Alopecia Areata: A Closer Look

Alopecia Areata is a condition that affects men, women, and children where they can lose hair in patches on their scalp from this disease. What causes hair loss is a change in your immune system. It attacks the hair follicles that are growing hair. This forces the hair follicle to go into a resting phase and that is where your hair loss begins.

Our society puts a lot of focus on our appearances it even more so on women. It is for this reason that many of those afflicted with alopecia areata off need help coping with the psychological effects that can happen with hair loss.

Alopecia Hair Loss

New Orleans Louisiana custom alopecia chemotherapy wigsAlopecia areata hair loss develops with bald patches on the scalp. The hair begins to break off into sort stubby patches. Some people will have hair loss that goes beyond just patches and they can go completely bald. There are three major forms of alopecia. Alopecia areata that we have discussed, and Alopecia Totalis is another form that causes hair to be lost on the entire scalp. Then there is Alopecia Universalis where an individual will lose all their body hair from head to toe.

When the hair does grow back if is often sporadic and it can happen in one area but maybe not on another. If you are someone with alopecia, then you know that styling your hair to cover bald patches can be difficult and often frustrating.

Factors Affecting Regrowth

For those with alopecia, about 10 percent will never regrow their hair back. Several factors can cause this:

  • A family medical history of alopecia areata
  • Onset before puberty or a bout longer than a year as a youth
  • Suffering from another autoimmune disease
  • Having many allergies
  • Substantial hair loss during your first episode

For those today that suffer from alopecia areata there are medical grade wigs that are night and day from wigs decades ago. Today they are much lighter and look and feel natural. Some you can even style just natural growing hair. There is also laser hair therapy that can help stimulate the hair follicles helping them to regrow hair that is thicker and healthy.

Dealing with Alopecia Questions

How you handle questions people have can often vary how you may respond depending on the situation. As an example, if your boss inquires, you would want to answer with respect. He may be concerned that you have an illness that may affect your productivity.

If a total stranger inquires on your hair loss, then you can be blunt and answer with, “it’s none of your business.” If a stranger is bold enough to come up to you and ask questions then you can respond in the same boldness.

When it comes to children you need to understand that they often have a lot of curiosity and they don’t understand personal boundaries. You can be honest and tell them you have a disease that only affects some people but it isn’t painful and you can’t catch it from me.

Alopecia and Personal Relationships

Whether you’re currently in a relationship or seeking one, thinning hair and baldness can make it stressful. In a perfect world, we wouldn’t judge others or ourselves on aesthetics. But, if you’re living with alopecia areata for female hair loss, you’re probably working through a range of emotional reactions. Your partner is also learning how to cope with your hair loss. And for many, it can be an emotionally bumpy ride. Learning about different ways to address hair loss in your current or future relationships can relieve a boatload of stress and anxiety. Specifically, increasing communication in your relationship is one way to increase intimacy and decrease worry and anxiety.

Talk, talk, talk!

Communication is an essential part of getting close to another person. Often, topics are passed by in relationships because of fear, shame, and embarrassment over their content area. Hair loss is one of those topics, especially for women. It’s no secret that standards for hair are quite different for men and women in our society. That should not be the case in your relationship. Instead, the space you share with your partner is one place where you can be your authentic self. If you’re feeling depressed and blue, pull your partner aside and share your emotions. Ask your partner about his/her worries, fears, joys, and ideas. Many people wait for an invitation to share themselves with their partner. Invite intimacy by remaining curious about your partner’s reaction to your hair loss. Even though it may be challenging, work to really listen to your partner rather than judging him/her.

Finding the Right Hair Loss Solution

Talking about emotions is only one critical part of communication about hair loss. Discussing factual information is also important. There is a lot of information “out there” today and a lot of hair loss treatment claims that seem too good to be true (and usually are).  It is important for you to find answers that you can trust and solutions that work for you.  That’s where a trusted hair loss professional with a proven track record can be a real life saver, helping you sift through all the competing claims and offering you genuine hair loss solutions and treatment options that will actually work for you.

Hair loss takes a significant toll on women’s emotional and psychological wellbeing.  According to a 1999 study published in the Journal of Women’s Health and Gender-Based Medicine, hair loss in women was associated with self-consciousness, jealousy and a feeling of powerlessness. If you’re living with alopecia areata or any condition that causes female hair loss or thinning hair, it’s time to take back your life. Far too many women are diagnosed with depression, anxiety, and other psychological disorders as a result of hair loss.

The American Academy of Dermatology reports that women are less able to cope with hair loss than men. Women are also less accepting of hair loss and they report lower levels of self-confidence. These findings do not demonstrate a weakness within you as a woman. Rather, they are a reflection of our society, which often places an inordinate value on women’s appearance. “It’s totally acceptable for a man to be bald,” says Dr. Brad Limmer. “It’s not a socially acceptable thing for a woman. So much emphasis and value is placed on a woman’s “crowning glory,” it is hard to even compare the impact on men and women.”

There are many excellent and proven hair loss solutions for women with thinning or balding hair. Women should no longer suffer in silence, especially with the array of hair loss treatment options and hair integration and replacement solutions available today.

With over 30 years experience, we have the experience to address every type of hair loss from male pattern baldness, to female hair loss and thinning hair. Our professional staff will help you identify the best approach and answer your questions. We encourage you to consider making an appointment for a free hair loss evaluation and consultation today.