|Understanding Hair Loss
In ancient Egypt, both males and females wore wigs made either from human hair, sheep's wool or vegetable fibers, depending upon their social status. Wigs became part of daily wear for the Egyptian people indicating their role in a society or politics.
There were several other reasons Egyptian people choose to wear a wigs; due to the hot climate many Egyptians choose to shave their heads for comfort and protected the Egyptians' baldheads from the brutal sun.
A baldhead helped avoid the danger of an infestation of lice, which was a problem at that time. Many Egyptians preferred having "hair" thus resulting in the creation of wigs because they gave the appearance of hair. Though humans no longer make use of hair for protection, heat retention, or camouflage, it still remains a very important means by which individuals display and are recognized.
Times haven't changed that much. There are many people today that consider hair their "Crowning Glory", which is fine if that creates a level of peace for them.
Personally I honor and am floored by those women who find complete comfort physically, emotionally and spiritually going without hair in public. I am in awe of their brave Spirit.
Even though I am rooted in the knowledge that my hair does not define who I am, that my essence is my own and nothing and no one can take that away from me, I am staying true to myself and to you when I say I still don't feel comfortable leaving my home without my hair. Maybe in time I will, but at the moment I am not at that place.
We'll see... It's something I am working on.
It's obvious to the "outside world" (those who have no hair issues) appropriate appearance and grooming are still very important in social organization and the human relationships.
Some Hair Loss Insight
The human body contains approximately five million hair follicles while the scalp (prior to any kind of hair loss) contains 100,000 - 150,000 hair follicles. Blondes have the greatest number of scalp follicles, followed by brunettes. Humans with red hair have the fewest number of scalp follicles. The normal growth rate of scalp hair is one-fourth to one-half inch per month.
These results may vary for those who have endured chemotherapy treatments. Sometimes the hair will need more time to get back to its once healthy stage.
Additionally, the hair may return in a different texture or color then before their treatments. Oddly, sometimes the hair color will resemble your childhood texture and color.
Usually within 2 years the hair will return to a more familiar state. It's hard to predict whether the hair will return in the time frame one would like or expect, all one can do is try to rejuvenate and rebuild the body's cellular structure as much as possible and thus support hair re-growth.
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Hair Innovation - One Intention - One Person at a Time.
For reasons not fully understood, DHT stops the supply of blood and oxygen to the follicle. So when a new hair sprouts, it is weaker, thinner, and unhealthier than its predecessor. This process is called miniaturization and it happens over and over until those miniaturized hairs can no longer reproduce themselves. Then the follicle dies. There is less hair re-growth, thus, thinner and thinner hair. Suddenly, you have female pattern baldness.
The Normal Hair Growth Cycle:
To understand the process of hair loss, it's important to understand how our hair reproduces in the first place. Hair grows from tiny hair follicles or living roots. The hair follicle is a physical structure which evolved to produce and push out a hair shaft.
Hair is made up of proteins called keratins. Human hair grows in a continuous pattern known as the "hair growth cycle".
Three phases of the cycle exist: Growth phase is called Anagen; Degradation phase is referred to as Catagen, and the resting phase is called the Telogen phase.
Periods of growth (anagen) between two and eight years are followed by a brief period, two to four weeks, in which the follicle is almost totally degraded (catagen).
The resting phase (telogen) then begins and lasts two to four months. Shedding of the hair occurs only after the next growth cycle (anagen) begins and a new hair shaft begins to emerge. On average 50-100 telogen hairs are shed every day. This is normal hair loss and accounts for the hair loss seen every day in the shower and with hair combing.
These hairs will regrow. Not more than 10 percent of the follicles are in the resting phase (telogen) at any time. A variety of factors can affect the hair growth cycle and cause temporary or permanent hair loss (alopecia) including medication, radiation, chemotherapy, exposure to chemicals, hormonal and nutritional factors, thyroid disease, generalized or local skin disease, and stress.
Androgens (testosterone, dihydrotestosterone) are the most important control factors of human hair growth. Androgens must be present for the growth of beard, axillary (underarm), and pubic hair. Growth of scalp hair is NOT androgen-dependent but androgens are necessary for the development of male and female pattern hair loss.
Women do produce small amounts of androgens by way of the ovaries and adrenal glands. Also pre-hormones are produced by the ovaries that are converted to androgens outside of the ovaries or adrenal glands.
Women rarely experience total loss of hair in a specific area if the loss is due to FPHL. If they do, they should be evaluated for an underlying pathological (disease) condition. In women, the process of miniaturization of the hair follicle is commonly unpredictable with some hair being unaffected. Normal thick hairs are mixed with finer, smaller diameter hairs.
