Your hair can have a significant impact on your appearance and your self-esteem. However, a sudden hair loss in bald patches can be a painful topic, especially if you are a female. Women’s hair is generally valued for its aesthetic value and sex appeal, whereas society overlooks baldness in men. Hypocritical, I know, so how do we women cope with patchy hair loss? By educating ourselves.
Knowledge is power. Being aware of the causes of patchy hair loss can help you better understand your situation and effective ways to approach it.
If you have patchy hair or are experiencing some kind of hair loss, then you may find it challenging to cope. Here are some tips to better educate and possibly offer solutions to manage your patchy hair loss.
What Is Alopecia Areata, Exactly?
Alopecia is a general medical term for hair loss. However, the sudden development of bald spots on the scalp, eyebrow, or beard can indicate a hair loss condition called alopecia areata. Also known as AA — it is a specific type of hair loss, most commonly characterized by circular coin-sized patches of hair loss.
Millions of Americans suffer from alopecia areata, an autoimmune disease affecting people of all ages and ethnicities. It can also be quite different for every person who has it. Although this patchy balding often happens on the scalp, it can also occur on the beard or eyebrows.
Patchy hair can occur for several reasons, and some can even be reversed, such as stress and some skin conditions and illnesses. Others, such as natural aging or medical conditions, can be permanent.
Whatever the case, knowing some of the causes can help you develop a treatment plan that is appropriate for your condition.
WAIT: There Are Different Types Of Patchy Hair Loss
Alopecia areata comes in many different forms. While patchy coin-sized hair loss is most common, AA can also include other hair loss forms:
- Persistent patchy alopecia areata: Patchy hair loss that continues over time without developing into a more severe form of hair loss
- Diffuse alopecia areata: This type of AA is often mistaken for hair loss conditions like female pattern balding-AKA telogen effluvium because the hair thins evenly over the scalp.
- Ophiasis alopecia: It is characterized by hair loss that occurs at the sides and lower back area of the scalp in a band-like pattern
- Alopecia totalis: This is a more extensive scalp hair loss involving a complete loss of hair on the head.
- Alopecia Universalis: A complete loss of body hair.
The Causes For Patchy Hair
Not only do you have to contend with the emotional impacts of this problem, but you also have to consider the physical causes behind it. Depending on the pattern of hair loss and your circumstances, it may be caused by different things. These include:
- The natural aging process
- Emotional or physical stress
- Hormonal changes, such as those experienced after childbirth
- Radiation or chemotherapy treatments
- Skin conditions
- Autoimmune Diseases
- Poor hair or scalp health
- Hair follicles
- Hair pulling behaviors
Are There Treatments For Patchy Hair Loss
AA currently has no cure. However, some treatments can either suppress an immune system attack or encourage follicles for new hair growth.
It is going to be a trial and error approach, unfortunately. And if you do find something that works, it could be just temporary. But do not get discouraged, as there are some non-medical approaches you can take to help with your appearance.
Some Treatments Include:
Health Care Professional Specializing In Patchy Hair Loss For Women
Women’s pattern baldness can be caused by several factors, including family history and genetics, treatment side effects, pregnancy, premenopause, and menopause.
To determine the exact cause of Alopecia Areata, you should see a medical professional who specializes in the condition, such as a dermatologist. They can examine the affected areas and might even take a small biopsy to confirm the diagnosis and rule out other factors such as fungal infections.
Another qualified medical professional, like an OBGYN, is a good resource because nearly two-thirds of postmenopausal women in the USA have some degree of hair loss or bald spots.
They can also perform blood tests to rule out other causes of hair loss like iron deficiency, thyroid dysfunction, or a hormonal imbalance.
A popular therapy option is Robotic Hair Transplantation Procedure (ARTAS®) to fill in these patches. This technique is precise and relatively gentle, and it uses your own healthy hair to remove bald spots or patches. With this treatment, you can right walk out with a full head of healthy hair.
Your Diet Can Effect The Health Of Your Hair
The expression you are what you eat fits so many things. And while this is more of a holistic approach to hair wellness, it is imperative to get enough sleep and eat the right foods to keep your hair healthy. It all starts from the inside out when it comes to hair wellness.
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Home Remedies For Bald Spots
The hair care industry offers numerous shampoos and other products to encourage your hair to grow in bald spots and thinning areas. Many of these products contain ingredients that have been used in hair restoration for decades and have scientific backing for their hair enhancement claims.
It is important to note that surgeries, medical treatments, and home remedies for hair loss are most effective when performed preventatively. (As long as the hair follicles are not completely dead)
Shampoos And Essential Oils For Hair Loss
Keep in mind that some of these natural medicines can cause unwanted side effects in some users. Hence you should use all essential oils and products according to the label instructions.
The bottom line, all essential oil has their list of possible health benefits and side effects. Please read them and, as always, seek professional advice as I am not a specialist.
Some of the best-reputed hair regrowth products available contain essential oils, including:
- Cedarwood essential oil
- Horsetail plant oil
- Lemongrass oil
- Peppermint oil
- Clary sage oil
- Rosemary oil
- Lavender oil
- Thyme oil
Support Groups For Hair Loss For Women
AA, in particular, can be hard to deal with because it is unpredictable and spontaneous. Living with alopecia areata can be really hard for us women. While seeking support from family members and other loved ones can be helpful, speaking with other women experiencing the same patchy hair loss can prove beneficial.