Alopecia, simply put, means hair loss. It may be what we consider the normal hair is thinning that occurs with age, temporary hair loss that results from specific hairstyles, or chronic hair loss that occurs all over the body. Often, alopecia is an autoimmune disorder. That means that body’s natural immune system thinks that hair follicles are harming the body, so it attacks and kills them, leading to hair loss.
Unfortunately, there is no single treatment for alopecia. Some people do find that their hair grows back over time, but for many people, alopecia causes permanent hair loss. Many hair loss sufferers choose to wear a wig, and in fact, modern technology in the design and construction of wigs has improved so much that they are extremely popular nowadays, even among people who don’t suffer any hair loss at all!
Types of Alopecia
There are many different kinds of alopecia, with some more severe than others. The most common types of alopecia are:
Alopecia areata: This is the most common type of alopecia with about 2 in every 1000 people in the UK developing alopecia areata. Often this form of alopecia occurs when a person has a thyroid disorder or diabetes. Alopecia areata affects the scalp, where it can cause coin-sized bald patches.
Alopecia totalis: This is a more severe type of hair loss that causes a person to lose all the hair on their scalp.
Alopecia Universalis: This is the most severe type of alopecia. People with alopecia universalis lose all the hair on their body. This even includes their eyebrows and eyelashes.
Traction alopecia: This type of alopecia is the result of a genetic predisposition to the condition, combined with certain types of hairstyles, such as tight ponytails, that can pull the hair and cause hair loss over time. As long as they take the right steps, people with traction alopecia can often grow their back.
How to Deal with Alopecia
There is no single cure for alopecia, but there are things that you can do to strengthen your hair and encourage it to keep growing. What you eat has a significant effect on the quality and quantity of your hair. Make sure that you eat a high protein diet since this is what hair is primarily made up of. Red meat, eggs, and healthy fats like coconut oil are fantastic things to add your diet to keep your hair healthy. A high protein diet that includes healthy fat may also help manage the autoimmune response that is causing the alopecia. This is partly because food allergies can often trigger autoimmune reactions of this kind to things like wheat or gluten.
If you are suffering from alopecia, you should also take an iron supplement. Millions of people, especially women, have an iron deficiency in their systems and don’t even know it. Getting enough iron is critically important to keeping your hair healthy and encouraging it to grow. If you feel that you’re cold all the time, or if you get tired very easily, it’s possible that you have an iron deficiency. Your doctor can perform blood tests to determine if you are anaemic, in which case iron supplements in combination with vitamin C could prove very helpful to improving how you feel and how your hair grows.
Choose the Right Products
You can also apply coconut oil directly to your hair to help strengthen it. Coconut oil has essential fatty acids and nutrients that will help keep the scalp healthy and support hair growth. Applying unprocessed coconut oil to your scalp will also help get rid of any build-up of toxins or dead cells that might be stopping your hair from growing.
Changing your hair products can also help. Look for shampoos and conditioners that are sulfate-free and made for people with thinning hair or alopecia. Harsh shampoos and hair products can cause alopecia worse, and while you can still color your hair if you have alopecia, you should talk to a stylist about what dyes are safe for you to use. Harsh bleaches and dyes with ammonia can irritate your scalp and make any hair loss worse.
While in the process of dealing with hair loss, it’s important to keep positive, active and stress-free. You should also keep looking good! There are dozens of different wig styles, colors, forms and brands out there. Today’s human hair wigs look so natural that it’s often impossible to tell them from your hair.
While it can be intimidating to go and choose a wig for the first time, there’s plenty of information about – and thousands of others who have gone before you. Once you feel more comfortable with the wig buying process, you might even enjoy the chance to explore new hairstyles, new hair colors, and the ability to change your look as often as you change your outfit!
Don’t be embarrassed about having alopecia or choosing to wear a wig because of hair loss. You can still look and feel great, and enjoy a style that expresses your individuality.