What is Alopecia?
My Doctor says I have Alopecia
It wasn’t until recently that I learned the word alopecia means “hair loss.” It was after complaining to my doctor about the clumps of hair that were falling out, and the bald patches developing around my ear. She diagnosed my condition as Alopecia Areata. I was told that Alopecia is a common form of hair loss for women over 50, and that there really isn’t anything to get worried about. I couldn’t help being worried and upset, my hair has always been one of my finest features, I want to keep it.
Why am I Losing My Hair or Thinning?
I dove into doing research on Alopecia. I found that there is a lot of information out there on all types of alopecia and how it affects men, women and also children. There are various remedies that are used. Most importantly, I found a hair loss replacement center that recommended the best possible way to manage my type of alopecia.
Alopecia Areata affects about 5 million people in the United States, that includes both female and males alike. It’s an autoimmune disease where the bodies own immune system attacks the hair follicles in the scalp which causes them to fall out. It is not uncommon to also have a tingling sensation in the balding areas of your scalp. A person’s genetic makeup, stress, an illness that can bring on the hormone fluctuation levels and be factors that cause alopecia. The result can be a single bald patch, or patches of tremendous hair loss. On occasion the hair can grow back, but only to fall out again. Needless to say, having alopecia is a very frustrating experience.
Alopecia Totalis is an advanced form of alopecia areata. The result of this form causes a person to lose all hair on the scalp.
Alopecia Universalis is the most advanced form of alopecia. The result of this type causes total hair loss all over the body. This includes eyelashes, and eyebrows.
Androgenetic alopecia is a thinning of the hair to a very sparse state. For men, it is probably the most common type of hair loss and thought to be hereditary. Men that suffer with this type of alopecia hair loss have more distinct patterns of baldness that are also referred to as “male pattern baldness.” For women with this type of hair loss, have a more diffuse thinning that takes place all over the scalp.
Traction alopecia is a form of hair loss due to the excessive tension or pulling on the hair shafts. There are certain hairstyles that can cause this like ponytails, braids, and flat twists. It is more prevalent for women, especially those in East Indian and Afro-Caribbean origins. Hair loss can depend on the way the hair is being pulled. If you have prolonged traction alopecia, new hair follicles stop developing and that leads to permanent hair loss.
This type of hair loss is usually caused by chemicals like those used to treat cancer. The hair loss that happens typically is noticed initially in patches which can then become total hair loss. The good news is that when you stop the use of these chemicals, the hair usually grows back, but it can take up to 6 months or more. There are also several medications that when taken can cause the same hair loss.
Telogen Effluvium is another type of hair loss that happens when more hair than normal being to fall out. Unlike some other hair and scalp conditions, it is often temporary and the hair does grow back.
Menopause and After
For women with menopause, your estrogen and progesterone levels begin to drop. It is believed that this is the cause for the hair to begin to thin for some. Testing your blood sugar levels, thyroid function and for rheumatoid disease can also be suggested by your doctor to rule out any other causes for your hair loss. Women in menopause and post-menopause may find their doctors prescribe them with a limited-term prescription for estrogen, Rogaine (Minoxidil), steroids, or metformin (a drug often used with type 2 diabetes).
SALON ALON FIVE ESSENTIAL PARTS OF EVERY CLIENT CONSULTATION
Each client consultation will be different based on clients needs and personality.
Most need to include these five aspects to give a comprehensive recommendation and to allow us to know exactly what you want.
First, it is important to ask questions to allow our clients to share their thoughts about their hair.
What would you like to achieve with your hair today?
What is your hair care routine?
Are you wanting to keep your hair the same for awhile or change it up soon?
What is your personal style?
To get the most out of our consultation, we encourage our clients to fill out a short questionnaire to help us get a better idea of what our client is looking for and — if they are a new client — to know them.
ABOUT THE APPOINTMENT
Once we know what you are looking for, it is best to discuss what our appointment will look like and what you can expect for future appointments. This is crucial for clients who are requesting more complex treatments or working towards a dramatic style change. Giving you an idea of what the process will be to achieve your desired look and why we must accomplish it in that way will allow us to educate you client and build trust with you.
As we discuss what you are looking for, it is also important to discuss your budget. Thought money won’t be an issue for some clients, others may have to take a longer route to achieve their desired style or may need to find a less expensive, but similar style. Giving our client a clear picture of what they can expect to pay is a must for building trust.
Discussing the maintenance process is also an important part of our consultation. Most likely, it will naturally come up in conversation as we explain what will take place during your appointment and the following appointments if we are working with you to create a dramatic style change: being clear about how often you will need to come back to the salon for touch ups or a trim.
RECOMMENDING AT-HOME CARE
Lastly, making recommendations for at-home care. Suggesting products that will help you care for your investment, that fit within your budget, and can be easily integrated into your hair care routine. Additionally, after the consultation, if you are trying out a new style, we sure to show you as you style you hair the steps they can take to achieve the same look.