Everyone tends to lose hair at different ages, and this is quite natural. But when there is excessive hair loss from the scalp or other parts of the body, it is called Alopecia. Alopecia hair loss affects men as well as women. Even teenagers are sometimes a victim of alopecia.
Alopecia is a painless disease, and it can start at any age. Alopecia can be caused due to many factors like tension stress, weight loss, surgery, and thyroid. Also some medical treatments like kidney failure and radiation or chemotherapy. Even pregnancy sometimes can cause alopecia. Some forms of this alopecia may be genetic, and some may be due to excessive styling, braiding, heat treatments, etc. There is no cure for alopecia but there are some ways to keep these under check, and they are surgeries for those with baldness too.
Let first have a look at the different types before we run to the alopecia hair loss treatment.
What Is Alopecia Hair Loss? Different Types Of Alopecia Hair Loss
Androgenic alopecia, also known as “male pattern baldness,” can strike young as well as old people. Women can get this too. It’s genetic, so having a family history can predict if you might inherit it. In both men and women, it’s linked to having an excess of male hormones (androgens) around the hair follicles, which can block hair growth. Women are more likely to develop androgenic alopecia after menopause when they have fewer female hormones. Approximately 50% men by the age of 50 years and 15% of women before the time they reach Menopause have some degrees of androgenic alopecia present in them.
Female Pattern Baldness Or Androgenetic Alopecia
Female pattern baldness is known as Androgenetic Alopecia, which is seen in women. It is very seldom that female patients experience complete hair loss. Usually, women lose hair in patches. The hair loss usually starts from hair thinning at the front, side or at the crown.
Scarring alopecia is a form of hair loss that results in scarring; where scarred areas will not regrow hair. This type of alopecia may have several causes. For example, fungus can leave permanent bald patches.
Alopecia areata causes a few temporary bald patches on the scalp. It tends to run in families and usually strikes in childhood. This hair loss problem probably is a part of an immune system disorder. In this disease, the body’s natural defenses mistakenly attack its own tissue. Once the hair has fallen out in certain spots, new growth is suppressed for weeks or months. This type of alopecia sometimes affects people who have other “autoimmune” diseases like thyroid disease, lupus, or pernicious anemia. Sometimes, it may produce complete scalp baldness (alopecia totalis) or total loss of body hair (alopecia universalis).
[ Read: Home Remedies To Control Hair Fall ]
Telogen effluvium is a form of hair loss often associated with pregnancy, medication use, life stress, or surgery. It results in a larger amount of hair cycling into the resting (telogen) state where the hairs are ready to fall out. This type of alopecia usually improves on its own after several months. After a few months, the hair follicles are usually back at their growing state, and the hair loss ceases.
Traction alopecia usually occurs as a result of certain hairstyles such as braids, high ponytails, cornrows, chignons, buns or twists if worn regularly. The main reason for this type of alopecia is pulling of the hair follicle. Some signs of this are tension, headaches, itchiness, red scalp or random bald patches. There may even be hair breakage around the scalp.
Main Causes Of Alopecia Hair Loss
There are many causes for alopecia to occur. The causes may be allergies, toxins, chemicals, burns, injuries and infections. Also, some medications like anabolic steroids can cause hair loss like those used in kidney failure, chemotherapy, and radiation. Even Vitamin A overdose may lead to hair fall, iron deficiency, anemia, thyroid, fever or pregnancy. Hair fall can also result when one indulges in too much bleaching, dyeing, tight braiding, blow drying or using hot curlers.
Here are a few causes based on the type.
- Pattern Baldness: This occurs due to heredity factors. The genetic factors determine the age at which the person starts experiencing hair loss. It also determines the pattern, development, speed of hair fall and also the extent of hair loss.
- Scarring Alopecia: This is caused due to many factors. The hair follicles get damaged due to inflammation. This happens due to many skin conditions.
- Alopecia Areata: Alopecia areata is defined as an autoimmune disease. It is also believed that genetic factors create this alopecia.
- Telogen Effluvium: Telogen effluvium is caused by a sudden change in the hair growth cycle. This sudden change can be due to many factors such as due to physical or emotional stress, high fever, weight loss or surgery.
- Traction Alopecia: Traction alopecia is caused due to regularly doing hairstyles which need your hair to be pulled back too tightly or due to excessive hairstyling.
Alopecia Hair Loss Treatment
Minoxidil (Rogaine): This is a nonprescription medication approved for androgenetic alopecia and alopecia areata. Minoxidil comes in liquid as well as foam form which needs to be rubbed twice into the scalp each day. This is the most effective method of treatment for male-pattern as well as female-pattern hair loss. However, only 30-40% patients experience hair growth.
This treatment is also fairly effective for alopecia areata. Hair regrowth takes 8 to 12 months. The treatment has to be continued for an infinite time as stopping treatment will mean the hair loss will start again. This is hence not a permanent solution.
Finasteride (Propecia): This is used in Male –pattern hairloss as a pill which has to be consumed on a daily basis. It is not recommended for pregnant women. The treatment takes around 6-8 months. The possible side effects include increased libido, erectile dysfunction, ejaculatory dysfunction, gynecomastia, and myopathy.
[ Read: Treatment for hair loss ]
AminoMar C (Viviscal): Viviscal has patented this marine complex which is said to nourish hair follicle from within. Using AminoMar C with supplements for 4-6 months has shown hair to become stronger and more vibrant. The treatment has also has shown significant signs of hair growth too.
Anthralin (Dritho- Scalp): This is an ointment that is applied to the scalp and washed off. The application has to be done each day. This cream may take 6 to 12 months to show any significant results.
