Alopecia: a guide to causes, types and treatments

ItsLucyItsLucy
Aug. 26
Hair loss can be a distressing thing. If you’re losing hair rapidly and suddenly, you may want to find out if you’re experiencing a form of alopecia.
What is alopecia?
Alopecia is sudden and rapid loss of hair and usually begins as hair loss in patches (alopecia areata) which may or may not extend to become complete hair loss of all hair on the body (alopecia universalis). Affecting about 7 million people in the United States, it usually occurs before the age of 30. Although there is as of today no cure for this condition, people often experience full recovery without the need for treatment. 
Although this disease is not contagious or life-threatening, it can cause a lot of emotional stress, or even emotional trauma. There is therapy and support groups to help people living with this condition that you can join. 
Causes
Alopecia areata is an auto-immune condition, arising when your white blood cells fail to recognise your own hair cells and begin to attack your own hair follicles. Scientists have been able to establish some genetic link; one in five people with the disease has a family member who has developed alopecia areata, and an identical twin has a 50% chance of developing the condition if their other twin has it, but unfortunately, the exact causes of this disease still have not been established. Research has suggested that alopecia areata may share a common cause to vitiligo, also an autoimmune skin disease, except melanocytes that produce skin pigment are attacked, leading to white patches developing across the body.
Symptoms
Hair falling out in small patches about the size of a coin, is the main sign of alopecia areata. Alopecia areata can begin anytime, but for most people, it develops during childhood and adolescence. The condition can be spontaneous and unpredictable. In some people, hair grows back and the condition does not reappear. But in others, the hair may fall out again.
Diagnosis
A doctor can spot alopecia areata based on the extent of hair loss and by using trichoscopy, an technique that looks at your hair and scalp at a 10x -70x magnification to examine what your hair looks like at a microscopic level. Some people, especially children, may also show nail defects like pitting or lesions.
Types of alopecia
Alopecia areata is the name given to patchy hair loss. There are subtypes of this though, including:
Diffuse alopecia areata, which is hair lost across the whole scalp.
Alopecia areata monolocularis, which is hair loss only in one spot.
Alopecia areata multilocularis, which is hair loss in multiple spots.
Ophiasis alopecia, which is hair loss in a wave-shaped formation across the sides and the lower back of the scalp.
Alopecia totalis, which is total hair loss on the scalp.
Alopecia universalis, which is total body hair loss, including public hair.
Treatment
Although there is no known treatment that can definitively end the condition, there are some things you can try to help your hair grow back more quickly and slow down hair loss.
Medical treatments
There are a number of topical medications that you can apply to your scalp to stimulate hair growth:
  • Anthralin (Dritho-Scalo) induces new hair growth by irritating the skin.
  • Minoxidil (Rogaine) has been shown to be useful for people with limited alopecia areata. It’s readily available as an OTC drug.
  • Corticosteroid creams, e.g. clobetasol (Impoyz) can decrease inflammation in the hair follicle
  • Topical immunotherapy – this involves a chemical, such as diphencyprone, that causes an allergic rash in the skin and may stimulate new hair growth within six months. Continuous treatment is required to maintain the regrowth.
Steroid injections can help hair grow back on mild, patchy bald spots. Although it can’t stop further hair loss, it can help you to regrow hair, although an injection is needed every one to two months.
Oral tablets like cortisone and immunosuppresants such as methotrexate and cyclosporine are only reserved for more extensive alopecia covering a large area or multiple parts of your body. They have severe side effects and so should only be considered after a discussion with your doctor.
Natural treatment
Natural treatments haven’t gone through the same rigorous clinical tests that medical treatments have, so they may not necessarily work for everyone. However, there are some commonly used natural treatments that some people swear by.
  • Onion juice
  • Rosemary essential oil
  • Vitamins like zinc and biotin
  • An “anti-inflammatory” diet consisting mainly of meat and vegetables
  • Ginseng
  • Aromatherapy
  • Acupuncture
Have you experienced hair loss before? How did you treat it and cope with it? Show your support and share your experiences with us in the comments section below.
