There are several treatments for hair loss; we will look at the types of hair loss and the corresponding treatment available to women.
Diffuse Alopecia– over processing of hair and physical damage of hair are the main culprits for this type of hair loss.
Treatment: Cut off the affected part of the hair and let the hair grow in afresh and desist from doing those things that caused damage in the first place. Do not use high heat, harsh chemicals including dyes improperly or in the wrong quantities or don’t use them at all. Stop using brushes and other abrasive material that can yank the hair from the head or split the hair cuticle. Stop using shampoos with added chemicals such as sodium laureth sulphate and try to use natural shampoos.
Traction Alopecia– is a condition where the hair is plucked out of the scalp leaving clear bald patches or sparse, thin hair.
Treatment: as soon as hair loss is spotted, discontinue tight hairstyles or anything that pulls unnecessarily on the scalp for extended periods of time including hats, headbands or braids. Instead of processing the hair or covering bald patches with wigs or braids, allow the hair to grow back naturally and then you can decide on the non-stress hairstyles that you can attempt after that.
Never braid or put glue on weaves or tight wigs over your bald patches it exacerbates the condition and thin out surrounding hair. Allow your hair to grow back without interference; failure to address traction alopecia can lead to permanent hair loss.
Alopecia Areata (AA)-this type of hair loss is autoimmune the body begins to attack itself; there is no warning before it occurs and usually the sufferer has to wait until it runs its course.
Treatment: Dermatologists are reluctant to treat this type of hair loss with medication as it could cause adverse reactions on the body. Fortunately in the majority of the cases of AA the hair follicles are not totally dead and can be revived. In some cases hair grows back without interference.
In the interim, take care of the body with balanced meals etc. and wear scarves and hats (not tightly) to conceal bald patches. Or use the remainder of the hair to creatively cover the condition. Speak to a licensed dermatologist for individualized treatment; with the majority of cases of AA, treatment is prescribed on a case-by-case basis.
Scarring Alopecia– the common theme with scarring alopecia is permanent and irreversible destruction of hair follicles and their replacement with scar tissue.
Treatment: It is possible to treat the inflammation that can be found in and around the surrounding follicles if caught early. Once the follicles are destroyed they cannot be restored in this condition. As with AA, scarves hats and wigs can be used to cover the patches. Consult a dermatologist to discuss your particular case.
Telogen Effluvium (TE)– is a condition where the number of hair follicles producing hair drops significantly for any reason during the resting, or telogen phase.
Treatment: Whatever form of hair loss TE takes, it is fully reversible. The hair follicles are not permanently or irreversibly affected; there are just more hair follicles in a resting state than there should normally be. There are several triggers for TE: after child birth, vaccinations, crash dieting, physical trauma, surgery, drugs- some antidepressants, chronic illness, chronic stress, diet deficiency. As the environmental insult passes and the body recovers, the TE subsides and there is new hair growth. Usually dermatologists do not recommend medication for this type of hair loss, however, every case is certainly unique.
Anagen Effluvium– is the direct result of some traumatic occurrence in the body, like telogen effluvium, but it develops much more quickly and can cause individuals to lose all their hair. Anagen effluvium is most frequently seen in people taking drugs for cancer (chemotherapy) or those who have ingested toxic products like rat poison.
Treatment: Anagen effluvium is treatable; once the poison has exited the system and treatments have stopped, thankfully the hair will grow back.
Trichorrhexis nodosa ( Trichonodosis)- is a focal defect in the hair fiber. When observed under the microscope most of a hair shaft looks entirely normal. However, in isolated spots along the length of a fiber, swelling and/or fraying can be seen on the hair shaft. These focal defects develop where there is an absence of cuticle.
Treatment: Trichonodosis is treatable, the main aim of this hair loss condition is minimizing physical or chemical trauma. Excessive brushing, hot combing, permanent waving, relaxing and other harsh hair treatments should be avoided. If the hair loss is triggered by metabolic disorders, treatments usually include a diet overhaul.
Ringworm has nothing to do with worms; it is actually a fungal infection. Ringworm is first and foremost an infectious skin condition and can occur anywhere on the body, but if it develops on the scalp it can cause patches of hair loss.
Treatment: Treatment for ringworm varies depending on the particular fungus involved. Some types of ringworm infection will resolve spontaneously and so no treatment may be given. However, a dermatologist will be able to pinpoint the exact strain of fungus and prescribe treatment accordingly. It is not wise to sit at home with this condition because it can spread.
Folliculitis – is a term for focal inflammation of hair follicles. It looks like acne with little rings of inflammation surrounding the opening of a hair follicle. There are forms of folliculitis which are non-infectious such as those caused by oils and greases applied to the skin that clog up the hair follicles, but folliculitis is usually due to a bacterial or fungal infection.
Treatment: Usually folliculitis can be treated at home, with simple remedies like a warm damp cloth pressed on the infected areas to soften the area and drain the follicles and an antibiotic cream applied to the area. If the infection is fungal an anti fungal cream will work just as well. Topical creams work faster than taking drugs orally.
Anagen effluvium- http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1073488-overview
Telogen Effluvium- http://www.americanhairloss.org/types_of_hair_loss/effluviums.asp