The term “Alopecia” means hair loss. When we attach the word Alopecia to a specific condition, it refers to different kinds of hair loss. Alopecia (or hair loss) can be an inherited, genetic trait; or something that is induced by a psychological or physiological change; or an autoimmune disorder. The hair and scalp specialists at Truly You can provide treatments for alopecia to our Toronto and Mississauga clients to reverse, stop, or prevent hair loss.
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Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA)
Androgenetic Alopecia, also known as Female Pattern Hair Loss (FPH) or Male Pattern Baldness (MPB), is the most common type of hair loss seen in both men and women. Dominant for men and recessive for women, the hair is genetically programmed to gradually fall out. 1 in 4 women experience Androgentic Alopecia and often see hair loss happening on the top of the head and frontal hairline, and sometimes seen on the sides of the head as well. Although this condition tends to be more common post menopause, it can begin as early as puberty.
Hair loss occurs when shedding hair is not replaced with new hair regrowth or when the daily hair shed exceeds 125 hairs. It is believed that this type of hair loss is caused by the hormone Testosterone. Testosterone is present in all bodies; however, Estrogen usually protects the body against the effects of Testosterone. In Female Pattern Hair loss, Dehydrotestosterone (DHT) interferes with the hair follicle, causing it to degenerate (resulting in thinner hair with a lighter pigmentation), and finally, to wither and die, producing no hair at all.
For those predisposed to hereditary hair loss, Androgentic Alopecia can be accelerated by a stressful emotional or physiological event. Hair loss as a response to a specific event is known as Telogen Effluvium (Reactional Hair Loss). Examples of reactional hair loss include postpartum hair loss, hair loss due to illness or surgery, and hair loss as a result of trauma or emotional stress. Our specialists can assess your hair loss due to alopecia at our Mississauga clinic and prevent further damage to hair follicles with a personalized alopecia treatment. Come to our Mississauga clinic for an assessment today.
Alopecia Areata, Alopecia Totalis, Alopecia Universalis
Alopecia Areata, Alopecia Totalis and Alopecia Universalis are autoimmune disorders where the affected hair follicles are mistakenly attacked by a person’s own immune system (white blood cells), resulting in the arrest of the hair growth stage. Alopecia Areata usually starts with one or more small, round, smooth bald patches on the scalp and can progress to total scalp hair loss known as Alopecia Totalis or complete body hair loss known as Alopecia Universalis.
Autoimmune forms of Alopecia occur in males and females of all ages and backgrounds; however, onset most often begins in childhood and can be psychologically devastating. Although not life-threatening, Autoimmune Alopecia is most certainly life-altering, and its sudden onset, recurrent episodes, and unpredictable course of progression have a profound psychological impact on the lives of those disrupted by this disease.
Some people develop only a few bare patches that regrow hair within a year (Alopecia Areata). In others, extensive patchy hair loss occurs, and in a few, all scalp hair is lost (Alopecia Totalis), or hair is lost from the entire scalp and body (Alopecia Universalis). No matter how widespread the hair loss, the hair follicles remain alive and are ready to resume normal hair production whenever they receive the appropriate signal. In all cases, hair regrowth may occur even without treatment and even after many years.
Scarring Alopecia occurs when scar tissue replaces normal tissue on the scalp that has been damaged due to burns, infectious agents or diseases such as Scleroderma, Lupus or Erythematosus. Hair cannot grow through scar tissue, therefore Scarring Alopecia is often permanent. Some common forms of Scarring Alopecia include:
LPP (Lichen Planopilaris): A progressive, inflammatory condition affecting the skin and mucous membranes that results in patches of hair loss on the sides, front and lower back of the scalp and can lead to permanent scarring.
FFA (Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia): A form of LPP characterized by progressive hair loss and scarring on the scalp near the forehead and frontal hairline, which can also affect eyebrows, eye lashes, and other parts of the body. The hair that has already been lost cannot be restored, but to prevent further hair loss from alopecia come to our Mississauga clinic for a trichology assessment. Signs and symptoms include itchy or painful scalp, receding hairline, and/or small, raised bumps on the scalp.
Discoid Lupus: A chronic skin condition characterized by sores causing inflammation and scarring on the face, ears, scalp and sometimes other parts of the body. When lesions occur in areas with hair, like the scalp, permanent hair loss is possible.
Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia (CCCA): A skin condition causing inflammation and scarring, resulting in permanent hair loss on the crown region of the scalp.
Traction Alopecia refers to hair loss caused by continuous and excessive stress on one’s hair, which can include high ponytails, braids, hair pulling, or incorrect styling techniques. Hairs that receive the most tension or repetitive trauma may gradually stop growing, resulting in either temporary or permanent hair loss in areas of the scalp.
Trichotillomania (https://www.trulyyou.ca/articles-hair-loss-due-to-physiological-conditions.asp), also known as “hair-pulling disorder,” is a form of Traction Alopecia. Trichotillomania is a Body Focused Repetitive Behaviour disorder characterized by the ongoing or repetitive pulling out of one’s hair resulting in noticeable hair loss (commonly occurring on the head and face). Focused pulling often occurs in response to an internal state of anxiety, stress and/or depression, or is triggered by an external event. By contrast, automatic pulling can occur without the individual’s awareness, often during everyday activities like watching television or reading. Trichotillomania most commonly occurs among young children, adolescents, and women. Treatment may involve behavioural therapy or psychiatric help where an antidepressant may be prescribed.