What is it?
Alopecia is the loss of hair from any hair-bearing area of the body, but most of the time its scalp and in patches. Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease that involves the immune system attacking the cells in your hair follicles, leading to hair loss. The word alopecia means “baldness” in latin. Areata means “in patches.” So this perfectly explains this disease that results in small patches of baldness across the scalp and other parts of the face and body. The amount of hair loss experienced by people with alopecia areata varies. Some lose small, round patches of hair about the size of a quarter, which is most common.
What are the symptoms?
- Hair loss.
- Hair usually falls out in small round patches on the scalp. These patches are usually several centimeters or less. Hair loss might also occur on other parts of the body. You may first notice clumps of hair on your pillow or in the shower. However, other types of diseases can also cause hair to fall out in a similar pattern.
- Sometimes hair loss on the entire body which is called alopecia universalis.
1. Probiotics: Probiotics can help to treat a number of autoimmune conditions, including alopecia areata. You should eat probiotic foods daily, such as kefir, kombucha, cultured vegetables, yogurt and apple cider vinegar.
2. Zinc: Zinc may work as a natural treatment for alopecia areata because it helps to boost your immune system and repair your gut, which is vital for normal immune responses. Plus, zinc is a vital mineral for important functional activities of the hair follicles. Eat foods high in zinc, such as pumpkin seeds, grass-fed beef, lamb, chickpeas, cashews, yogurt and spinach.
3. Quercetin: Quercetin is a type of flavonoid antioxidant that is known for its ability to reduce inflammation and fight free radical damage. It has strong effects on immunity and works to down-regulate, or suppress, inflammatory pathways.
4. Ginseng: Ginseng is a popular herbal medicine that contains various pharmacological compounds. It works to reduce inflammation and boost immune function.
5. Lavender Essential Oil: One of the many lavender oil benefits includes its ability to heal and protect the skin. It works as a powerful antioxidant and it reduces inflammation.
6. Rosemary Essential Oil: Rosemary oil is commonly used to enhance hair thickness and growth. You can also use rosemary oil to treat dandruff and dry scalp. Simply apply 2–3 drops of rosemary oil directly to the area of concern twice daily.
1. Reduce Stress: To treat thinning hair and hair loss associated with alopecia areata, it’s important to reduce stress levels and allow your body to heal so that your hair will grow back quickly. These include exercise (like yoga), meditation, journaling and spending more time outdoors.
Things to watch out for
See a GP if you have sudden hair loss. Your GP should be able to tell you what’s causing your hair loss by looking at your hair.