can visibly see the patches of hair. It is said that alopecia develops when immune cells target hair follicles and attack them. Of course, it cannot be a life-threatening condition, but it can affect people’s quality of life massively, since it can sometimes be very distressing.
There are various types of alopecia that we have briefly introduced them here. A very common type is called androgenic alopecia that can affect both men and women. It is the most common form of hair loss. Fortunately, this type does not cause any scar on the scalp and is not a sever or life-threatening condition.
In men it is called male pattern baldness and may happen early in life such as before 20 years of age. The male pattern is described by gradual loss of hair which usually begins on the crown part (near the top of the head) or frontal scalp. In addition to that, the remaining hairs suffer from thinning.
In women, women pattern baldness, the situation is not as bad or noticeable as it is in men. Luckily for ladies, it very rarely results in baldness. If you are a woman, you probably only suffer from hair thinning which is usually not very noticeable until your 40s or even later in life. However, remember that in some cases some hair loss may occur at your crown and the hair thinning can affect the entire scalp.
This type of hair loss is caused by a number of genetic factors as well as environmental ones. There are enough scientific evidences that relate this type of alopecia to a special type of hormones called androgens which is said to be involved in controlling hair growth. Androgenic alopecia can be inherited, although the pattern is not very clear yet. But, if you have a close family member with this condition, then that means you are at a higher risk of suffering from hair loss compared to others.
Alopecia areata, you may know it as “spot baldness”, is another type of hair loss that is known to be the second most common type of hair loss that does not cause any scar on the scalp. This type usually results in a few bald spots on the head that can be as big as a small coin. It affects nearly 2% of total population at some point during their life. 2% may seem to be a little number, but if you think about the total population on our planet, you will realise how big the number is. Alopecia areata can occur at almost any age. Although it is most common before 40 years of age, mostly between 25 and 36 years old. Also, it may happen at earlier ages such as between 5 to 10 years, but that represents a more severe type of alopecia.
But how or why does it happen? Firstly, you should know that this type is considered an autoimmune disease. You probably don’t know what autoimmunity means; it usually refers to a situation in which your immune system attacks your own body. In case of alopecia areata, the immune system mistakenly attacks hair follicles and destroys them. This results in a hair loss and prevention of hair growth. Infection could be a cause of alopecia areata. Although there is clear scientific evidence that genetic is involved. In other words, if you have family history of alopecia areata then you are more prone to develop this condition.
Sadly, there is no permanent cure for alopecia, if you hear such a claim do not believe it. Although this does not mean nothing can be done about alopecia. Luckily, there are lots of treatments and hair supplements out there for you that can stimulate your hair growth and help you to get them back. It may be hard to find the right treatment, but if you find a good one that works for you, then the least you can expect is to slow down the future hair loss.
In general, everyone would love to have nice beautifully looking hair, just like those you see in hair supplement adverts. Unfortunately, the truth is there is no hair supplement that can make a miracle happen and grow all your hairs back within a short time. If you see such a claim, undoubtedly it is a fraud. However, the secret for having your hair back is simple: consistency and patience. In other words, be consistent in nourishing your hair with all the required ingredients (possibly with a healthy balanced diet, or a good hair supplement) and lastly, be patient and wait for it to happen.