© 2012 London Hair Clinic 7/11/2012
Alopecia is often thought of as being a specific disease, however this is a misunderstanding. Alopecia simply means hair loss, and there are many different types of hair loss, hence in the paragraphs below many different forms of alopecia will be referred to. It must be noted that while there are several theories as to the causes of Alopecia, as of yet no one can completely explain hair loss.
The most common cause of men's hair loss is androgenetic alopecia – most commonly known as male pattern baldness because it commonly affects men (although there is a female variation of the condition). There are many competing theories on the causes of androgenetic alopecia: some claim it is a genetic condition and others argue that environmental causes play a part in it. Androgenetic alopecia occurs when the cells in a hair follicle fail to duplicate, stopping the hair growing and leaving it weak, to the point where there is no hair left. As of yet, no one can be certain of the causes.
Androgenetic Alopecia often starts with a receding hair line. It rarely leads to complete hair loss, and the variation between hair loss levels is great - while some men will only notice a touch of thinning hair at the temples, some will only be left with a small 'rim' of hair outlining the crown. The condition often affects older men, but this is not exclusive. Depending on the extent of hair loss, there are a variety of pieces available. There are partial pieces for when the hair loss is minimal, and full hair systems for when a great area is affected.
Other forms of Alopecia include Alopecia Areata. It is characterized by 'bald patches' forming on the head, as it does not cover one specific area but creates hair loss in patches. This form of hair loss is not restricted to the head alone, nor to one gender – both men and women can be affected by it. Alopecia areata is thought to be an autoimmune disorder, whereby the body’s immune system turns against it an attacks healthy tissue. It had been known to emerge when a patient has suffered trauma, but often it has no apparent cause.
Hair pieces are often the most suitable non-surgical hair replacement, though for cases where there's a great amount of hair loss, full hair systems are available.
Alopecia Totalis is the loss of all hair on the head (as opposed to Alopecia Universalis, where hair is lost all over the body). For Alopecia Totalis patients full hair systems are available.
There are, of course, instances of hair loss that aren't caused by any underlying disorder. Hair loss can be a result of medical treatment – most notably chemotherapy. Chemotherapy is a complex treatment where harmful chemicals are used to target cancerous cells in the body. The treatment cannot be specifically targeted however, and hair cells are also affected, causing the hair to weaken and fall out. This hair loss is total, but not permanent, so often people opt for full pre-made systems when suffering from this kind of hair loss.
Hair does not always grow on scar tissue, so when injuries occur to the head, or surgeries have to be performed, there is always a risk that one can be left with a bald area where the scar is. This is known as Cicatricial Alopecia. Again, the kind of hair system suited to this kind of Alopecia depends on the extent of the scarring. For large areas of hair loss, full hair replacement systems are best, where as smaller areas of hair loss can be covered with a hair piece.
Trichotillomania or Trichothillosis
This is a psychiatric condition where by patients are driven to pulling out their own hair. It is deemed to be a type of compulsive control disorder, and little is known about its causes. Often the condition occurs in young people, with symptoms emerging before the age of seventeen. While many people stop pulling the hair after a period of about twelve months, for some Thrichotillomania is a lifelong disorder. Full hair systems and partial hair pieces can be provided for sufferers of Thrichotillomania.
No matter what the cause is of your hair loss, the extensive selection of men's hair systems and partial hair pieces means that there is a hair system to suit every kind of hair loss.
© 2012 London Hair Clinic 7/11/2012