Alopecia: What to Know
07 / 24 / 17

Alopecia: What to Know

At LH Hair, we pride ourselves in our ability to provide the very best in hair loss solutions. We also feel it is our duty to educate people about the types of hair loss they are experiencing. There are so many factors that contribute to hair loss that recognition and treatment can become confusing. Our goal is to provide all the information we can - even before you come into the salon! We want you to understand the root of your hair related problems so you can feel as confident in our methods as we do.

Today, we're examining the symptoms, causes, and treatments of alopecia. Alopecia areata is commonly known as "spot baldness" and occurs most frequently on the head - though other parts of the body may be affected by hair loss as well. While the damage is not dangerous and only permanent in about 10% of cases, it is helpful to know each of the varieties and the signs that are associated with the condition. Below, you will find a comprehensive breakdown of each form of alopecia and its particular nuances.

1. Alopecia areata

The most common form of alopecia - alopecia areata - is accompanied by patchy hair loss in one or more areas of the scalp. Typically, these patches are round or oval-shaped and fall out in clumps that leave the skin beneath completely smooth. This hair loss can come and go, become persistent without developing any further, or - in extreme cases - it can evolve into alopecia totalis or alopecia universalis.

2. Alopecia totalis

Alopecia totalis is distinguished by hair loss across the entire scalp. This form of alopecia is also believed to be triggered by stress. This type of alopecia also has the potential to come and go so complete hair loss on the scalp is not necessarily permanent.

3. Alopecia universalis

This is perhaps the most rare form of alopecia, resulting in complete hair loss across the entire body. This includes not only facial hair, but also eyebrows, eyelashes, and body hair in all regions. Alopecia totalis does have the potential to become alopecia universalis, but it is rare and is most likely the result of genetic predisposition. At least 20% of those with alopecia universalis have a family history of alopecia areata.

4. Diffuse alopecia areata

One of the hardest hair loss culprits to diagnose, diffuse alopecia areata is characterized by sudden thinning of hair all over the scalp. There are two kinds of diffuse alopecia - patterned and unpatterned. Both varieties are characterized by thinning hair on the front and top of the head, but patterned diffuse alopecia areata is seen in conjunction with a stable permanent zone in which hair remains unaffected. Diffuse unpatterned alopecia does not have a pattern of permanent zones, therefore the thinning of hair is unpredictable.

5. Traction alopecia

Traction alopecia is hair loss caused by stress or strain on the hair follicles. This most often happens due to hair styles, such as pony tails, braids and dread locks. Traction alopecia responds well to scalp and laser treatment. Also, it is helpful to give your hair a 'rest' from these styles.

6. Ophiasis alopecia

The last type of alopecia manifests in a band pattern across the sides of the scalp and nape (back of the neck). This wavy pattern - as seen along the scalp margin - is named after the Greek word for snake, "ophis". This variety of alopecia follows the same unpredictability as diffuse alopecia in terms of when hair loss will occur, but it's scope is limited to the hairline's perimeter, making the pattern easier to manage.

Alopecia can affect people of all ages, ethnic groups, and gender, and it is common for it to manifest during childhood. While alopecia cannot be "cured", every variety is treatable. Your hair follicles are still alive and capable of producing hair no matter what variety of alopecia you have. Most patients with alopecia will experience more than one episode of hair loss with regrowth in between. These cycles are completely unpredictable, but with the proper care and products it is possible to help the hair resume normal growth.

If you would like to learn more about alopecia or LH Hair and our hair loss solution methods, feel free to browse our site or give us a call. Our friendly staff is ready to help you understand your symptoms and move forward with proven treatment options. Ready to schedule a consultation? Contact us today! We look forward to helping you achieve a healthy head of hair.