September is a month of bringing awareness to the plight of those with alopecia. We explain this condition and provide advice for those suffering from hair loss.

Losing strands of your hair is normal. In fact, most people shed between 50 and 100 of them each day. But significant hair loss could be a result of an underlying condition. It could be linked to hormones or genetics. Or it could be alopecia.

Alopecia Areata: what is it?

According to the National Alopecia Areata Foundation, around 6.8 million Americans, and approximately 147 million people worldwide, suffer from this autoimmune disorder. This means that the body attacks the hair follicles, resulting in more hair fall than usual. The onset is often sudden, with clumps of hair being shed and circular bald spots forming. And it’s not just your head that can be affected, but eyebrows, eyelashes, and other bodily hair as well.

alopecia hair

Photo by Bennie Lukas Bester from Pexels

While some people can lose patches which, in time, grow back, some people can lose most or all of their hair. Some famous faces who have struggled with alopecia areata are Little Mix star Jesy Nelson, Oscar winner Viola Davis and top model Tyra Banks.

How do you treat it?

While there is no cure for alopecia areata, it is a manageable condition. There are topical treatments and injections that can be provided and performed by a dermatologist. 

When it comes to daily management, it’s important to make sure that your mind and body are healthy in order to keep hair fall at a minimum. This means taking supplements with hair-boosting folic acid and biotin. It will also help to incorporate food that promotes hair and scalp health, so get munching on those healthy fats and protein! Eliminating (or at least minimizing) stress levels can also go a long way in preventing excess hair loss.

Looking for an alopecia areata support group? Click here to find a community in your area.