The end result is a visual decrease in density of hair rather than total loss of hair. The hair growth cycle is affected as in men. The growth phase (anagen) is shortened resulting in shorter hairs and the resting phase (telogen) is increased resulting in fewer hairs.
If the cause of hair loss is suspected to be abnormally elevated or decreased amounts of hormones the patient should undergo laboratory tests to measure hormone levels.
Female Pattern Hair Loss FPHL (Androgenetic Alopecia)
Is quite different than the patterns of hair loss so often seen in men. It is more likely to be noticed later than in men, in the late twenties through early forties. It is likely to be seen at times of hormonal change, i.e., use of birth control pills, after childbirth, around the time of menopause, and after menopause. Recession at the temples is less likely than in men and women tend to maintain the position of their hairlines.
Like in men, the entire top of the scalp is the area of risk. In women there is generally a diffuse thinning throughout the area as opposed to thinning in the crown of men.
In this society there is the belief that exists where baldness is something that only happens to men certainly not to women. Right? Well, not exactly. Statistics show that by the age of 80, some 57% of women will experience some level of female pattern baldness.
A Definition of Alopecia Aerata
(Allo - peesha Ah - ree - ah - tah)
Alopecia Areata (AA) is a non-scarring, inflammatory, hair loss disease that can affect men, women and children. The factors that activate the onset of Alopecia Aerata and the mechanisms of its development are not fully understood.
*Alopecia areata is a highly unpredictable, autoimmune skin disease resulting in the loss of hair 49/ on the scalp and elsewhere on the body. This common but very challenging and capricious disease affects approximately 5 million people in the United States alone. Due to the fact that much of the public is still not familiar with alopecia areata, hopefully through the press and getting the word out through CreatedHair.com and people like you, this circumstance will soon be changed. The disease can have a profound impact on one's life and functional status, both at work and at school.
*In alopecia areata, the affected hair follicles are mistakenly attacked by a person's own immune system (white blood cells), resulting in the arrest of the hair growth stage. Alopecia areata usually starts with one or more small, round, smooth bald patches on the scalp and can progress to total scalp hair loss (alopecia totalis) or complete body hair loss (alopecia universalis).
Alopecia areata occurs in males and females of all ages and races; however, onset most often begins in childhood and can be psychologically devastating.
For women under twenty years of age, Alopecia has been known to occur many times spontaneously. Sometimes the hair will return and stay for years before falling out again. Sometimes the hair will never fall out again, staying forever.
Although not life-threatening, alopecia areata is most certainly life-altering, and its sudden onset, recurrent episodes, and unpredictable course have a profound psychological impact on the lives of those disrupted by this disease.
The pressures of an image orientated society can make hair loss psychologically devastating for those affected, their families, and friends.
*Circumstantial evidence suggests Alopecia Aerata is an autoimmune disease where cells of an individual's own immune system prevent hair follicles from producing hair fiber. It is not transferable through touch, blood, or saliva.
What Are The Initiating Factors For Alopecia Aerata?
They do not know what activates and promotes the onset of Alopecia Aerata hair loss. They still have no cure to this "Mystery Disease" as it commonly referred to. The trouble with AA is that there are soooooo many things associated with hair loss! It is an auto-immune condition.
As I mentioned above it is not fatal. There are many treatments available which are listed in this site however it all depends on the patient. There are no guarantees.
Genetic disposition is one common cause - usually 2-3 generations seem to carry the gene. Stress plays a vital factor, but there are several suggested factors that may influence the course of Alopecia Aerata such as;
1) Psychological long term chronic stress
2) Shock and sudden trauma
3) Physical trauma
4) Local skin injury
5) Genetic predisposition
6) Viral/bacterial infection
10) Seasonal changes
11) Lack of proper nutrition
12) Low Iron
14) Thyroid Dysfunction
15) Hormone imbalance
16) Acne Medication
17) Blood Thinners
Possible relating auto immune conditions such as Lupus and Crohnes disease and of course lack of balanced nutrition will always play a large part of hair loss.
Alopecia Totalis (Allo - peesha Toe - talice) is the total loss of scalp hair. Its causes are unclear, but it is an autoimmune disorder. Stress is sometimes thought to be a contributor to the hair loss caused by alopecia, however many people leading relatively stress-free lives have experienced the symptoms.
Alopecia Universalis (Allo - peesha Universe - alice) - What is Alopecia Universalis? Is a rare type of Alopecia resulting in total body hair loss.
If you or a loved one is suffering from Alopecia Universalis, it is important that you educate yourself on the condition. At CreatedHair com, we do our best to keep you abreast of the latest information and the newest products and technologies available. We are always open to your suggestions and any pertinent information you may come across you that you feel will help other women like yourself.
||Many individuals with Alopecia Universalis are born with some hair, but then begin losing it very quickly. The disorder is hereditary. It is caused by a mutation in a gene of a "hairless."
Patients are usually otherwise healthy, but have more thyroid disease and vitiligo than the general population. Those with vitiligo (patchy loss of skin color) may also develop AU in time.
Based on the known research, we can safely assume that only individuals with this rare and sever form of Alopecia Areata carry the gene. Unfortunately, there have not been enough studies done to verify that this is true of all those afflicted.
Aside from genetic tendencies, the contributing causes of Alopecia Universalis are not known. It is important that those with it are careful to protect themselves from the sun, bacteria, and other potentially harmful elements, as the scalp, nasal cavity and eyes are not protected.
According to the National Alopecia Areata Foundation, other than the hair, nails can also be affected. The nail involvement may be limited to pinprick indentations, all the way to severe distortion of the entire nail. Alopecia Universalis may be acute and short-lived, or remain permanently. The possibility of re-growth does remain however, even for those with 100% hair loss for many years. Predicting 'when' re-growth may occur is not currently possible.
A Little Background:
The Pedigree of Alopecia Universalis
Back in 1998, a researcher named M. Ahmad and his team of colleagues studied a family where Alopecia Universalis was present throughout all three generations. Children born into this family with this condition showed no other health problems, however skin biopsies from the scalps of these individuals showed very few hair follicles, and of those present, few contained hair shafts.
They established that there were no other inflammatory conditions present which may be responsible for any inhibition of hair growth. The individuals were born without eyebrows or eyelashes, and never developed them. They also never developed underarm or pubic hair.
They did an analysis of the chromosomes for all 7 individuals with Alopecia Universalis, looking for genetic similarities. They found a marker at a specific location which was consistent for all 7, but they were unable to determine exactly which gene was at this location. As a result, they hypothesized that there may be a genetic similarity in hairless mice, which might match the one they found in the humans.
Fortunately, there were several examples of Alopecia in mice. They cloned the mouse hairless gene and used the mouse sequence to make PCR primers. They then used these primers on DNA made from the RNA of human skin fibroblasts.
This identified a DNA sequence which gave them the coding sequence of the human HAIRLESS gene. In humans and mice, this gene is expressed in the skin and brain. (The brain function of the gene is not known). It appears to encode a zinc-finger transcription factor. A missense mutation was found to be present in the HAIRLESS genes of all the effected individuals in the family that was studied.
Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia (Sic-a-trick-ee-uhl Allo - peesha) another condition common among Black women, is characterized by circle-shaped balding at the crown toward the front of the head. Many dermatologists blame this condition on the sometimes outrageous things we do to our hair with tension, heat and chemicals.
Trichotillomania (Trick - oh - till - oh - main - ia): (TTM) A Hair Pulling Gene Prevalent and Treatable
This compulsion to pull hair out from the head or body is so strong that it goes far beyond just a 'habit'.
There aren't many statistics on Trichotillomania (TTM). According to the Trichotillomania Learning Center (TLC) it's pronounced: trik- oh-till-oh-may-nee-ah or 'trich' for short and it's a very "not out in the open" disease. "Many times people won't even come in for help because they don't want anyone to know. TTM is a compulsion to pull out hairs and can affect any head, facial, or body hair resulting in noticeable bald patches and serious hair loss in severe cases."
Who suffers from Trichotillomania?
According to statistics, this behavior affects approximately one in 50 people and that 90% of those with TTM are women, but the research is inconclusive as to why that is. One opinion is that men are less likely to seek treatment, and symptoms are less noticeable.
TTM seems to strike young in the pre or early adolescent years and a typical first-time hair-puller is around the age of 12, although TTM can affect people of all ages. This condition can be especially frustrating for parents whose children pull their hair because parents don't understand why anyone would do it or why they can't stop.
But Trichotillomania isn't just an ordinary habit that a person can easily stop. (What habit is?) It's a medical condition and experts now think that behaviors like hair pulling may be caused by an imbalance of brain chemicals. The compulsion for hair pulling varies in severity, location, and response to treatment from person to person. For some people, at some times, TTM is mild and can be controlled through self-awareness and willpower.
For others, at times, the urge is unavoidable. Experts say TTM occurs in happy, well-adjusted people as often as it occurs during times of anxiety, stress, trauma or other emotional disturbance. Hair pulling alone is not evidence of emotional disturbance or abuse, but it does not exclude these problems either. Depression is very common in people with TTM and should always be screened for as part of a treatment by your doctor.
What can a hair replacement specialist do about TTM?
For starters you can find acceptance at a professional and compassionate studio. We don't make value judgments as to the reason of your hair loss. We just try to make you feel better about it. We can help cover it up and sometimes that brings about improvement in the condition. But sometimes it doesn't, some patients have been known to pull on their hair replacements, too.
