The devastation that comes with hair loss can be quite dramatic. In most cultures, hair plays a significant role in making up physical appearance. People judge each other on how it is presented. Hair loss interferes with this due to its high visibility, affecting the mental and emotional state of sufferers. Alopecia is a medical condition that is the cause of many hair loss problems. There are different types of alopecia, but sadly, most are not curable. The condition tends to appear suddenly at any stage in life and is difficult to reverse. It is also widespread, with close to 150 million sufferers across the world. They are generally classified into two categories: scarring alopecia and non-scarring alopecia.
Alopecia is typically classified based on cause and the effect displayed. Androgenic Alopecia, also known as male pattern baldness, is the most common form of alopecia. It mainly affects men over the age of 50 yrs. It is believed to be linked to changes in the male sex hormones, with many cases being hereditary. The more advanced forms of non-scarring alopecia which are the most prevalent are:
- Alopecia Areata – This is an autoimmune condition that presents in the form of circular patches of hair loss. This condition can arise at any age and is often exacerbated by factors such as work stress, death of a loved one, and poor health.
- Alopecia Totalis – This is more advanced than Alopecia Areata. In its most extreme form of alopecia, there is a complete loss of hair from the scalp.
- Alopecia Universalis – This is another autoimmune condition that is denoted by the total, or near-total loss of hair, from all over the body. It is a rare condition, accounting for about 1% of alopecia cases.
- Traction Alopecia – This predominantly affects women who often have their hair pulled back in braids or under weaves. It also includes people with trichotillomania, a compulsive disorder caused by constant hair plucking and pulling. The strain of this sustained pulling causes stress on the hair follicles around the edges that eventually fall out. If caught in the early stages, this condition may be reversed with due care.
- Alopecia Telogen Effluvium – This is whereby there is more than the normal shedding of hair. There is a general thinning which often corrects itself in time. It is treatable in many cases.
There are various types of scarring alopecia, the most common are:
- Lichen Planopilaris (LPP) – it destroys the hair follicles which are replaced with big or small permanent scarring all over the scalp.
- Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia (FFA) – it is a form of LPP predominant in women that is limited to the scalp near the forehead.
- Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia (CCCA) – it often occurs in women and usually affects the middle of the scalp. Hair loss slowly progresses outwards from the center of the scalp.
Many of these conditions are either untreatable or will take a while for recovery. Hair loss is stressful for both men and women who suffer it. They lose confidence and are often embarrassed when attention is drawn to this negative change in their appearance. Many end up pursuing extreme and sometimes quack treatments in a desperate bid to find a solution. Hair Tattoo offers sufferers an effective way to disguise their hair loss. While it does not restore the actual hair follicles lost, it does replicate the look that they are still intact. A form of medical tattooing that utilizes modern techniques and equipment, SMP is the ideal cosmetic solution for hair loss that is long-lasting and minimally invasive.