There are many different forms of alopecia hair loss (the term alopecia simply means hair loss) but baldness is the most common. It can affect both men and women. Here are 7 facts you should know about baldness and other forms of alopecia hair loss:
1. Causes of baldness can include hereditary factors, various types of medications including chemotherapy, large doses of Vitamin A, and immune system irregularities.
2. The following causes of alopecia hair loss can often be reversed:
- birth control pills and pregnancy
- low-protein diet
- thyroid complications
- menstruation resulting in low iron levels in the blood
- hair pulling due either to anxiety or hair styles that demand tight braiding
- chemical and coloring treatments for the hair as well as excessive shampooing
3. Anyone coping with hair loss should take simple precautions such as avoiding the use of blow dryers or combing the hair while it is wet and especially fragile.
4. Chemotherapy drugs can affect the cells in the hair follicle responsible for hair growth. In such cases the hair often regrows after the treatment is finished although it may have a different texture and color.
5. If you are affected by alopecia hair loss, you can learn to cope by:
- Educating yourself as much as possible about the condition through personal research and obtaining information from medical professionals
- Joining support groups where you can discuss your condition and the implications in your life. The internet offers forums and discussion groups you may wish to join.
- Adjusting mental attitude about self-image, avoiding over-concern about appearance, and using camouflage, wigs, or cosmetic options to minimize the overall visual effect of hair loss.
6. Minimize discomfort from alopecia hair loss by using sunscreens on the scalp and face or by wearing wigs, hats or scarves to protect the head.
7. In the case of alopecia hair loss due to the immune system turning on the hair follicles by mistake, corticosteroid drugs may be administered to suppress the immune system. Corticosteroid drugs can be given through injection, orally, or in topical creams or ointments.
Alopecia hair loss can be distressing there is no doubt. However, a thorough education about the subject and proper diagnosis from a qualified medical practitioner can do much to alleviate undue anxiety.
Here are some organizations you may wish to keep in mind as you learn more about alopecia hair loss:
National Alopecia Areata Foundation:
American Hair Loss Council: