All You Need To Know About Alopecia (Hairloss)


One of the fall-outs of the Oscar 2022 award ceremony is that many people learned about the word ‘Alopecia’. If you did not know it before now, don’t worry, you are in good company.
Alopecia means hair loss. Although it is more common on the scalp, it can happen in any part of the body. Also, men tend to suffer from alopecia more than women.
There are different causes of alopecia, and while some are temporary, others are not.

Causes Of Hair loss:

Hormonal Changes
Pregnancy, childbirth and thyroid hormone imbalance can lead to alopecia which may be temporary.
The side effect of some drugs used to treat arthritis, depression, heart disease and gout is hair loss. Ergo, the hair loss usually resolves once you stop taking the medication. But the catch here is that most of these conditions are chronic, and the drugs have to be used for a long time.
Medical conditions
Such as lupus, alopecia areata (an autoimmune condition that leads to loss of hair because the immune system attacks hair follicles) can lead to hair loss.
Physical or emotional shock can lead to temporary hair loss that may cause general thinning of the hair.
Some hairstyles like ponytails or cornrows pull your hair tightly, and this can cause a type of hair loss known as traction alopecia. In addition, some chemicals used in hair treatment can cause your hair to fall out and even cause permanent hair loss through scarring.
Family history of alopecia
A family history of balding on your mother or father’s side tends to increase your chances of balding as you get older. This type of hair loss is called androgenic alopecia, and it can affect both men and women.
Cancer treatment
Chemotherapy or radiation therapy to the head can lead to hair loss. The hair may grow back after the treatment.

How To Protect Yourself From Alopecia

Be Gentle With Your Hair.
Avoid harsh treatment with chemicals and heat on your hair. Also, use a wide-toothed comb on your hair to protect your hair during combing
Stop Smoking
Some studies have established a link between smoking and hair loss.
Protect Your Hair During Chemo
Use a cooling cap during chemotherapy to reduce your risk of losing your hair.

Also, while alopecia is not life-threatening, it can be a source of social and emotional pain for most people. So, this should guide your interaction with people who have hair loss.

Finally, while these tips are helpful, you should note that the most common cause of balding is genetic and age-related, and this type of balding is not preventable.

You can read other general health blogs here.