Also, if you're not sure why you're losing your hair, a hair replacement specialist can help confirm the reason along with diagnosis from your doctor. We are trained to feel for Trichotillomania and we suspect this disease when we feel stubble in the bald spots. Alopecia Areata bald patches feel smooth and so do pattern baldness spots, while
Trichotillomania patches have stubbly hair re-growth. A specialist will verify by looking through a scope to confirm hair growth and you should go to your primary care physician for an accurate diagnosis. The stubble is encouraging in itself which shows that the condition can be overcome and in most cases your hair will grow back!
A hair replacement specialist can provide a solution that covers just the bald patch seamlessly or they can provide for whole head protection and beautiful, natural-looking coverage with a full head wig.
What treatments are available?
Research into treatments for TTM has expanded as awareness has grown over the years. Although no one treatment is effective for everyone, a number of treatment options have shown promise. Children and adolescents, in particular, have different needs than adults. You may need to experiment with different combinations of treatments, medications, and tools to find what works for you. Check out www.trich.org.
One thing I have tried successfully with my clients is requesting they wear thin surgical gloves whenever they are not in public. What this does is prevent them from feeling the 'pop' that happens when the follicle is pulled from the head. This 'rush' is what most people with TTM are addicted to consciously and unconsciously.
According to e-medicine/WebMD; Telogen effluvium is a form of nonscarring alopecia characterized by diffuse hair shedding, often with an acute onset. A chronic form with a more insidious onset and a longer duration also exists.
Telogen effluvium is a reactive process caused by a metabolic or hormonal stress or by medications. Generally, recovery is spontaneous and occurs within 6 months.
Telogen effluvium can affect hair on all parts of the body, but, generally, only loss of scalp hair is symptomatic.
Understanding the pathophysiology of telogen effluvium requires knowledge of the hair growth cycle. All hair has a growth phase, termed anagen, and a resting phase, telogen. On the scalp, anagen lasts approximately 3 years, while telogen lasts roughly 3 months, although there can be wide variation in these times between individuals. During telogen, the resting hair remains in the follicle until it is pushed out by growth of a new anagen hair.
In most people, 5-15% of the hair on the scalp is in telogen at any given time. Telogen effluvium is triggered when a physiologic stress or hormonal change causes a large number of hairs to enter telogen at one time.
Headington has described 5 functional subtypes of telogen effluvium, based on which portion of the hair cycle is abnormally shortened or lengthened. It is rarely possible to distinguish these subtypes clinically.
Acute telogen effluvium can occur in either sex if the proper inciting conditions occur. Because hormonal changes in the postpartum period are a common cause of telogen effluvium, women may have a greater tendency to experience this condition. In addition, women tend to find the hair shedding more troublesome than men do; thus, more women seek medical attention for the condition. Chronic telogen effluvium has been reported mainly in women.
Telogen effluvium can occur at any age. It is not uncommon for infants in the first months of life to experience an episode of telogen effluvium.
The symptom of both acute and chronic telogen effluvium is increased hair shedding. Acute telogen effluvium is defined as hair shedding lasting less than 6 months. Patients with acute telogen effluvium usually complain of relatively sudden onset of hair loss. Careful questioning usually reveals a metabolic or physiologic stress 1-6 months before the start of the hair shedding.
Physiologic stresses that can induce telogen effluvium include febrile illness, major injury, change in diet, pregnancy and delivery, and starting a new medication. Immunizations also have been reported to cause acute hair shedding. Papulosquamous diseases of the scalp, such as psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis, can produce telogen effluvium.
Chronic telogen effluvium is hair shedding lasting longer than 6 months. The onset is often insidious, and it can be difficult to identify an inciting event. Because of the duration of the hair shedding, patients are more likely to complain of decreased scalp hair density, or they may note that their hair appears thin and lifeless.
In both forms of telogen effluvium, hair is lost diffusely from the entire scalp. Complete alopecia is not seen.
Ophiasis (Oh - fi - a - sis)
According to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia; Ophiasis is a form of alopecia areata characterized by the loss of hair in the shape of a wave at the circumference of the head.
It gets its name from "ophis", which is the Greek word for snake, because of the apparent similarity to a snake-shape and the pattern of hair loss.
The term "sisaipho" is used to characterize the inverse pattern. Sisaipho is the reverse spelling of ophiasis. It is also called "ophiasis inversus".
Ladies, although all of these conditions can be devastating, the one thing that is most important to keep in mind is just that... it is just a condition. It is not who you are in your soul. It does own you as a woman. It is a condition that you can endure and learn to live with. It helps when you have the right tools at your finger tips and the guidance to work with those tools correctly. Feel free to email me with your questions or concerns. I will do my best to assist you.