Understanding Alopecia
09 / 07 / 18

Understanding Alopecia and Options for Treatment

Alopecia can be defined simply as hair loss, or the loss of hair regardless of the place on the human body. However, it’s more complicated when you focus on the reason for the hair loss, as there are plenty of reasons why humans lose their hair.

In general, all humans lose hair on a regular basis — it’s normal to see about 100 strands a day fall from your head. Those hair follicles are always dying and growing anew, all on different life cycles. You’ll also lose the hair on your other body parts, too, albeit not necessarily as noticeably or quickly.

However, there is cause for concern when the hair loss is happening faster than normal, when you might be noticing that the hair on your head is thinning at a rapid rate. For some people, hair may fall off in patches, or hair might not regrow as it should. The type of alopecia that you are experiencing may vary, so read on to learn all the different types!

The Different Types of Alopecia

  • Involutional alopecia: This condition is natural for all aging humans. As we get older, so do the hair follicles. This is sometimes referred to as senescent alopecia.
  • Androgenetic alopecia: This genetic condition is one of the most common types of hair loss. Your genetic makeup determines how quickly you might experience hair loss through your body’s androgen — hormones like testosterone — production.
  • Alopecia areata: This condition is caused by an autoimmune disorder, and typically occurs suddenly in patients. Autoimmune disorders are when a person’s own immune system attacks itself. Unknown triggers causes your antibodies to become overactive, causing damage to your own tissue, like the ones supporting the hair on your head.
  • Cicatricial alopecia: Sometimes referred to as scarring alopecia, this condition refers to a group of rare disorders or events that attack the hair follicles, causing irreversible hair loss. It can be caused by fungal infections, chemicals placed onto the head, lichen planopilaris, and more.
    Trichotillomania: This type of hair loss is caused by a psychological disorder that causes the person to pull their own hair out, typically subconsciously.
  • Telogen effluvium: This condition occurs when there’s a physical or psychological stressor that causes almost all of the hair follicles to go into a resting phase all at once. It may seem like a sudden occurrence, and almost all hair would be affected. This typcially happens in response to events like surgery, chemotherapy, pregnancy, etc.

If you’re looking to address your hair loss, it’s important to communicate thoroughly with a hair loss professional so that a custom and effective treatment plan can be created for you. As there are different reasons for hair loss, there are different methods for treating it, too.

How to Treat Alopecia

  • Lifestyle changes: For many people, hair loss can be dealt with by addressing some of the issues in your daily routine, like your diet for instance. Many nutrients and vitamins are essential for hair growth, and it’s important that you’re getting them on a daily basis. For some, it could be lack of sleep or stress, and figuring out how to deal with that stress to deal with the hair loss.
  • Oral and topical medication: Sometimes, changes in your hormone production may trigger hair loss. Treatments like the XTC Hair Regrowth System uses both oral and topical methods to combat the over-production of a certain hormone called DHT, which could have an adverse effect on hair growth.
  • Laser hair therapy: Low level laser hair therapy, or LLLT, is a non-surgical method for regrowing hair. There are a variety of devices that use safe and regulated levels of lasers to stimulate cellular activity to encourage hair growth in targeted areas.
  • Hair transplant surgery: Follicular unit transplant is a treatment usually offered to patients with irreversible hair loss. This safe procedure takes donated, healthy hair follicles and transplants them into the scalps of patients looking for a more permanent and effective solution for their needs.
  • Non-surgical hair grafting: This modern method of treating hair loss applies a piece that looks like skin directly onto a patient’s scalp. This piece will have hair attached to it that can be customized to match the patient’s hair. From Omnigraft to Virtuesse, there are a variety of non-surgical hair options for patients.
  • Wigs and hairpieces: This cost-effective solution is typically offered to those looking for flexibility and options. Custom wigs can be fun, yet offer the right solution to patients who may be looking to get through chemotherapy, trichitillomania, or some other event in their lives.

With the quickly-evolving landscape of science and technology, new and exciting options are constantly being discovered, and people are now met with more options than ever before. If you’re looking to get started with exploring different hair loss treatments, come to our Los Angeles hair loss clinics and speak with an experienced stylist today!

A hair and scalp consultation is free with your first appointment. Book online here!