For a woman, experiencing alopecia areata is devastating both physically--seeing the hair fall, the visible thinning patches--and emotionally since a woman’s hair is her crowning glory.
Dealing with alopecia areata can be emotional and difficult, especially if it starts at a young age.
The hair loss can be unpredictable and happen rather quickly while the road to recovery takes much longer. Although it is not painful, internally it can cause anxiety or depression. Coping with the symptoms begins with understanding the disease and what treatment options are available.
What Is Alopecia Areata?
According to the National Alopecia Areata Foundation (NAAF), “alopecia areata (AA) is a prevalent autoimmune skin disease resulting in the loss of hair on the scalp and elsewhere on the body. It usually starts with one or more small, round, smooth patches on the scalp and can progress to total scalp hair loss (alopecia totalis) or complete body hair loss (alopecia universalis)."
The American Hair Loss Association says, “people with just one or two patches of AA often have a full and spontaneous recovery within two years whether or not they receive treatment. However, about 30% of individuals find the condition persists and becomes more extensive, or they have repeated cycles of hair loss and regrowth.”
Although there is no cure or FDA approved treatments for AA, many find that products made for hair loss can help with temporary regrowth. Some doctors may recommend the use of corticosteroids in the form of creams or injections. Recurring hair loss patients may even try topical contact allergens, which cause inflammation to the affected area with regrowth as a possible outcome. Consult with a medical professional to discuss treatment options and their side effects.
Many may choose to try over-the-counter options first to see if they are effective. Minoxidil is designed for pattern baldness (androgenic alopecia) and has been said to be helpful in milder cases of AA. However, as technology has improved, there has been a major increase in over-the-counter options. One includes Éprouvage’s Restorative Scalp Serum which is a potent scalp treatment that features an award winning ingredient called Redensyl that works to target the hair at a cellular level. Hair goes through three phases and Redensyl helps to keep hair in the growing phase longer, resulting in fuller, thicker hair and less hair fall.
"For a woman, experiencing alopecia areata is devastating both physically--seeing the hair fall and the visible thinning patches--and emotionally, since a woman’s hair is her crowning glory," adds Éprouvage global artist Sam Lavella. "At times like these, she is apprehensive about what to do, what to use and will it make it worse? Our Restorative Scalp Serum is the perfect product to address these concerns. Containing progressive plant stem cell technology, éprouvage rejuvenates the scalp and fights oxidative stress. Using the award winning ingredient Redensyl, a non-pharmaceutical, cosmetic grade ingredient, the hair remains in the growing phase longer, reducing hair fall, creating thicker fuller hair and most importantly all with no harsh or harmful side effects reassuring her during this stressful time.”
Unfortunately for the long-term and intense cases of alopecia areata, these treatments may never be enough.
For smaller areas, hair powders like Toppik or eyeshadow can offer temporary coverage. Wigs, hairpieces, scarves and hats can help with extreme cases. More importantly, understanding that your hair does not define your worth in this world. If you are experiencing a loss of self-esteem, support from your friends, family and groups can help with the emotional feelings.