Alopecia Causes and Treatment

Alopecia is the broad term for any form of hair loss, no matter how severe. Many people associate the word Alopecia with the condition Alopecia Totalis, which is the condition that causes complete hair loss of the scalp and facial hair, however, there are a number of different forms of Alopecia.

Alopecia Areata

Defined by hair loss which does not produce scarring, Alopecia Areata is caused by the body’s immune system mistakenly attacking the hair follicle and it’s thought that genetics play a large role in the likelihood of developing the condition. Alopecia can appear at any age for both men and women.

Within the Areata family, there are three main conditions:

Localised Areata 

Small, often circular patches of hair loss which can range in size from 1cm to 5cm in diameter. These patches can be singular or can present as multiple patches throughout the scalp. It is an unpredictable condition in that it’s impossible to know when or where the hair will be lost, and how much will be lost.

Areata Totalis

The most recognised form of Alopecia, Totalis is often the progressive result of Areata and causes complete hair loss of the scalp. Facial hair including eyebrows, eyelashes, and beards may also be affected partially or fully.

Areata Universalis

The most severe type of Alopecia, Universalis is complete hair loss throughout the body, including arms, legs, and pubic area.

Androgentic Alopecia 

Early signs of Androgentic Alopecia include diffuse thinning on either the crown or top of the scalp, and can also be seen at the temples creating the appearance of a receding hairline.

Also known as Male or Female Pattern Baldness, this form of hair loss can begin as a general thinning of hair but can take years to become pronounced, although it can present much more rapidly depending on the individual’s genetic disposition, lifestyle choices and nutrient intake.

Traction Alopecia

A form of alopecia most commonly caused by putting hair follicles under sustained strain for long periods of time, those most likely to suffer from traction alopecia are those who most often wear their hair in braids, tight ponytails and cornrows.

Symptoms of Traction Alopecia include:

  • Irritation, redness, itching or ulcers on the scalp (scalp folliculitis)
  • A receding hairline typically around the forehead, temples, or nape
  • A widening hairline
  • Small pimples on the scalp or at the base of braids
  • Patches of thin or broken hair in places where the hair has been under strain in early stages and patches of shiny, scarred skin in more severe cases

Alopecia and Genetics 


The effects of genetics on whether an individual will suffer from alopecia is widely debated due to multiple genetic and environmental factors appearing to be an influence. Overall, the risk of developing the condition is greater for first-degree relatives (such as siblings or children) of affected individuals than it is in the general population. 

Statistically, over 60% of women will experience Female Pattern Baldness at some stage in their lives while up to 50% of men will experience male pattern baldness at some point in their lives and it can occur at any age, from 17 to 70.

Other Hair Loss risk factors include:

  • Hormonal changes and medical conditions
    Hormonal changes due to pregnancy, childbirth, menopause and thyroid problems can lead to hair loss within women. Immune system-related medical conditions including alopecia areata and trichotillomania (a hair-pulling disorder) are also common hair loss causes.
  • Medication
    Hair loss can be a side effect of medications and supplements such as those used for arthritis, depression, heart problems, gout and high blood pressure.
  • Cancer Treatment
    Radiation therapy to the head as well as medication for cancer treatment can lead to hair loss. Due to the harsh effects of treatment on the hair follicles, the hair may not grow back the same as it was before.
  • Stress
    Many people experience a general thinning of hair several months after a physical or emotional shock. This type of hair loss is temporary.

Alopecia Treatment 


Alopecia Areata Treatment

If caught in the early stages, our combination Laser Therapy programme and Minoxidil topical treatment can prevent further hair loss and encourage new growth, though more advanced stages may be better suited to hair replacement systems

Traction Alopecia Treatment

If caught early, treatments for traction alopecia can be entirely natural through preventative measures. These include:

  • Avoid tight hairstyles to reduce strain put on hair follicles and allow them to recover. Change hairstyles regularly every few weeks to prevent strain on one area of the scalp.
  • Avoid or limit chemical hair treatments, including relaxers and hot oil treatments if you have noticed areas of alopecia on your scalp. These treatments are harsh on hair follicles and can result in permanent hair loss should scarring occur. 

If your alopecia has progressed, a program of laser hair therapy and hair growth medication (minoxidil) can help prevent permanent hair loss. 

Androgenetic Alopecia Treatment

If caught in the early stages, our combination Laser Therapy programme and Minoxidil topical treatment can prevent further hair loss and encourage new growth, though more advanced stages may be better suited to hair replacement systems


Concealment Products 


Concealment products such as keratin fibres can reduce anxiety and provide a confidence boost as a temporary quick-fix for daily or occasional use, as they give the appearance of a full head of hair in seconds.

If you have noticed early signs of alopecia or struggling with any other form of hair loss, our trichologist can help diagnose your symptoms and recommend the best treatments. Contact our team today to begin your journey. 

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