- The condition affects 0.1% - 0.2% of males & females.
- It is thought that the body attacks it's own hair follicles resulting in suppressed hair growth or hair growth stopping altogether, although there are many other causes of the condition.
- The first symptoms are usually small bald patches.
- For about 50% of sufferers the hair will grow back within a year without any treatment.
- For 90% of sufferers hair will eventually grow back and for the remaining 10% there will be some or no hair growth.
- Some think Alopecia is hereditary however the most common cause is usually a physiological issue such as stress.
Telogen Effluvium - a condition in which there is an abnormal loss of hair due to an alteration of the normal hair growth cycle.
- For the sufferers, more hair enters the resting phase of the hair cycle than normal which results in an increased amount of hair shedding.
- It is thought that Telogen Effluvium is a major cause of Alopecia.
- Often a shock to the system such as physical trauma, vaccinations, crash diets or having surgery can cause this hair disorder or hormonal imbalances can also be a cause.
- Shock can cause Telogen Effluvium as it results in a proportion of the hair follicles going into hibernation.
- The disorder is fully reversible because the hair follicles are not permanently affected.
- Treatments for the condition often depend on the factors that caused it in the first place.
Trichotillomania - a condition in which suffers obsessively pull out hair.
- Suffers get repeated urges to pull hair, most commonly from the scalp.
- The condition often leads to bald patches and broken hair.
- The most common causes of the condition is stress, anxiety or mood disorders.
- For many sufferers, they have symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).
- Two affective treatments for Trichotillmania are behavioural therapy or medications.
- The disorder isn't just in humans but is common in animals: Mice under stress will pull out each others fur and unhappy birds may pluck out their own feathers.
Traction Alopecia - a condition in which hair sheds because of the hair constantly being pulled on.
- When tight hair styles are used, the roots of the hair are being pulled on (traction).
- The causes are often things like tight braids, pony tails or cornrows.
- When traction continues for a long time, the hair eventually sheds.
- The follicles can become damaged from Traction Alopecia which can eventually lead to hair not growing altogether.
- This condition is simple if treated in the early stages.
- It may take several months for the hair to recover from the excessive strain on the hair follicles.