WHAT IS ALOPECIA AREATA?
Going bald? You could have a medical condition called alopecia areata.
40% of women suffer some kind of hair loss. Of course a little hair loss is perfectly normal. Commonly we lose up to 100 hairs each day, but sudden hair loss in large amounts could be the sign of a more serious medical condition.
Alopecia is the generic medical word for hair loss, and there are several different types, including alopecia areata—which is a common autoimmune skin disease that causes hair loss.
It most often occurs on the scalp but can also affect other areas of the body. It effects both men and women. Alopecia areata can also occur at any age, although it’s most prevalent in people aged 15-29.
The results can at first be terrifying. An early warning sign is waking to find clumps of hair on your pillow in the morning, or clumps falling out in the shower. Hair loss usually occurs in small round patches which can be several centimeters in size (about that of a large coin).
Diagnosis can be carried out by a medical professional examining the type of hair loss, viewing some hair follicles under a microscope or a blood test.
In most cases the hair will regrow by itself. The new hair may appear first fine and white, but should thicken and return to your normal hair color. However, the condition may return.
WHAT CAUSES ALOPECIA AREATA?
Alopecia areata is caused by a problem with the immune system (which is the body’s natural defence against diseases). Alopecia areata causes the immune system to go a bit crazy and attack your hair follicles.
Clinicians aren’t totally sure why this is, but suspect that your genes play a role. For example, you are more likely to get alopecia areata if you have a family history of it. One in five people who have this condition, also have it in their family background. It’s also more common if you have other autoimmune conditions, such as hyperthyroidism, or diabetes
Those suffering from alopecia areata can develop more severe conditions such as:
– alopecia totalis—no scalp hair
– alopecia universalis—no hair on the scalp and body
According to Healthline, “alopecia areata is a disease that causes hair to fall out in small patches. It develops when the immune system attacks the hair follicles, resulting in hair loss. Sudden hair loss may occur on the scalp and other parts of the body. The condition rarely results in total hair loss, or alopecia universalis, but it can prevent hair from growing back. When hair does grow back, it’s possible for the hair to fall out again. The extent of hair loss and regrowth varies from person-to-person.”
So sadly, there is a chance your hair may never grow back. The good news is there are treatments which can help alleviate symptoms.
Here’s a few natural treatments to try out for alopecia areata:
#1 CASTOR OIL
Castor oil is full of essential fatty acids that deliver the nutrients the hair needs for growth. It contains vitamin E, natural proteins, and minerals as well as having anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties.
One user says: “I had colored my hair about 3 years ago. Naturally black and went for a very light caramel, brown/blonde. . My hair was ridiculously damaged. Thin hair, broken strands, no volume, no curls and It just didn’t want to return to its natural state even after cutting it… I actually had a bald spot and it looked like alopecia. So I had been trying everything. I purchased this item almost 2 months ago and let me tell you, my hair is full of volume, my alopecia patch is nearly all covered with hair, my curls are slowly coming back and my hair feels extremely thick!!! I say if you seem to have the issues I had give it a try, you have nothing to lose!!! Beware it does smell a little nutty, but if you mix it with another natural oil, you’re ok… I rock it just like that. Bald spot was taken 5/10/15 grown in hair was taken today 6/11/2015″
To try castor oil yourself as a remedy for alopecia areata, follow these simple steps.
1. Castor oil is thick, so you can mix it with another natural oil like tea tree or lavender oil to make application easier
2. Heat 1-2 teaspoons of oil in microwave
3. Massage oil into your scalp
4. Make sure your hair is covered from root to tip
5. Leave overnight and wash off in the morning
6. Repeat twice a week
Biotin is a B-complex vitamin. Your body uses it to create energy from the food you eat and it also assists the growth of hair.
According to Live Strong, “biotin, also known as vitamin H, is a B-complex vitamin that your body uses to produce energy from food. Biotin is also used to manufacturer hair, skin and nails, and the University of Maryland Medical Center explains that this vitamin, combined with the mineral zinc, has been used to treat alopecia. Biotin is not stored by your body, and you need to consume foods like brewer’s yeast, eggs, nuts or sardines or take a dietary supplement in order to fulfill your daily requirement. Adults, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, require 30 mcg of biotin daily.”
An Amazon customer has been taking Biotin for alopecia and shares her experience: “I’m going through a very sudden and acute Alopecia and lost 70% of my hair for the last two weeks…however it is fortunate it has started to regrow!! This product is the only thing I took to deal with this hair loss disaster (I haven’t tried any Logaine or Minoxidil yet)..so I guess it is definitely working in my favor!!”
#3 VITAMIN C
The common old vitamin C or ascorbic acid is an essential nutrient for humans, and can also help treat alopecia areata. That’s because vitamin C plays a vital part in a healthy immune system, and can provide an extra boost against many diseases.
“Vitamin C is loaded with anti-oxidant properties, just like vitamin E and zinc. These anti-oxidants reduce the damage that is caused by free radicals that are formed when food is converted into energy by the body. These free radicals can do a lot of damage to your hair, which is one reason why we need to make sure that we have enough of this vitamin in our diets.” (source)
#4 ONION JUICE
Believe it or not onion is rich in sulphur and this mineral is one of the main building blocks in hair. Not only that, it improves blood circulation and has anti-bacterial properties, which is also great for hair.
The scientific research is in on onion juice too. In 2002, the Journal of Dermatology published a small scientific study which examined the use of onion juice for alopecia areata, and found “that the use of crude onion juice gave significantly higher results with regard to hair re-growth than did tap water (placebo) and that it can be an effective topical therapy for patchy alopecia areata.”
Wyatt swears by it, “I had alopecia in high school. Tried steroid shots, minoxidil, and many other potential remedies… None of them worked and I shaved the remaining hair off my head by senior year of high school. One day my dad came home from work and suggested the possibility of onion juice for hair. He found something online that said it could work so we figured it was worth a shot. Crazy right? Anyway, my mom helped me blend up onion juice and I put it on my scalp every few days. It made my scalp red and itchy. Very itchy… Slowly but surely, after two or three months, the patches that had been missing hair before had started growing back…It filled out enough so that by the time the yearbook picture came around I could take the picture with most of my normal hair.”
To make onion juice:
#1 Grate an onion, strain a sieve. Use only the juice
#2 Or use a juicer!
#3 Don’t forget to wash it out the next day!