Jul 26th, 2011
What Kind Of Hair Loss Is It?
Generally, with sudden hair loss, and particularly hair loss in women, we are talking about loss of hair above the normal hair fall of 70 to 140 hairs a day. We all lose this much, probably without noticing, but any more and you may need to start looking for an effective hair loss treatment.
During its growth – its anagen – phase, hair grows approximately half an inch a month. This phase lasts up to six years with a short resting – telogen – phase of about three months, when the hair is shed. Normally, about 85 per cent of your hair is in anagen and 15 per cent in telogen.
Telogen effluvium Sometimes hair enters its telogen phase too early. This often happens after childbirth and usually clears up within a few months, but in some cases it lasts much longer and can develop into diffuse alopecia.
Diffuse alopecia In this case baldness is spread evenly throughout the scalp.
Common/male pattern baldness or alopecia androgenetica This is the main cause of mens hair loss and occurs in 95 per cent of men and a few women. It is caused by three factors: age, heredity and the action of androgens (male hormones) on the hair follicles. Baldness usually starts on the crown or temples. Women who have this condition often have no other signs of masculinity. They don’t look like men and they have normal menstruation and pregnancies.
Hereditary/congenital alopecia This is passed down in families in rare syndromes.
Traction alopecia This is caused by tightly pulled pony tails, braids and chignons. The styles themselves are not to blame but too much pulling and tension. This is common among West Indians, who love tight braids. Rollers pulled too tightly can also cause it.
Friction alopecia This occurs when hair bands, wigs or hats are too tight. The hair often breaks off.
Alopecia areata This is a disease of the scalp in which baldness is patchy and can progress into the loss of all scalp hair (alopecia totalis) or all body hair, including the scalp (alopecia universalis). Alopecia areata is bewildering and eccentric Many people report that specialists are unable to help, offering neither counseling nor effective hair loss treatment. Often, when treatments are given, the hair falls out again when they stop.
Faced with this pessimistic situation, it is hardly surprising that some skin specialists behave brusquely to their patients when asked about alopecia areata treatment, retreating behind a mask of I am the expert, the qualified doctor, refusing to explain the condition to them, trotting out soothing banalities: It is bound to grow back.’ Don’t worry.’ You can buy some lovely wigs.’ Doctors, after all, are human. Faced with a choice of medical hair loss treatments which rarely work, for a condition they don’t fully understand, most human beings could be forgiven for feeling threatened and inadequate – which, I am sure, is how many dermatologists feel.
The Hair Loss Survival plan
Because so many sufferers have contacted me about their desperation and search for hair growth products, I launched my hair loss treatments site, an international support network.
Between us, we worked out a survival plan and found some effective hair loss remedies (depending on your condition). We may have to live with the condition but there are ways of coping, so that you can even look – and feel – better than you ever did before. There are even advantages in being bald.
You don’t believe me? My survival plan is part of this site, to help you through every stage of this illness, with all the day-to-day problems. For too long we have all tried to hide it with wigs, hats and even hair loss treatments. We have been inexplicably ashamed and humiliated. We have been terrified that people would laugh at us. But at last we are coming out of the closet and talking openly about hair loss in women and our baldness.
Only good can come of it.