Alopecia Causes, Symptoms, & Natural Treatments

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Table of Contents

What is Alopecia?

Alopecia areata is a relatively common autoimmune skin disorder, causing baldness on the scalp, face, and sometimes on different regions of the body. It affects 6.8 million people in the U.S. alone with a lifetime risk of 2.1%. 147 million people are estimated to be affected by alopecia areata worldwide.

Alopecia areata can affect people of all ages, genders, and ethnic groups. It often first appears during the early years and can be different for everybody who has it.

It is a common situation for most of us to lose approximately 75 to 100 strands of hair every day. The normal hair growth cycle of an individual could last around 2 to 6 decades, and the scalp may regrow new hairs in approximately fourteen days. On the other hand, plenty of people may shed over 100 strands of hair every day. Sadly there’s a growing number of males and females that experience hair loss, and the numbers are rising daily.

Alopecia is a condition with a reduction of hair from the head or body. Baldness can refer to overall baldness or androgenic alopecia (male pattern baldness). Some kinds of baldness can be brought on by alopecia areata, an autoimmune disease. Two extreme forms of alopecia areata are alopecia totalis, which includes the loss of head hair and Alopecia Universalis, which consists of the head and the body hair loss.

Is Alopecia permanent?

Can I have hair loss for a lifetime?

With alopecia areata, hair follicles remain alive, and it is possible hair may regrow anytime. Alopecia areata is called a polygenic disease. Both parents must contribute a range of specific genes to get a child to develop it. As a result of this, most parents won’t pass alopecia areata in addition to their kids. Scientists believe that factors other than just genetics cause the illness, and other environmental factors also contribute to individuals developing alopecia areata.

Types of alopecia

Are there different kinds of alopecia areata?

Together with all forms of alopecia areata, your body’s immune system attacks the healthy hair follicles, causing them to become thinner and slow down the generation to the point that hair growth may stop.

Based on which type and severity of the disease You’ve, you may experience hair loss in various locations, and your hair loss and regrowth could be unpredictable and cyclical (occur over and over) for several years. Though for many people, hair can also regrow in a month or two.

There are different types of baldness, and below are the most frequent:

– Androgenic Alopecia (male pattern hair loss for men)

It’s a common type of hair loss that impacts both men and women. Additionally, it is known as male pattern hair loss for men, called baldness or thinning of hair on the head’s crown or hairline extending in the temples. A U-shaped hair routine around the back and sides of the head typically remains, or hair may continue falling out, resulting in complete hair loss over time.

– Alopecia Areata

This condition occurs when your immune system targets the hair follicles and disrupts the natural hair growth and formation. It’s still unknown what causes it, but it looks like an anomaly wherein the immune system targets specific body cells. Biopsies of skin affected reveal immune cells inside the follicles of hair when they’re not usually present. Alopecia areata is linked to other autoimmune conditions like ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, vitiligo, thyroid disease, and allergic disorders. Alopecia areata, in some instances, happens in some members of the household, indicating heredity and genetic role.

– Alopecia Universalis

This type is the most advanced form of alopecia, described as the complete hair loss throughout the body. The hairs leave protective regions of the body like nasal cavity, scalp, and eyes. It’s essential to take particular care to guard against the germs and other dangerous components.

– Alopecia Totalis

It’s an autoimmune disease resulting in total baldness, but on the scalp only. It’s a condition intermediary between alopecia areata and Alopecia Universalis. Alopecia Totalis frequently shows up in two forms:

rather quick and complete baldness in the head. 

slower, which begins as a patchy loss (alopecia areata) and develops to complete baldness in the scalp.

– Ophiasis

It’s a form of alopecia areata wherein the reduction Of hair occurs in a wave-like shape enclosing the mind.

– Traction Alopecia

It is a condition resulting from damage to the hair follicle from constant tension over a long period. It usually occurs in people who wear braids, which are tight that lead to pulling, higher tension, and baldness. It may also be a result of cosmetic surgery that creates hair tension, like facelifts.

Telogen Effluvium

It’s a loss of hair which occurs when the hair follicles are pushed prematurely in the development’s resting phase by stress or illness.


It’s a disorder where an individual pulls their hair compulsively, resulting in observable hair loss.

– Chignon Alopecia

It’s a form of traction alopecia wherein baldness Loss occurs in the crown of their head. It typically occurs when the hair is styled or shaped in a compact form for a lengthy period. This condition generally is found in ballet dancers.

– Hypotrichosis

It’s a state where there is no hair growth. Hypotrichosis happens where there was no development of hair to start with.

– Lichen Planopilaris

It’s a disorder that commonly affects the mouth and skin. It may result in irritation, redness, and permanent hair loss sometimes.

– Trichorrhexis nodosa

It’s a hair fiber flaw seen as a swelling and Fraying nodes in certain spots down the hair fiber’s length because of the absence of a cuticle layer.

– Folliculitis

This condition is a bacterial illness that causes irritation to the hair follicles and is probably among the most familiar sorts of skin infection. Even though it’s usually insignificant, it may generate significant disease. It can be shallow or deep and contributes to the development of an inflammatory nodule enclosing the hair. 

Currently, there’s no allopathic cure for alopecia areata. But the great thing is that even when your disease is “busy,” your hair follicles remain alive. This means your hair may grow back again – even after a long-time period and even if you’ve got more than 50% hair loss.