Best Reviews
My AM routine while rocking cherie merch!
My AM routine while rocking cherie merch!
@cheriethanks for the cute sweatshirt! I am obsessed. Here is my am routine! sisley - FLORAL TONING LOTION First I tone and prep my skin with this toner. I love this toner so much because it is so hydrating and doesn’t strip the skin. It also moisturizes while helping to clean and prep it to absorb other products. NATURIUM - Hyaluronic Acid Essence 2% Then I use this essence. I love this brand so much and this essence is so hydrating and light. It helps plump and prepares it for the serum. NATURIUM - Niacinamide Serum 12% Plus Zinc 2% Next I use this serum which I have been enjoying. It is super gentle that I can even use it during the day. So far my skin has been tolerating it very well. I also notice my dark spots decreasing much quicker. LORD JONES - Acid Mantle Repair CBD Moisturizer Then I use this moisturizer that I am obsessed with. It so far has been my favorite product of the year. It’s so hydrating and calming. It feels amazing on the skin as well. Last I finish off with a sunscreen. I previously reviewed this before! It’s from Korean brand Corthe. ^^ what do you like to do in your morning routine?
GRWM! New products and some old!
GRWM! New products and some old!
Hello everyone! I did another GRWM using some new and old products! First I started off with a primer. I used e.l.f. - Poreless Putty Primer I was actually really surprised by this. It reminded me of Tachas silk canvas primer. It went on smoothly and did a good job of blurring my skin. I will say though after I looked at my makeup in the mirror up close it did settle a bit into my pores and my creases and was pretty noticeable. Overall I think this is a good product and will work for people with smoother skin. e.l.f. - 16HR Camo Concealer Then I used the elf concealer. I love this concealer. I’ve used it so many other times in my other videos. WINKY LUX - Diamond Powder Foundation Then I used the winky lux foundation. This actually went on so nicely and was super natural looking. I love how it’s so weightless and decreases shine. I would recommend this for people with oilier skin. the CRÈME shop - "Macro Brow" Angled Brow Pencil + Spooley Then i used macro brow. This is just to fill in the last bits of my eyebrow to look fuller. It’s easy to use and has a great price point. I just wish the pigment was a little easier to apply. You have to push so hard. RITUEL DE FILLE - Rare Light Crème Luminizer My favorite brand of highlighters ever. Just so pretty and pigmented. All natural and cruelty free. An amazing brand overall. 💞 fresh - Sugar Lip Treatment Sunscreen SPF 15 I used a tinted fresh lip treatment. Love the way they hydrate and the subtle color it gives off. They also smell and taste really good 😂. Hope you enjoyed getting ready with me! Let me know if you have any questions about the products I used.
Trying out a new brand! I love it!
Trying out a new brand! I love it!
