There is a hand full of professionals in the world that require you to be honest with them about your particular situation when requesting services for them to provide the best possible care you deserve. They, in turn, should ensure your privacy and confidentiality when you share some of your most personal and emotional information about yourself. Maybe this will help you relate to what I’m talking about; Most of us had had that moment when we had to switch to a new doctor, financial advisor, accountant or lawyer from one we’ve had, and been comfortable with for years; It’s painful… almost as difficult as going on a new first date again. Well, I fall into this small elite category of professionals, as a Trichologist, with over 30 years of experience and documented success stories, and I want to build a relationship of TRUST with you as I bring you some facts about Alopecia (a-lo-pe-ci-a). I’ll explain what that is shortly.
First, let’s check out when being bald became a “Fashion Statement.” Around the early 1990’s some basketball greats such as Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal to name a few, decided they would take it all off, of course, I’m talking about shaving off their hair. Now we don’t know whether it was because they just wanted a new look, or due to a receding hairline, male pattern baldness, or simply rebelling against a hair-obsessed society. What we do know is this, this , “Fashion Statement”, caught on, took off and begun to spread to other athletes, actors, singers, gang members, rappers, TV personalities, lawyers, doctors, etc., including women, like Erykah Badu, Demi Moore, Britney Spears and many more. This fashion is still being rocked, as it gave a lot of people the option to choose to be bald and accepted, regardless of why they chose to do it.
On the other hand, stepping out “Boldly Bald” as a “Fashion Statement” is not for everyone which is the case for most of my clients or those that contact me for consultation and perhaps, it not for you either. The type of hair loss or balding that my clients and contacts were experiencing impacts one’s self-esteem and confidence. When that happens, it zaps your joy. This is more than the occasional shedding of a few strands of hair on the bathroom floor or in the sink. It’s been reported that 37 % of women 80 years and older may start to see their hair thinning due to hormonal changes and eventually full baldness. However, in my practice, I’m seeing clients experiencing this at a much younger age. I am coining the phase ‘Fashion of Chance” one that is not trendy or popular.
Earlier I promised I would provide more detail on Alopecia. Alopecia is the Latin word for “hair loss” that can affect men, women, and children, and can be due to a range of conditions including hormonal changes. It’s categorized as types, creating more unwanted hair loss or “Fashion of Chance.”
Types of Alopecia:
- Androgenic Alopecia
- This is commonly known as male or women pattern baldness, and it is the most common form of alopecia that affects many individuals; some as early as their teen years. This form of alopecia is caused when enzymes (biological molecules, typically proteins) in the body starts turning the hormone testosterone into a derivative of itself that causes hair follicles to shrink. Androgenic Alopecia can be passed down through the genes; otherwise known as hereditary.
- Alopecia Areata
- This is generally associated with the term “Alopecia” in a lot of media reports. It’s identified as patchy bald spots on the scalp and is an autoimmune disorder. This occurs when the body’s immune system attacks healthy hair follicles. The exact reason for this reaction is still unknown but is thought by some, to be triggered by stress or some traumatic event.
- Alopecia Totalis
- In some cases, Alopecia Areata can progress over the entire scalp and this is known as Alopecia Totalis.
- Alopecia Universalis
- In extreme cases when Alopecia Areata progress over the entire body, including the eyebrows, this is known as Alopecia Universalis.
- Cicatricial Alopecia
- Better known as Scarring Alopecia occurs when hair follicles have been replaced by scar tissues. There’s a primary and secondary condition for this type of alopecia. The primary condition is when the hair loss is directly due to the inflammation of hair follicles, at this time little is understood about this type. The secondary condition is when the occurrence of hair loss is due to an event or process unrelated to the follicles, such as burns or infections.
- Traction Alopecia
- This type of Alopecia differs from the rest being that it is usually caused by the direct actions of an individual resulting in tension on the hair and breakage. Styles like tight braiding and ponytails are common causes, as well as excessive chemical treatments like coloring and bleaching.
If you suspect you are experiencing any of the Alopecia conditions above, take the first step by making an appointment with me for consultation. Many of the conditions mentioned can be treated and I also have additional options we can discuss as well, such as my customized full and partial hair systems.
REMEMBER: Early detection and prevention is better than correction!
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