Alopecia causes

What causes alopecia areata?

The alopecia areata condition occurs when white blood cells attack hair follicles cells. This attack causes them to shrink and slow down hair production. Scientists are unsure what causes the body’s immune system to target hair follicles this way.

While scientists are unsure why these changes happen, it seems that genetics is called alopecia areata is more likely to occur in someone that has a close relative with the disease. One in five people with the disorder has a relative who has also developed alopecia areata.

Other research has found that many individuals with a household history of alopecia areata have a family history of other types of autoimmune disorders. There’s very little scientific evidence to support the opinion that alopecia areata is brought on by stress. The latest research points more toward a genetic origin.

There are lots of variables that contribute to developing this complex condition. Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder, which means your immune system mistakes the normal cells in the human body as foreign invaders and attacks these cells.

Scientists are not exactly sure what triggers the immune system to attack healthy hair follicles, or even if these causes first occur within the body from a virus or bacteria, outside the body from your environment, or if it is a mix of both.

Alopecia diagnosis

Doctors can diagnose alopecia areata quickly by analyzing symptoms. They may look at the level of baldness and analyze hairs from affected regions under a microscope. If, after an initial clinical evaluation, the physician is not able to make a diagnosis, they could do a skin biopsy. If they should rule out other autoimmune diseases, they may conduct a blood test.

Symptoms of alopecia areata are unique, and making a diagnosis is generally straightforward.

Can my child inherit alopecia areata from me?

Adults who have Alopecia Areata worry about the risks of passing the disease to future children. However, since alopecia areata is so complicated, it is almost impossible to predict whether your child will develop the condition.

Scientists believe that multiple variables (genetic and environmental) activate the illness, not just merely family heredity. Most parents won’t pass alopecia areata to their kids.

Alopecia symptoms

Alopecia Areata Symptoms

All forms of alopecia areata result in some form of hair loss. There’s absolutely no way to predict the pattern of hair loss and improvement you may experience. Alopecia areata differs for everyone with the condition.

Patchy hair loss is easy to spot symptoms of alopecia areata. Coin-sized spots of hair start falling out, mainly in the scalp. Any area of hair growth could be affected, including lashes and beards.

The loss of hair can be abrupt, developing in only a few days, weeks, or months. There may be burning or itching in the region before hair loss. The hair follicles aren’t ruined, and so hair can regrow whether the inflammation of the follicles subsides. Individuals who experience just a couple of patches of hair loss may have a complete recovery with no kind of treatment.

Approximately 30 percent of individuals who develop alopecia areata find that their condition worsens with time. Approximately half of the individuals can recover from alopecia areata within a year, but many will experience more than one episode. Roughly 10 percent of people may go on to develop Alopecia Totalis or Alopecia Universalis.

Alopecia areata may also affect the fingernails and toenails, and sometimes these changes are the first indication that the problem is developing. There are a number of little changes that can happen to fingernails:

pinpoint dents appear

white lines and spots appear

nails become rough

nails lose their shine

nails become thin and divide

Additional symptoms include:

Exclamation mark hairs: This happens when few short hairs That get narrower in their bottom and grow in or around the borders of hair loss spots.

White hair: This may grow in areas affected by hair loss.

• Cadaver hairs: Hairs break before reaching the skin surface.

Hair loss that is mostly on one side of the scalp, Rather than both sides

Natural treatments for Alopecia

Options for treatment of affected areas?

Alopecia Areata doesn’t cause rashes, redness, hives, or severe itching like many other skin conditions. Nevertheless, some people with alopecia areata find it beneficial to protect exposed skin the head, face, and ears – from damaging sun exposure or other harsh elements. A scalp with no hair is more sensitive to cold also.

Based on which type of alopecia areata you or Your kid has, your age, and the area of hair loss, there are many different treatment options available for disrupting or distracting the immune attack or stimulating the hair follicle — particularly for people with milder forms of the disease (less than 50% hair loss).

There’s currently no treatment for alopecia areata, though there are a few forms of treatment which could be suggested by physicians to assist hair in regrowing faster.

Allopathic treatments: The most common type of alopecia areata treatment is the use of corticosteroids, powerful anti-inflammatory drugs that may suppress the immune system. These are usually administered through injections, topical ointments, or orally.

Other medicines that can be prescribed that promote hair growth or influence the immune system include Minoxidil and Anthralin. Even though some of these may assist with the regrowth of hair, they can’t prevent the formation of fresh bald patches. They also have many side effects. Alopecia areata does not directly make people ill, nor is it contagious. It is hard to adapt emotionally. Support groups and counseling are available for individuals to share their ideas and feelings, and to talk about common emotional reactions to the illness.

 Home remedies

– As traditional treatments for alopecia are very limited, studies that encourage natural remedies for alopecia are much thinner on the ground.

– Some people recommend rubbing garlic or onion Juice, chilled green tea, almond oil, rosemary oil, honey, or coconut milk to the scalp. 

Complementary & Alternative Treatments

Complementary therapies such as Functional medicine, Ayurveda, Acupuncture, Homeopathy, Diet therapy, and Aromatherapy also help in hair loss treatments. They focus on the root cause after a diagnosis determines the type of alopecia. Consult with a practitioner before starting any treatment.