I was lucky enough to try these new products from Dermtella ! This is a science based brand founded by doctors. I have to say I was really surprised at how well the products worked with my skin! I used the Centella Purifying Gel Cleanser. What’s in it: ⚡️ Centella Asiatica Extract ⚡️ Matcha Green Tea ⚡️ Squalane ⚡️ Oat Amino Acids #Dermtella - Centella Purifying Gel Cleanser[products]#[FiveStars] At first I was surprised when I saw the color of the cleanser but then I realized there was matcha green tea. It did an amazing job of cleaning my skin without feeling dry or stripped. I really enjoyed this cleanser. Next I used the Glow2O™ Brightening Toner. What’s in it: ⚡️ Niacinamide ⚡️ Colloidal Oatmeal ⚡️ Hyaluronic Acid ⚡️ Probiotic Enzymes ⚡️ Centella Asiatica Extract #Dermtella - Glow2O™ Brightening Toner[products]#[FiveStars] This toner has amazing ingredients. It also has no fragrance and no scent at all. It leaves the skin feeling really clean and balanced. It is so hydrating and does an amazing job of prepping the skin. Last I used NiaSkin™ Face Moisturizer. What’s in it: ⚡️ Niacinamide ⚡️ Peptides ⚡️ Oatmeal Amino Acids ⚡️ Hyaluronic Acid ⚡️ Ceramide Complex #Dermtella - NiaSkin™ Face Moisturizer[products]#[FiveStars] This moisturizer is amazing. All the products are so calming because they have oat ingredients within them. They are all super hydrating as well. This moisturizer glides on and leaves skin feeling amazing. Over a week just using these products I noticed my skin get brighter and feel more hydrated and firm. I really am grateful to have received these products because now they will be a staple in my routine. 🌟Products were gifted🌟
No-Heat Style
No-Heat Style
Let’s learn a no heat style! Start by gathering your hair to one side Begin a rope braid in the front by twisting two pieces. Add hair to each section and twist again. Continue this pattern until you reach your ear. Split the remaining hair into two. While holding the section pop index finger and thumb through. Grab through the other section and repeat! Secure with an elastic. Xo
Kylie x Grinch - Worth the Hype?
Kylie x Grinch - Worth the Hype?
Review time!!! I just received the entire Kylie Cosmetics Grinch Collection in the mail this week & I want to break down each product and tell you what I loved and didn’t love. Palette: I’m not one that reaches for tons of colour usually but all the greens in this palette are gorgeous! There’s a mix of matte and shimmer shades, and as usual, the shadows blend like a dream! The good thing about this palette is that there are still some neutral shades rather than just greens. I definitely appreciate the mixture of shades. Shadow Sticks: The Kylie shadow sticks are probably one of my favourite products they have ever released. They are so extremely pigmented, and so easy to apply. They’re basically fool proof, and they set as a shadow. If you haven’t tried them out, I highly suggest you do! In this collection we have a super pretty light shimmery green, light gold, and two rosy toned shadow sticks. Shimmer Eye Glazes: This product is insane. They are a super intensely pigmented eyeshadow that leaves the lids looking wet & dripping in glitter! One swipe of these on the lid is literally all you need for that intense shimmer. If you’re someone who loves super shimmery eyeshadow, I recommend giving the Kylie Cosmetics Shimmer Eye Glazes a try. This collection came with 2 shades: a minty turquoise green and a gold - & I’m obsessed and so happy to be adding these to my collection!! Olive Kyliner: My go to liquid liner is the black Kyliner, so i wasn’t surprised when i loved the easy application and long wearing quality of this olive Kyliner! The liner applies a lighter olive green and dries down to a deeper olive shade. It’s definitely not something I’d reach for everyday, although it’s definitely cute for the holidays or even for a pop of colour to a neutral eye! Blush: I am a huge fan of the Kylie Cosmetics Blushes as opposed to the other blushes I’ve tried from the brand this one had some shimmer in it! It’s quite similar to the NARS “orgasm” blush but with a stronger pink hue. I love the shimmer in it, it adds a pretty glow to the cheeks, perfect for the holidays.. or any day really :P Highlight: Def on theme, but probably my least favourite product in of the collection :( Don’t get me wrong, it’s super blinding and glowy. Although, once I applied to my face it showed off as very green. Personally I don’t want a green glow on my face! But hey, if that’s your vibe that’s cool! Definitely not a highlight I’d reach for everyday. Lip Kit: Obsessed. This red is EVERYTHING! This Lip Kit is one of the best reds I have ever tried. It has a matte finish and is extremely long wearing. I know it’s sold out but a similar shade would be “BOSS” by Kylie. Lipsticks: These shades are gorg for the holidays and I love the shade range! Long wearing & comfortable on the lips. High Glosses: Kylies high glosses are high shine, but very sticky! So if you’re not a fan of sticky glosses you won’t love these. These shades are perf for the holidays and everyday!