WHAT IS ALOPECIA?
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.
a bald headed man
SYMPTOMS OF ALOPECIA
massive hair loss
thinning of hair
excess hair loss when combing or when washing hair.
Your hairline recedes gradually (forming a partial baldness)
Hair loss from other parts of your body where hair grows.
Thinning of hair due to old age.
CAUSES OF ALOPECIA :
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.
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.
The medication for treating cancer can result in hair loss(chemotherapy)
Ring worm(Tinea) that appears on scalp,can cause hair loss
Old age can lead to hair loss or thinning of hair
Sickness can lead to hair loss.
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.
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 like “Iya Eko.” (A supposed bald old lady from the western part of Africa ) .”Jeun jeun Irun “ (hair in patches) etc.
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.
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.
variety of wigs
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” .
a lady wearing her natural hair
Your suggestions and contributions are highly valuable