What You Should Know About Alopecia Hair Loss
Updated: Sep 17, 2019
Alopecia areata is one of the most common causes of hair loss among both men and women around the world. Alopecia hair loss is marked by the hair falling out in patches, and it may result in either total baldness or bald patches. Around 2% of the public will experience alopecia in their lifetime.
So, we wanted to address some common questions about the condition we frequently hear from people coming to us for hair replacement options.
Five Common Questions About Alopecia Areata
1. What causes alopecia hair loss?
Unlike the sort of hair loss that naturally occurs from aging, alopecia is believed to be an autoimmune disorder. In short, the body's immune system becomes confused and begins attacking the follicles on a person's head.
While scientists are still investigating causes, chances are it's largely determined by genetics. In other words, there's very likely nothing that a person does which directly causes them to develop alopecia areata.
2. Can the hair grow back if someone has alopecia?
Most people with alopecia will go through cycles of hair growth and hair loss. Unfortunately, it is quite rare for the hair to permanently return. Many with alopecia simply shave their heads to avoid the trouble.
3. What is alopecia universalis?
Alopecia universalis is the rarest and extreme form of alopecia areata. With universalis, the hair loss is not limited to the head. The patient may lose all the hair on their entire body.
Of the approximately 2% of people who are likely to experience alopecia areata, only 20% of those will develop alopecia universalis. Or, roughly .4% of the population.
4. Are there treatments for alopecia hair loss?
Yes, there are several treatments - however, none are universal or guaranteed to work. This is an area of intense study among hair-loss researchers. Fortunately, if you do develop alopecia, your doctor should have a wide variety of treatments to try. Currently, some of the most effective treatments involve stimulating the scalp directly, to improve blood flow and nerve response.
5. Is stress related to alopecia hair loss?
Research is ongoing, but most evidence suggests there is at least some link. Those experiencing high stress seem to be more likely to have alopecia outbreaks - but limiting stress is no guarantee hair loss won't occur anyway.