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Causes, facts and professional help

Human hair brings a face to live and gives personality. Hair growth and loss are part of a natural human process. Our blood generates a cycle in a follicle (skin pore). This cycle generates dead tissue that builds up around the follicle and results in hair growth. That’s why it doesn’t hurt to cut or handle our hair.

It’s normal to shed up to 100 hairs a day.  However, any excess or accelerated hair loss may be alopecia.

What is alopecia?

Alopecia is a the most common condition leading to hair loss. There’s different types but the most frequent is known as Androgenetic alopecia. Recent data shows it affects about 50% of men over the age of 50, and about 50% of women over the age of 65.

Excessive or accelerated hair loss can be caused by several factors but alopecia is categorized into scarring (cicatricial) which cause inflammation and destroys the follicule; non-scarring (non-citatricial) alopecia which not cause skin irritation or focal (diffuse alopecia) which affects hair density (1). A professional or medical diagnose is required to determine this skin condition.

Scarring alopecia. Source: JJ Hair Replacement

Scarring alopecia (citatricial) alopecia. Source: JJ Hair Replacement Center

Severe alopecia. Source: JJ Hair Replacement Center

Psychological effects of hair loss

Research into the psychological effects associated with hair loss is limited. Most agree on personal, social or work problems for those facing alopecia.

Koo et al. (1994) study determined that 74% of patients with alopecia areata had one or more lifetime psychiatric diagnoses (2). This study reported high prevalence of depression, anxiety, social phobia or paranoid disorder (prolonged mistrust and suspicion of others)

García-Hernández et at. (1999) study found that stress in people with hair loss increased risk of anxiety, depression and social phobia (3). Aghaei et al (2014) identified higher depression and anxiety risks in people with alopecia areata as well (4). Hunt & McHale (2006) found hair loss may be seen in terms of abnormality and as a failure to conform the norms of physical appearance within society (5). This study found stressful events of hair loss lead to distress, anxiety and depression.

Next Steps

Our social and media interaction daily portrays norms of abundant hair and physical appearance. That’s why it’s important for anyone facing hair loss anxieties to seek professional help.

We constantly see the pain caused by hair loss in our clinic. We are compromised in putting all our experience to help each person in their physical and emotional transformation.

1. https://dermnetnz.org/topics/psychological-effects-of-hair-loss/

2.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7883407/#:~:text=Although%20previous%20reports%20have%20been,or%20more%20lifetime%20psychiatric%20diagnoses.

3.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10554427/

4. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn/2014/304370/

5.https://www.researchgate.net/publication/231184101_Reported_experiences_of_persons_with_alopecia_areata