I have alopecia – what can I do?

So you’ve either been diagnosed by a physician (or maybe you can tell by standing front of the mirror) – what can you do? Well, first we should take a look at just what this is and why this can be occurring to really understand the mechanics.

What is alopecia exactly?

Turns out, there’s three basic types of hair loss, known as alopecia areata, androgenetic alopecia, and telogen effluvium. Let’s look at each.

ALOPECIA AREATA:

This is generally known as an autoimmune condition that usually starts off with isolated patches of hair loss each around the size of a coin on the scalp and/or across the body (not just the head). Cells from your immune system basically disturb the base of hair, stopping the production of new hair. These isolated patches can worsen over time to total loss of scalp hair (known as alopecia totalis) or even the entire body (alopecia universalis). Catching it early gives you a good chance to try and treat it.

ANDROGENETIC ALOPECIA:

Also known as “Male Pattern Hair Loss”, this condition involves the shrinking of hair tufts until bare patches of skin are visible. This is the most common type of hair loss. Generally, Androgenetic Alopecia appears as a receding hairline with loss of hair from the top and front of the head, usually in an M-shaped pattern. The specifics behind this condition are related to both hormones and genetics. The more well understood mechanism is via the androgen (hormone) called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Increased amounts of this in hair follicles can lead to a shorter cycle of hair growth, which leads to shorter and thinner strands. Again, early diagnosis is key.

TELOGEN EFFLUVIUM:

Your hair grows and replenishes (usually) in cycles. Each follicle goes through anagen (active hair growth), catagen (involution or regression), and telogen (rest) phases. In Telogen Effluvium, some sort of external stimulus can cause your hair growth to be interrupted prematurely in the anagen phase, forcing it into the catagen and telogen phases early, thus leading to weaker hair and more hair shedding. Visually, one’s hair can begin to lighten in color and you can see both a receding hairline in the front and back.

What now?

You will likely fall into one of these three categories above – this is where Nimbus comes in. Our specialized genetics test will investigate just what the true cause of your hair loss is, down to the specific gene(s). This allows Nimbus to select the appropriate treatment regimen, be it testosterone replacement therapy or other medication therapy. Check out our other articles on the site to take a deeper look at the potential options. If you’d like, you can also speak to one of our specialists to discuss treatment regimens.

Aria Hastings

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