ALOPECIA : HAIR LOSS

Alopecia : Hair loss

WHAT IS  ALOPECIA?

A girl shedding hair

Alopecia is a medical condition  which causes  loss of hair in children or adult,irrespective of age or gender.This condition has no cure but could be managed to a certain degree. This  disease is also non infectious, meaning it cannot be contracted.

Moreover this condition occurs when an individual’s immune system attacks his /her hair follicles. therefore it would be right to say that alopecia is an auto immune disease.The hair follicles are the cavities where your hair roots sprouts from . Normally our immune system is supposed to defend our bodies from diseases and germs but the reverse becomes the case.

There are different types of  Alopecia conditions which are :

  • Alopecia areata: This kind occurs when there is partial  loss of hair on the scalp.Most at times the hair on scalp is scanty or in patches.

  • Alopecia totalis: When there is complete loss of hair on the scalp ie absolute baldness.This is much more severe compared to alopecia areata.

  • Alopecia Universalis: When there is complete loss of hair on every part of the body where hair grows normally.A typical example is loss of hair on the scalp,eye brow,eyelashes ,armpit hair,beard and pubic area etc.

 

Alopecia :Hair loss

a bald headed man

 

SYMPTOMS OF ALOPECIA

  1. massive hair loss

  2. thinning of hair

  3. excess hair loss when combing or when washing hair.

  4. Your hairline recedes gradually (forming a partial baldness)

  5.   Hair loss from other parts of your body where hair grows.

 

A thinning hair due to old age

Thinning of hair due to old age.

CAUSES OF ALOPECIA :

  1. Heredity: Heredity is a major factor associated with alopecia. It is  often passed from parents to their off springs. That is why when an individual experiences any form of alopecia , one’s family history  is always investigated.This will help to know if there was any history of baldness or hair loss in the family.

  2. The use of some  medications by women can cause hair  loss (contraceptive drugs).Research has it that more than 95% of women who use contraceptive drugs are not aware that it makes them lose hair.

  3. The medication for treating cancer can result in hair loss(chemotherapy)

  4. Ring worm(Tinea) that appears on scalp,can cause hair loss

  5. Old age can lead to hair loss or thinning of hair

  6. Sickness can lead to hair loss.

  7. Poor diet example:

   (a)Some Vitamins deficiency can lead to hair loss

   (b) Malnutrition example lack of protein can also lead to thinning of hair example kwashiokor

8.Over plaiting hair,using hot dryers and colouring can cause hair loss

9.Applying of Chemicals on hair like hair Relaxers indiscriminately without following instructions     may  also lead to loss of hair.

10.Dandruff can also lead to loss of hair.

11.Much stress can also lead to hair loss

   

    SOCIAL EFFECT OF ALOPECIA

   Hair loss could have a negative effect on an individual, especially in teenage girls and women.

  1. EMBARRASSMENT: even the Bible states that “The woman’s hair is her glory”.I have seen some  women feel self-conscious about the state of their hair or scalp.Especially  a receding hairline that may look like partial baldness. Women from this part of the world  are usually taunted with such conditions. Example with some  derogatory  names likeIya Eko. (A supposed bald  old lady from the western part of Africa ) .”Jeun jeun Irun “ (hair in patches) etc.

  2. LOW SELF ESTEEM : There was a day I visited the salon , I met a lady who came to make her hair too. She asked the stylist to help remove the hair extension she had on before retouching her hair. Her hair was in patches some areas of her scalp had very scanty hair. All through she averted her eyes from the mirror facing us directly. When the stylist was done with the retouching ,she requested her hair  be woven in corn rows and hair extensions fixed immediately. The Stylist advised  her to wear her natural retouched hair for at least a week  or two. Reasons being that  it would allow her scalp “breathe”. Unfortunaely this advice  fell on deaf ears. The lady said she couldn’t go about with her natural hair,that it was like a taboo to her.

  3. MUCH MONEY IS INVESTED IN WIGS AND HAIR EXTENSIONS :These days with the advent of highly fashionable and expensive wigs and hair extensions ,women spend hundreds and thousands of naira just to get them. Most at times for the purpose of fashion and beauty. However many women conceal some hair related problems like alopecia areata and totalis with wigs and extensions.

 

Alopecia : Hair loss

        variety of wigs
  1. DEPRESSION : Hair loss,weather massive,average or little is a major concern to men and women,women especially.A woman can have sleepless nights if she finds out she is shedding hair abnormally.Although humans tend to shed hair on a daily basis,at least between 50 -100 hairs in a day.There is indeed a great difference between hair loss and shedding of hair.

HOW TO MANAGE ALOPECIA

  • Consult your physician,possibly a dermatologist who may recommend drugs like steroids

  • In the case of ringworm on scalp,treat with antifungal medicine or with some home remedies medication. See also home remedies for ringworm

  • Apply hair boosting oils,like coconut oil,shea butter oil,jojoba oil etc.

  • Apply onion juice to scalp to help boost hair growth

  • Wash hair or scalp with the water you get,after washing White rice.

  • Don’t plait or braid children’s hair too tightly

  • Take lots of rest when stressed out.

  • Follow instructions judiciously before applying chemicals like Hair relaxers on scalp

  • Take meals rich in vitamins

  • Always take lot of rest when stressed out

  • Apply aloe vera gel on scalp

  • In extreme cases,some persons go for surgery.

  • Women should also learn to wear their natural hair once in a while,in other to allow the scalp “breathe” .

Alopecia : Hair loss

                             a lady wearing her natural hair

Your suggestions and contributions are highly valuable

 

 

2 Comments

  1. Wow!! Your write ups are always incisive, and refreshingly easy to understand….thanks so much for demystifying this very sensitive issue; good job!

    1. Thanks Ma’am,for being such an ardent reader of this page.We really appreciate your awesome and insightful contributions.Thanks again Ma’am.

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