Whether it’s summertime and we look forward to those hot days with our family and friends enjoying an outdoor picnic, or it’s the brisk days of winter and we’re indoors keeping warm by the fireplace, the everyday exposure to outdoor pollutants, household cleaners, medications or simply the lack of natural vitamin D from being inside during the day, all affect the health of hair and scalp.
Let’s talk about a few.. first, most commonly known as Alopecia. Alopecia is a broad term with many different types and it is important to know what differentiates them all. Alopecia vs. Androgenic Alopecia, are due to two different diagnosis.
Androgenic Alopecia (Male or Female Pattern Baldness): Current medical research points to genetics, and defines this as hair loss due to increased levels of hormones, called androgens.
Alopecia (Alopecia Areata, Alopecia Totalis, and Alopecia Universalis): Current medical research points to an autoimmune disease, where the body's immune system mistakenly attacks its hair follicles causing the follicles to shrink, fall out and may eventually die.
*Alopecia Areata or patchy “is the form with one or more coin-sized patches on the scalp or other places on the body that grow hair.” In some cases, alopecia areata can evolve into alopecia totalis or alopecia universalis.
*Alopecia Totalis is hair loss across the entire scalp.
*Alopecia Universalis is hair loss across the entire body (Naaf, nd). The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Disease (2016) explains that “Alopecia areata often occurs in people whose family members have other autoimmune diseases, such as type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disease, etc.”
The correlation between the human body, lifestyle and diet is another vital factor when understanding the cause of hair loss. When the body is deficient in nutrients, minerals and antioxidants this can lead to an unhealthy body, which in turn can affect scalp health and hair loss. A combination of Iron, Zinc, Niacin, Fatty Acids, Selenium, Vitamin E, Vitamin D, Vitamin A, Folic Acid, Biotin, Amino Acids and Antioxidants lead to a healthy body. When the body is deficient in any of the levels, it can result to an autoimmune disease like alopecia. Another disease known as PCOS or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is a common diagnosis in women who suffer from hair loss. PCOS is a hormonal imbalance leading to excessive body hair growth, weight gain and irregular menstrual cycles.