What is alopecia areata, this disease that causes severe hair loss including in women? What are the solutions for treatment? Can we think of hair transplantation? Answers by Dr. Mostafa Refaa, a dermatologist, and Dr. Ghislaine Bellin, a cosmetic and anti-aging doctor.
A few weeks ago, everyone was talking about it on social networks: the slap that American actor Will Smith gave to Chris Rock, during the Oscars. Why this slap? Because the Master of Ceremonies, who specializes in blatant jokes, had just mocked the shaven head Jada Pinkett Smith, wife of comedian Will Smith. However, everyone (or at least every Hollywood) knows that for many years she has suffered from alopecia areata, a disease that causes significant hair loss and is generally difficult for women to live with.
Alopecia in women: what is it?
The hair, which becomes thinner over time, appears more sparse to the point of revealing the skin of the skull…”We talk about hair loss when the fall, both normal and normal, exceeds one hundred lost fibers per day, as a result of the telogen phase. Explains Camille Maas, scientific expert in pharmacology. Healthy hair follows a three-phase cycle: anagen (growth), anagen (resting) and finally telogen (end of life). “When things get out of hand, it is because the rhythm no longer follows, skips, or interrupts the accretion period. However, if we always have the impression that there are millions of hairs, the average is only 100,000-150,000 hairs, which can quickly create sparse areas, and even complete hair loss in the worst case. Our expert notes.
Falls can be acute (sudden) or chronic (installed over several months or years, as is the case for male-pattern baldness)”, Camille Maas says.
What are the causes of hair loss in women?
No, alopecia does not only affect men. Women can also be affected, even younger ones. 16% of them suffer from it compared to 50% of men.
- The causes of alopecia are multipleIt varies according to age, health status, deficiencies, and taking certain medications or psychological trauma.” Dr. Rafa, MD, a dermatologist in Paris and Head of Dermatology at the Center Hospitalier sud Francilien de Corbeil Essonnes explains.
- genetic baldness It begins after puberty, and is sometimes associated with oily hair, acne, or… Hairiness. It manifests itself in the upper part of the skull, and gradually, the hairs are replaced by medium hairs, and then the lower ones. This type of alopecia in women is located in the frontal and occipital region.
- reactive hair loss It occurs after major psychological and emotional trauma, childbirth, surgery, or significant weight loss. It can resolve in 4 to 6 months.
>> There is also something called Chronic telogen effluvium. The cause is mysterious and occurs in middle-aged women. It develops infrequently, with diffuse and seasonal hair loss often.
Other causes are the origin of alopecia: those resulting from Thyroid disease or autoimmune diseaseiron deficiency, heavy treatments such as chemotherapy, Dr. confirms. lift. In addition, two special conditions have been added to this list: alopecia areata. This is called alopecia areata, which is an autoimmune disease that affects both adults and children. Another special case is trichotillomania. It indicates the habit of plucking or twisting the hair with his fingers. Which leads to hair loss. It affects 1 to 3% of adolescent girls. A small percentage compared to a gesture that may seem trivial but causes severe hair loss.
How is hair loss diagnosed?
For hair loss treatment, there are many specific nutritional supplements on the market, but it is best to consider a Full consultation with a dermatologist Because there is a risk in taking a product that is not suitable for your condition, or taking vitamins you do not need and neglecting those that can solve the problem.
The consultation should take into account several criteria: Personal or family history, diet and stress. The practitioner then examines the scalp and performs a fall assessment test. In some cases, he will perform a test called “trichogramma” To check if alopecia is real or chronic hair loss. “We can also prescribe a blood test to look for anemia or a thyroid problem”As says Dr. lift.
Female alopecia: What are the treatments and solutions?
Once an accurate diagnosis is made, the solution can be adapted. For acute or chronic hair loss, Food supplement based on vitamins B5 Biotin is best suited.
For androgenetic alopecia, the Minoxidil 2% and/or cyproterone acetate (Marketed as Androcure or Diane 35) Generally prescribed. Some dermatologists also prescribe platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections or sometimes autografts.
Finally regarding Trichotillomania and psychotherapy Most often required.
>> When do you consult? When severe fall begins, consult a specialist without delay for a diagnosis to find the exact cause of this fall and to resume growth, if possible.
Androgenetic alopecia: How is hair transplantation done?
In the case of partial alopecia, new hope has appeared on the market thanks to the Israeli company Hairstetics. that it Wicks for grafting directly into the scalp After local anaesthesia, in order to offer extreme resistance to daily aggressions: brushing and styling, very flexible, wear a motorcycle helmet or a swimming cap …
Like 100% sterile sutures, it is inert and does not cause an unpleasant allergic reaction or risk of rejection. Dr. Ghislaine Bellin, a plastic surgeon, is delighted. Another advantage, unlike traditional hair transplants, where only short follicles are transplanted into the skull – making the process long, cumbersome and unattractive for a woman – the locks are already long (about 30 cm) and provide a style that can then be adjusted (color and look) to the person’s desires.
>> How much does it cost? There are 7 colors of locks, different lengths and waves, and the fibers are resistant to coloring applied to natural hair. At the moment, this technique, which is just being created in the West, is still very expensive (5000 euros for 500 locks) and is intended for people with a healthy scalp, without complete hair loss. “But it is a safe bet that developing industry in Europe will make it easier and cheaper.” Consider Dr. Ghislaine Beilin.
Female alopecia: how to prevent it?
The idea is to protect the hair follicles from stress by strengthening them as one can feed the plant with a good fertilizer. “In the list, vitamins (B3, B5, B6, B8) and nutrients (iron) in cleansing and / or curing treatments applied in stimulating massage, in order to promote blood circulation “, Recommends Camille Maas. But the motto of your routine will be perseverance, because treatments — shampoos, masks, anti-hair loss lotions or serums, nutritional supplements, etc. — require frequent applications to be effective.
Care must be taken without rubbing, using a gentle massage of the scalp, done with the fingertips. Again, consistency is key. You have to force yourself to do this every day, in treatments for three months.
- Camille Maas, pharmacologist at Furterer
- Dr.. Jesslyn Bellin Plastic and Anti-Aging Physician, Vice President of the National Federation of Aesthetic Physicians
- Dr. Mustafa Rafaa, Dermatologist and Head of Dermatology at the Hospitalier sud Francilien de Corbeil Essonnes
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