Alopecia 101

New to alopecia? Fear not – I’ll walk you through the basics so you’ll know what to expect!

Lady Alopecia Bad Hair Day
Girl with alopecia areata

What is Alopecia?

It’s normal to lose up to 100 hairs a day. But when they don’t grow back, when you get bald patches or lose entire sections of your hairline – that’s likely to be alopecia.

Alopecia is an autoimmune condition – and it’s not uncommon for alopecians to have other immune-related problems, too. It’s often chronic but rarely permanent. It isn’t life-threatening but it does affect self-esteem, sense of identity and mental health.

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What Causes Alopecia?

Alopecia is what happens when your immune system attacks your hair follicles. They shrink to protect themselves and whatever hair you shed in the meantime finds it hard to grow back.

In some cases, a specific event – like a bereavement – triggers hair loss. In others, it’s a combination of factors: like diet, hormonal imbalance and environment.

40% of alopecia areata patients see their first patches by the age of 20.

But alopecia affects people of all ages. It's more common than you may think!

What Cures Alopecia?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a quick fix for something as complex as alopecia. Anyone who tells you otherwise is a) misinformed or b) trying to sell you something.

Too many dermatologists are keen to prescribe toxic steroid creams and injections, which don’t take individual cases into account. Having spending a LOT of time, money (and false hope) on these ‘experts’, I prefer a holistic approach – treating alopecia at its root cause and making healthy lifestyle changes to boost hair growth. 

I do recommend certain treatments to encourage hair growth while supporting your immune system. But please don’t expect miracles!

Girl having shower

Living With Alopecia

From personal experience, let me say: being bald isn’t the end of the world…though it may feel like it! It’s even fun to have something that makes you stand out.

Of course, you may not be there yet. And that’s ok. It took me a LONG time to accept my alopecia. So try and be kind to yourself, knowing some days will be tough and others will be glorious.

Bald girl having adventure

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