Alopecia is a blanket term for hair loss of any kind. There are many types and causes of hair loss (Alopecia), most of which can be effectively treated. Hair loss may be genetically inherited, or it may be caused by a variety of other factors including protein or other dietary deficiency, hormonal imbalance and stress. Hair loss can also be the first sign of an otherwise undiagnosed or undetected underlying illness.
The most common type of hair loss for men and women is Androgenetic Alopecia. It is also the most difficult to treat. For males it can start as early as age sixteen for females age twelve, with this type of Alopecia and having a genetic predisposition, it is imperative that you seek the assistance of a qualified Trichologist immediately. Hair Health & Vitality Clinic is here to support and assist you through this difficult time.
Although there is no cure for this condition, hair loss can be limited or slowed down in some cases and treatments are likely to be more effective on women than on men. The important thing to understand is that the best that can be said of treatments for genetically inherited hair loss is that they can be effective to some degree, on some patients, some of the time.
Scarring Alopecia such as "Cicatricial" is one of the most difficult to treat. It can occur after infectious scalp disorders or, more rarely, they are auto-immune conditions (when the body attacks the hair follicle as it would invading bacteria). Bacterial and fungal infections are the common causes. The Trichologist and doctor will work closely together with the patient to correct the underlying problems related to the cause.
Other types of Alopecia that you may have heard of include Alopecia Areata, Alopecia Totalis, Alopecia Universalis and Traction Alopecia (there are others, too). These are all entirely distinct from Androgentic Alopecia (above) and have a much better chance of responding to professional diagnosis and treatment.
Hair problems including decreased manageability may rarely be one of the first signs of thyroid under secretion. The hair loss, if any, will be Diffuse Alopecia, and the condition has no pattern of loss and can therefore be confused with several other conditions, including Androgenetic Alopecia in women. The hair is in the Telogen cycle and the body is short of protein, mineral or iron.
Expert Trichological or medical advice is essential, to provide early treatment in supporting full recovery. Correct diagnosis will require blood tests from a medical professional.
More and more cases of diffuse hair loss in women are attributable to iron deficiency. This is probably more common amongst vegetarians and those with eating disorders. It is not always appreciated that iron deficiency can occur even though a patient is not clinically anaemic and has normal haemoglobin levels. As with thyroid problems, with which the symptoms of iron deficiency can be confused, a blood test is essential to correct diagnosis.
This type of hair loss is caused by hairdressing damage and other traumas involving chemicals, heat or physical trauma, often the sufferer is unaware of the causative factors. If diagnosed and treated before the scalp is damaged, hair will regrow in time.