|Natalie asks: |
I have had alopecia areata for about 12 years now. My hair falls out in patches and then grows back course frizzy with a curl in. It is very hard to style as it stands out from the rest of my hair. I straighten it every day which is causing it to look dry. I use Tigi shampoo and conditioner for coloured hair but am finding it is making my roots greasy. How can I look after my hair? What products do you suggest? I love my hair otherwise but these unruly patches of hair are making it difficult to maintain. Your advice is much appreciated
|Answered By: |
It sounds like you have accepted that you have to live with the alopecia areata and have give up trying to do something about it, and I would not if I were you. When I was in clinical practice I saw many hundreds of people with AA and almost all of them regained their hair .... sooner or later. ...More >
Alopecia areata (area) is a relatively common, but highly unpredictable, auto-immune disorder of the hair follicles, affecting approximately 1.7% of the population in the UK.
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. Occasionally, it progresses to affect the total scalp hair loss (alopecia totalis).
Alopecia areata occurs in males and females of all ages and races; however, onset most often begins in childhood. 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.
In an unaffected person 90% of the hair follicles are in the active, or hair producing, phase of the hair cycle (which lasts on average between 3 and 6 years), and 10% in the resting phase (which lasts about 3 months). In cases of alopecia areata all the hair follicles in a particular area are thrown from their active phase into their dormant phase were the hair falls out and the follicle rests for a time. But rather than the normal 3 months it can be 6 or 12 months or even several years. The one saving grace of alopecia areata is that the hair follicles never die. This is very important because as they are only dormant they can, and usually do, start producing hair again at some point.
Stress, shock, anxiety are all common causes of alopecia areata. Any of these can act as a triggering factor which starts the problem off and then, because of the stress the loss of hair can cause the disorder continuities even thought the initial causative factor has disappeared, so one is left with a viscous and perpetual cycle.
Because the hair is capable of growing given the right circumstances, it is a question of finding out what they are. Reducing any stress causing factor will help, and ensuring that the diet is good is very important (see feeding your hair information sheet).
There are a number of treatments which can be helpful. Minoxidil (trade name, Regaine) has been shown to stimulate the regrowth of hair in some people. This is available from Boots and other chemists (use the extra strength formula). A standard form of treatment in trichology clinics is exposure to concentrated ultra-violet radiation in order to cause a marked erythema. This treatment can be very successful if carried out over a period of a few weeks.
You should also consider consulting a qualified trichologist. The Institute of Trichologists will give you a list of people in your area. Tel: 08706 070602
|Kitty asks: |
My daughter has a devastating knot in her curly hair and googles advice of moraccan and argan oil made it worse! Every time it gets wet its worse, I need serious help ! the oil has made it a greasy knot.
|Answered By: |
Hi there Kitty,
Ok if the knot is solid and and it sounds like it is, the oil will just sit on the surface and in effect bind it tighter. You would be best to get some nail scissors and snip once through the knot then use a tangle teezer brush and ease the rest out . There will be minimal hair loss and pain for your daughter. To avoid future occurrence try plaiting the hair for sleep and use a sulphate free detangler daily when brushing. Make sure you get her hair trimmed regularly so the shorter hair (new growth) doesn’t get tangled. ...More >
Hope this helps you,
|Kay asks: |
I have recently had chemotherapy and lost most of my hair. The chemo is nearly over and I have to go back to work which requires me to wear my hair in a bun. This is not practical with a wig so I was wondering if extensions would be a good option. What do you suggest as the best type and what sort of cost would I be looking at.
|Answered By: |
Racoon International number one in hair extensions has set up a heavily subsidised programme to provide an alternative to wigs for women suffering from medical hair loss. ...More >
The Racoon International ’Hair in Recovery Programme’ will offer a tested, approved and trusted hair extensions service that is structured to be both accessible and affordable to as many women as possible.
Racoon has developed a unique training course that offers a specialized service to people who have lost their hair due to chemotherapy. Research to develop this specialist training and service has been conducted under the guidance of Iain Sallis A.I.T Consultant Trichologist who has clinics at three Nuffield Hospitals.
A pilot scheme is being launched by the company which is seeking 100 women to take part in the programme. Once the pilot is completed, Racoon is planning to roll out the service nationwide through its network of 5, 000 appointed salons. It is also hoped that the service will eventually be offered through the NHS. Racoon International will subsidise 70% of the cost of hair and their unique bonding system to the patient, and all Racoon salons will reduce their hourly rate for application and maintenance visits. Racoon say that the cost of a full head, including application, will range from £155 for 10" hair to £170 for 12" hair. The hair is reusable and with regular salon care should last the patient between 6 and 12 months. Ethical sourcing of the hair is guaranteed.
Full consultation prior to application, care advice and instructions post application and regular salon check up visits will ensure that the patient’s extensions, existing hair and scalp are kept in tip top condition.
If you would like to find out more about The Racoon International ’Hair in Recovery’ programme and how to take part call 01295 770999
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