Corticosteroids: A treatment for alopecia areata is corticosteroid which is injected into the scalp. This method works quickly although if there is rapid hair loss oral pills are also prescribed to tackle the hair loss. The results may take up to a month to be seen.
Hormonal Modulators: Female pattern hair loss which may be the result of the excessive male hormone secretion may be controlled with the use of oral contraceptives or antiandrogens. These help to reduce hair loss associated with hyperandrogenemia.
Alopecia Areata treatment along with other types using home remedies
When your hair falls in bunches, round bald patches are formed there. To cure this condition naturally and make new hair grow in those parts, crush onions and extract the juice. Using a clean cotton pad apply this juice on the bald areas 1 hour before washing your hair. Following this process regularly helps in stimulating new growth on those places.
Black Gram Hair Mask
Take a cup of black gram and boil it until soft. Now grind this mixture to paste and apply this as your scalp mask before going to bed at night. Wear a shower cap and sleep. Wash your hair and scalp thoroughly with fresh water and a mild shampoo next morning. Following this process thrice a week gives astonishing results in developing new hair follicles on the bald areas soon.
Take jojoba and grape seed oils and mix thyme, lavender, rosemary, and cedarwood essential oils with them. Massage this mixture of essential oils every day into your scalp. Although a slightly time-consuming home remedy, it is scientifically proven to be an effective remedy to cure alopecia. So you can rest assured, this is one home remedy for alopecia that will show results, albeit after a few months of daily application.
In several Eastern and Middle Eastern cultures, henna is used as a natural conditioner for the hair. It imparts a reddish hue to the hair. Those who use henna claim that it keeps dandruff at bay, and makes the hair soft and shiny. It is also an effective remedy for hair loss, especially alopecia. Make a paste of henna powder using normal water. Apply this paste all over your scalp. Let it stand for about 30 minutes to 1 hour before rinsing it off thoroughly.
Many people who have tried this home remedy for alopecia found it to be extremely effective. Massage the oil into your scalp, and then bind your head with a soft cloth and let the oil stay on the hair overnight. The following day, wash as usual. Use this treatment once a week for a couple of months, and you will notice new hair growth.
Lemon Seeds And Pepper Corns
Take seven lemons and remove the seeds. Keep aside the lemons, as you need the seeds for this home remedy for alopecia. Add about 8 to 10 black pepper corns to the seeds and crush them together. Apply the paste on the bald patches twice a day. While there could be some skin irritation, you will notice new hair growth in a few weeks’ time.
Take some fenugreek seeds and soak them in water overnight. The following morning, strain the liquid and massage it thoroughly into your scalp. Cover your head with a soft cloth, so that the liquid enters the hair follicles. This home remedy for alopecia can control your hair loss problem from worsening.
6. Egg Yolk
In several Eastern cultures, egg yolk is used to nourish the hair. It is not surprising that it has made its way into the list of home remedies to cure alopecia. Break open an egg and separate the white from the yolk. Mix the yolk with a fork and then massage it thoroughly into your scalp. Leave the yolk for an hour. You can keep it longer if you do not mind the odor. Rinse the yolk and wash your hair to get rid of the smell. Applying the yolk every day for a fortnight will lead to a marked improvement in your alopecia condition.
Are just topical applications enough to cure alopecia? One should stay physically healthy to maintain a beautiful hair. Vitamin C and E take the top two places when it comes to baldness. Vitamin E helps in maintaining your hair healthy and lustrous while the Vitamin E works on stimulating the scalp blood circulation. Consulting your physician, take these two supplements together to achieve faster results. You can also get excess amount of Vitamin C from citrus fruits and Vitamin E from almonds and other healthy nuts.
This is a great treatment for alopecia. In Indian, Japanese, Unani, and Chinese traditional medicine, egg oil was used to treat alopecia. Egg oil is claimed to be effective for hair care. It is very good for hair since it nourishes the scalp, promotes new hair growth. It also reduces hair fall and retards premature graying. It is also said to improve the hair texture and has been proved to make hair thicker by reducing hair fall and preventing split ends and damage due to chemical coloring.Today egg oil can be found available in many creams lotions and in refined state for usage. Regular usage helps to keep hair healthy and helps to control alopecia.
[ Read: Rogaine For Hair Loss ]
Surgical Options To Cure Alopecia
The loss of hair in this manner can create psychological problems in patients and there are many ways to surgically treat alopecia. These methods are usually expensive and painful. There are risks of infection and scarring. The results may take 6 to 8 months to show.
Hair Transplant: In this process a dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon takes tiny plugs of skin containing a few hairs, usually from the back or side of the scalp and are implanted into the hairless sections. The extent of baldness will decide how many sittings are necessary.
Scalp Reduction: This is a process where the area of the bald skin is decreased on the head. With time, the skin on the head becomes stretchable and flexible enough so that small sections of this skin can be removed surgically. After the hairless portion of the scalp is removed, the space is closed with hair-covered scalp. This procedure takes time to show results. The scalp reduction method is usually used in combination with hair transplantation. This ensures a natural looking hairline. It is best for those with extensive hair loss.
Wigs: While there are many ways to tackle the problem of hair loss, wigs can be a great alternative to medical or surgical treatments. Some wear wig or hairpiece and these may be permanent or temporary to cover their hair loss.
Dietary Supplements: There has been a dietary supplement TRX2 introduced by Oxford BioLabs . This is similar to Minoxidil and works by reactivating potassium channels. The treatment consists of L-Carntine tartrate which has been documented to induce hair growth in humans.