September is recognized as alopecia awareness month. Although many people may not be aware of what alopecia is, the condition affects millions of Americans.
Health professionals recognize that hair loss conditions, especially when severe, can have a psychological impact, including anxiety, depression, and socialization issues. Alopecia causes hair loss in both men and women, and while hair loss can be distressing, there are effective treatments and hair restoration methods available.
What is Alopecia?
Alopecia is a term used to describe a variety of hair loss conditions. The symptoms of alopecia vary and range from patches of hair loss to complete hair loss over the entire body. While there are treatments that can help patients regrow hair, there is no cure for alopecia.
Who is Affected by Alopecia?
Alopecia affects men, women, and children and can start at any age. The condition affects nearly 35 million men and 21 million women.
Nearly 40% of men begin showing symptoms of hair loss by age 35. The rate increases with age, with almost 65% of men having noticeable hair loss by age 60 and 80% by age 80. While often thought of as a primarily male issue, statistics show that over 40% of women experience some visible hair loss by age 40. Like men, aging causes hair loss to increase in women, and by the age of 60, nearly 80% of women experience some hair loss.
Types of Alopecia
There are several types of alopecia, each with various symptoms and treatments.
- Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease that can affect any part of the body, including the scalp. The condition is caused when the immune system attacks your hair follicles. Alopecia areata typically starts with patchy hair loss, and while most people recover within a year, the condition may return or lead to more severe hair loss.
- Androgenic alopecia, also known as male or female pattern baldness, is a genetic condition that affects the scalp. The condition makes the hair follicles shrink and miniaturize, causing them to produce weaker and less hair over time. Androgenic alopecia is more common in men, with symptoms usually appearing between 20 and 40.
- Telogen effluvium is a type of hair loss that causes excessive hair shedding. It is caused by various things, including illness, surgery, injury, mental or physical stress. Telogen effluvium typically causes excessive hair shedding several months after the triggering event, and most people find that their hair growth returns to normal within a year.
- Anagen effluvium is a hair loss caused by interference in the hair's growth cycle while the hair is in the anagen or active growth stage. Environmental triggers, such as chemotherapy, radiation, or poisoning, can interfere with the production of keratin, necessary for hair growth, and the hair cell's ability to divide and grow.
- Traumatic alopecia is caused by chemicals, scarring, or tension on your scalp or hair follicles. Tight hairstyles, chemical hair treatments, styling tools, and trichotillomania, a mental disorder characterized by the irresistible urge to pull out your hair, are all types of traumatic alopecia.
What Can You Do?
Hair loss will affect most people at some time during their life. While there is no single treatment for all types of alopecia, some treatments have been proven effective for some types of hair loss.
At New Image, we use the most advanced technology and medical developments to help treat hair loss conditions. We offer clients custom treatment plans designed to stop their hair loss and promote the regrowth of healthy hair. To learn more about alopecia and what you can do about it, contact us today and schedule your FREE initial consultation.