When most think of hair loss the immediate thought is of the traditional, genetic male and female pattern hair loss. Just in America alone almost 7 million people suffer from a hair loss condition called alopecia areata.
Alopecia areata can occur at any age and any area of the scalp, effecting men and woman equally; it manifests itself with small patches of hair loss that sometime overlap to create larger “islands” of hair less areas of the scalp, and can travel to the eyebrow, beard and even over the body in general.
This autoimmune disease can be genetic but also occur with no previous genetic traits; other causes are thought to be stress or trauma related, and cause severe psychological stress to those that suffer from it.
The reason or cause for alopecia areata is widely believed to be when the immune system turns on the hair follicle, effectively attacking it, causing the hair to shed and the follicle being left in a dormant state, with new hair growth put on hold.
There is no known cure for this condition although there are a number of treatments that have shown to positively stimulate the dormant follicles to enter the growth phase once again. Common treatments are corticosteroids, either used as a topical cream or ointment or injections over a period of weeks. Hair growth can start around a month after commencing a treatment and often initially is lighter in texture and colour.
For those that do not react positively to treatment it will leave them with an uneven pattern of hair growth, having to answer awkward questions as to why. Even with a shaved hair cut the contrast between hair and hair less areas can be seen, especially with darker hair and lighter skin colour.
A relatively new treatment can be the answer to long term suffers of alopecia areata; Scalp MicroPigmentation gives the illusion or simulates the look of shaved hair, or stubble. It will blend with the surrounding native hair to give the individual the look of an even coverage of hair, blocking the patches of hair loss; the treatment does not stop the hair from growing back under treatment or naturally, but for many restores lost confidence and self-esteem.