What is Alopecia?
Alopecia is the Latin word for hair loss, and the term encompasses a range of conditions. There are many different types of alopecia, which cause various different types of hair loss.
Types of Alopecia
This form of alopecia is better known as male and female pattern baldness, which is the most common form of hair loss, with some people experiencing this as early as their late teens or early twenties. According to Alopecia UK, about 50% of women over 65 and 50% of men over 50 experience androgenic alopecia. It can also be passed down genetically on either the maternal or paternal side.
The main reason behind androgenic alopecia occurring is due to the hair follicles shrinking, eventually leading to them shrinking completely and stopping production of hair entirely. This happens as the body begins to turn the hormone testosterone into its imitative, dihydrotestosterone.
The clearest symptom of alopecia areata is patchy hair loss across the scalp, and sometimes across your eyebrows and eyelashes, too. These patches are usually circular in shape and can differ in size.
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder which results in the attack of healthy hair follicles from the body’s own immune system. Unfortunately, the specific causes are unknown, however it’s said that genetics do play a role. In addition, it’s thought that stress and particularly traumatic experiences can be a trigger for this form of alopecia.
If you think stress could be the cause of your hair loss, we recommend reading our previous post to learn more about the relationship between the two, how to combat it, and ways to possibly relieve it, too.
The hair follicles are not destroyed with alopecia areata, and therefore the hair does have the possibility to grow back. In fact, many people experience full regrowth over time. You can receive treatment for alopecia areata, however no treatment is universally effective, with the best regrowth occurring in much milder cases. It’s important to note that many people do actually experience regrowth without treatment as well.
Alopecia Totalis and Alopecia Universalis
Alopecia totalis is given as a term to describe cases where alopecia areata has progressed over the whole scalp. More advanced than this is alopecia universalis, which is when hair loss is experienced across the entire scalp and face, including eyebrows and eyelashes, as well as over the entire body. The chances of full regrowth are significantly reduced as the severity of the condition increases, with the highest severity being alopecia universalis.
Scarring alopecia is the most commonly known name for cicatricial alopecia. The basis of this condition is that hair follicles are destroyed and replaced by scar tissue. It’s important to understand that there are two types of this, primary and secondary, both of which do cause permeant hair loss. Primary is caused directly by inflammation of the hair follicles, and secondary is triggered by a specific event or occasion.
The causes of traction alopecia are from processes and actions carried about by the individual, which can cause excessive tension on the hair and result in breakage. Bleaching or frequent colouring of the hair with chemicals can be a cause of this, as well as hairstyles such as braiding or tight up-dos. Repeated use and prolonged traction alopecia can actually stop new hair follicles developing and lead to permanent hair loss over an extended period.
It’s important to remember and to be reassured that the majority of the conditions discussed do have treatments available. If you’re concerned or worried, or are seeking more alopecia information, we always recommend seeking professional medical advice on the matter.
If you have experienced alopecia or hair loss, there are support groups you can become a part of. These groups have helped many people come to terms with alopecia, discuss their feelings and experiences, and meet new people.
Wigs for Alopecia
There are so many wonderful wigs for alopecia sufferers. Although alopecia doesn’t impact your physical health, we understand the emotional and psychological impact that hair loss can have on you. Our world of wigs can help you to increase your self-esteem and confidence.
The most important characteristics of wigs for alopecia are comfort and natural appearance. Below we’ve shared our recommendations for the types of wigs for alopecia sufferers that will offer optimal comfort.
Monofilament wigs are great for protecting sensitive scalps, and they were actually created for women experiencing severe hair loss, for reasons such as undergoing cancer treatment and suffering from alopecia. This is because monofilament wigs are brilliant at creating a natural scalp appearance through a soft polyester/nylon mesh, which allows your natural skin colour to show through. Monofilament wigs also provide you with the ability to choose your parting, with the movement of the wig giving this construction the most natural appearance. Overall, a monofilament wig is a comfortable and natural-looking piece of headwear for alopecia sufferers.
Lace Front Wigs
Lace front wigs are another of the most natural-looking wig cap constructions. For those experiencing total hair loss as a result of alopecia, lace front wigs are brilliant at ensuring that your wig will stay in place all day. The non-slip poly strip placed at the front of the wig is invisible but brilliant at keeping the wig in place. Lace front wigs are also great for ladies who are experiencing hair loss at the front hairline, or extreme thinning as a result of androgenetic alopecia, as the invisible lace allows you to style the wig however you like.
Hand Tied Wigs
Hand tied wigs are great wigs for alopecia sufferers, and they’re especially ideal for anybody experiencing total hair loss. This construction doesn’t incorporate wefts, which is ideal for anybody wanting to avoid irritation to a sensitive scalp. What’s more, the attention to detail in hand tied wigs is impeccable. The natural appearance is great for women suffering from total hair loss and who will be wearing the wig for most of the time. You can find a style that closely matches your own hair, and people won’t even notice that you’re wearing a wig!
Hair Toppers for Alopecia
Depending on the alopecia type you’re experiencing, it might be that you’re only experiencing patches of hair loss or hair thinning rather than total hair loss. In such cases, you might find that hair toppers can cover the areas you wish to hide, while being able to show the rest of your hair well.
If you’re experiencing hair loss at the crown and parting area, women’s top pieces can hide this well. Equally, if you have hair thinning or loss at the front hairline, fringe hair pieces can make a world of difference in covering this.
We hope this complete alopecia information guide has helped you in learning about the different alopecia types. Hopefully, you now feel confident in identifying possible symptoms and understanding some of the causes and treatments.
There are many different types of headwear for alopecia, depending on what type of alopecia you are experiencing and your personal preferences. We offer a range of comfortable, natural-looking headwear pieces and wigs for alopecia, so please get in touch if you would like to talk to our friendly team. We are happy to guide you through our ranges and find a piece that works for you!