What you need to know about Alopecia

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September 15, 2021

By: Jhanae Winter

Hair loss is distressing for both men and women, but being unaware of what is going on and having no knowledge on how to deal with it is considerably worse. 

The medical term for hair loss is Alopecia. It is a condition that attacks the scalp and hair follicles resulting in hair loss. 

According to Christina Poitier, CEO of Gifted Hair & Nails Beauty Salon and a certified Hair-loss Practitioner and Hair Loss specialist, Alopecia can be related to a disease (autoimmune disorder, hypo and hyper thyroid, anemia, etc), hormones (pregnancy, menopause,PCOS) or the use of certain medications. Stress, improper hair hygiene, certain types of hairstyles (traction alopecia), poor diet, connective tissue disease (scarring) can all play a role in the severity of Alopecia, she said.

Hair Hygiene is a must in protecting one’s hair. Cleansing and treatment of the scalp and hair regularly can reduce the chances of scalp disorders that can contribute to hair loss. 

Taking proper care of the scalp and hair while undergoing intense chemical changes such as bleaches, relaxers and dyes is equally important. If not correctly done it can lead to scarring or Cicatricial Alopecia.

The signs and symptoms can vary from person to person. 

Commonly, it can occur through one or more small well-defined patches of hair thinning and balding that are undetectable but can become more noticeable overtime as balding increases. 

On the extreme end it can result in total body hair loss. It typically affects eyebrows, eyelashes and the face.

Poitier explained that alopecia can happen in both men and women, the most common form being Androgenetic alopecia (genetic) or the male and female pattern baldness. 

In men, the hair loss is seen commonly above the temple, resulting in receding or “M” shaped hairlines, or thinning on top of the hair until complete baldness occurs. 

Although in women baldness is less likely to happen, they too experience hair thinning where the hair is regularly parted and at the top of the hair.

For women and children, they can also suffer from Traction Alopecia, thinning of the edges, due to the pulling and tension on the hair follicles with certain hairstyles, the Hair loss specialist said. 

If the signs or symptoms mentioned above are detected it is best to contact a Hairloss specialist to determine which treatment options would be most suitable.

Hair loss should not be confused with hair breakage. Hair breakage occurs “when the hair stand is stressed and loses its protective outer layer”, Poitier said. 

Hair loss however cannot be seen with the naked eye. The damage is done beyond the surface scalp or skin areas and requires a microscopic view to determine the severity of the disorder. 

Diagnosed Alopecia is incurable and ranges from mild to severe or is categorized in stages. However, treatment options are available. 

Some treatments can slow down the rate of hair loss, help hair grow back or even worsen the condition. The important thing to note is that Alopecia can vary for each person and treatment is not a one size fit all. For example, some people experience hair growth after treatment, but there is a possibility that the hair will shed again, while for others this is not the case.

Medical treatment for Alopecia includes over-the-counter and prescription such as Minoxidil (Rogaine), Anthralin (Dritho-Scalp), Corticosteroid creams (clobetasol, foams, lotions, and ointments) and Topical immunotherapy is a technique in which a chemical like diphencyprone is applied to the skin to spark an allergic rash, according to Healthline.

Other medical treatments include injections, oral treatments and light therapy.

Alternative treatments are also used for those who seek this route.

These include: “aromatherapy, acupuncture, microneedling, probiotics, low-level laser therapy , vitamins (zinc and biotin), aloe vera drinks and topical gels, onion juice, essential oils (tea tree, rosemary, lavender, and peppermint), other oils (coconut, castor, olive, and jojoba),  an “anti-inflammatory” diet, scalp massage, herbal supplements (such as ginseng, green tea, Chinese hibiscus, and saw palmetto)”, according to Healthline.

“Oils and creams may only produce a temporary solution but mainly hair loss is treated from the inside out to help control or prevent reoccurrence,” Poitier said.

It is imperative for people to be knowledgeable about what is happening to their hair to ensure the prosperity of their hair’s health. 

“A lot of people are not aware that they may be suffering from hair loss. Most of the time women especially, believe that it’s because of a certain hairstyle and then that fact is discarded. Hair loss is temporary; it only becomes permanent when it is left untreated.

“Seek professional help not everything is a D.I.Y eventually things will get worse”, Poitier said.

Gifted Hair & Nails Beauty Salon offers a range of services for Alopecia such as, Scalp detox/ scalp exfoliation, steam hydration treatment, oxygen treatment, and low light laser therapy.

News date : 09/15/2021    Category : Health

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