Alopecia is an autoimmune condition that results in hair loss on the scalp, face, and body. Alopecia can be inherited, or it can be triggered without any known cause. Around 20% of people who may have alopecia will develop it due to genetics. There are several types of alopecia that are all different advances of the previous, each with its unique circumstances.
- Alopecia Areata. It’s where the hair falls out incrementally in circle-shaped or oval-shaped patches on the scalp. The patches can join to make the areas of hair loss much more significant over time, or sometimes the hair can grow back. The same thing can happen in other places on your body too out of nowhere, whether it be eyebrows that fall out or facial hair loss – these little patches are harmless and usually temporary though generally quite alarming when they first start happening!
- Alopecia Totalis is total hair loss of the scalp. Alopecia totalis usually starts as alopecia areata and progresses as patches gradually connect and create bigger areas of hair loss. Sometimes it progresses so quickly that people end up with almost total hair loss before they even notice the patches were there.
- Alopecia Universalis is when all hair is lost across the entire scalp, face, and body.
There are many ways in which alopecia can show itself, to begin with. One is hair breakage, which occurs when the scalp loses small patches of hair. The most common form of alopecia is androgenic alopecia or better known as pattern hair loss. Androgenic alopecia affects many men and women across the globe. The hair loss is measured using different scales; for males, the Norwood scale, and females, the Ludwig scale.
Scalp micropigmentation (SMP) uses tiny cosmetic tattoos to make it look like you have hair where you actually may not. It has been proven successful in masking patches that are brought about by alopecia or scarring. However, this method is not applied to all forms of hair loss. First and foremost, SMP can mimic the look of scalp follicles in the patched areas. Because it uses tiny tattoos, it can camouflage any patchy spots on your head by blending pigment follicles in with the natural hair and follicles, so the patches become unnoticeable. Those suffering from totalis or universalis can receive the complete head treatment, which will leave you with the result of a full head of very closely shaved hair, also known as a buzzcut. Many people, especially women, suffer from low density rather than complete hair loss; in this case, the pigment can be implanted between the existing follicles to create fuller and thicker looking hair by eliminating the contrast between the hair and the skin.