We work with a lot of members from the alopecia community to create beautiful human hair wigs that look and feel like real hair. And one thing we notice a lot is that until someone is diagnosed with alopecia, they rarely know much about it. In fact, there’s not a huge amount of awareness about this condition overall – even though it affects over 2% of the U.S. population.
To help shed some more light on alopecia and the community of people that live with it, we dug up eight interesting facts that you may not have known about alopecia.
1. Alopecia most often shows up in childhood. While alopecia areata can show up in people of any age, ethnicity, or gender, it affects a larger percentage of children from the ages of five to twelve.
2. Alopecia is so common in younger children it’s estimated that 3% of all pediatric visits in the U.S. are related to hair loss.
3. Even though alopecia can be hereditary, it’s almost always not passed down to children, and children who are diagnosed with alopecia often have parents who have never been diagnosed.
4. Even though there are a lot of claims about being able to treat and cure alopecia, there isn’t a cure yet. Creams and medication that claim to be able to cure alopecia aren’t medically proven, and aren’t safe to try without the oversight and care of your physician.
5. Aside from the loss of hair, alopecia doesn’t have any harmful effects on your body. It is not life-threatening, it’s not contagious, and it doesn’t cause physical pain.
6. While some people with alopecia experience total hair loss (known as alopecia totalis), the majority of people diagnosed with alopecia experience hair loss in small round patches, the size of a quarter.
7. Alopecia is an autoimmune disorder where a person’s immune system attacks their hair follicles, which results in hair loss. It isn’t fully understood why alopecia happens, but some doctors and researchers think that severe stress could be a cause.
8. Some people diagnosed with alopecia experience total hair loss that doesn’t grow back, but for the majority of people diagnosed, their hair will begin to regrow within one year.