Alopecia is another word for hair loss, it is not a name for a disease. Hair loss can have various causes, for example, it can be a side effect of medicines such as chemotherapy. But there are also forms of alopecia in women who do not indicate a disease of side effects from medical treatment. About the two most common; Alopecia androgenetics and Alopecia areata, we are happy to give you some more information.
Alopecia androgenetics is the hair loss that is explained by 'that baldness'. The term whose baldness is somewhat confusing, because women can also suffer from this form of baldness. It is caused by the sensitivity of the hair follicles to the hormone dihydroxy-testosterone (DHT). In the Netherlands, more than 20% of women over the age of 30 have to cope with alopecia androgenetics.
If you have to cope with a (much) thinner hair implant, often mainly on the centerline of your head of crown, then there may be alopecia androgenetics. Strictly speaking, it is not a disease. It is a normal aging phenomenon. Still, that can be very annoying, especially for women where the baldness is clearly visible. Unlike alopecia areata, this "analog" baldness is an irreversible process.
Hair that is gone stays away, unfortunately. At a certain point, "acceptance" is inevitable.
You can possibly cover the bald spots with our scarves, hair bands, hats or caps. Of course there are also hairpieces, hair replacements from wigs that can offer a solution that makes you feel good.
Alopecia areata means baldness in spots.
The bald spots are often limited to the hairy head, but can occur in all body areas where normal hairs grow. Such as eyebrows, armpits and pubic area. In the spots (almost) all your hairs fall out, while the skin around it shows normal hair growth.
It also happens that the hair does not fall out in spots, but evenly and spread over the entire scalp. Sometimes is extended to complete baldness of your head or of your entire body. In most cases, hair growth recovers spontaneously within a few months to years.
In some cases, however, total healing does not occur. This means that, tough enough, you should always wait for the natural course. Then there are all kinds of choices to make, such as whether or not to wear different types of headwear and whether or not to tell people around you.
However: those who are just getting used to baldness can be confronted with the erratic course of alopecia areata. It can happen that the hair comes back, sometimes in part. This then means "learn to live" with the chance that hair may fall out again. Uncertainty about this is just about the only certainty there is, because the course of alopecia areata is different for everyone.
The exact cause is unknown, unfortunately. One thinks of a disorder in the body's defense mechanism, the immunity. Your defense seems derailed and is not directed against external infections but against your own body, in this case against your hair roots.
Whether tensions and too much stress can provoke or aggravate alopecia areata has not been demonstrated, but is sometimes experienced as such. Many experience that alopecia areata occurs during special circumstances such as vacation, pregnancy, the loss of a loved one or other forms of stress.
These life events may be the triggering factors for extra hair loss, but that may not always be the case. The course of the disease is adversely affected if the disorder originated in childhood, other diseases of immunological origin occur in the patient or in his (her) family, other body areas where hair and / or nails normally grow, are affected or when alopecia areata in the family.
It is very healthy to look for an explanation, to see if anything could change the situation. A disadvantage of designating stress as the cause of hair loss is that it can lead to self-blame. It is not useful to blame yourself or try to avoid situations that are unavoidable. It is impossible to live without tensions, positive or negative. Anyone who lists all known facts will consider the appearance of alopecia areata primarily as a matter of bad luck. At a certain point, "acceptance" is inevitable.
You can cover the bald spots with our scarves, hair bands, hats or caps. Of course there are also hairpieces, hair replacements or wigs that can offer a solution that makes you feel good.
The health insurance funds and private insurers often have a reimbursement scheme for this.
Sources: Nederlandse Vereniging voor Dermatologie en Venereologie, AAPV.nl