An American youngster stunned an old friend whose hair loss was caused by the autoimmune disorder Alopecia Areata by telling her that he was growing his hair to give to her.
According to the Tech Times, the thoughtful boy, 10-year-old Tyler Boone, had been wondering why his friend Gabby Ruiz, 12, always kept her head covered up. When he was told that she had a condition that caused patchy hair loss, Tyler said, “Well it’s just hair. I can grow hair.”
So he did.
Real hair wigs
After two years of growing, Tyler – from Georgia – had amassed 12 inches of hair which he tied back in a pony tail. In a touching moment, this was cut off by Gabby and sent off to a US-based charity named Children With Hair Loss. Like the UK’s popular Little Princess Trust, they make real-hair wigs for children who have lost theirs to Alopecia Areata and also during chemotherapy.
The Tech Times article notes that Alopecia Areata affects almost 7 million people in the US, and that around 2.1 per cent of the population will be affected in their lifetime. UK levels are thought to be broadly comparable, meaning that around a million people in the UK have Alopecia Areata or one of its more severe sister conditions Alopecia Totalis, which causes all the hair on the head to fall out, or Alopecia Universalis, which adds the loss of all body hair.
For those aged 16 years of age and over Alopecia Areata treatment can often provide successful regrowth, particularly when an early diagnosis is made. The patchy hair loss that typifies this condition is not as severe as is associated with the other versions of this. Treatment for Alopecia Totalis and Universalis, however, has low success rates and viable options are few and far between.
For this reason, medical teams around the world are currently working on a number of potential new treatments for people with these extreme types of Alopecia Areata, with some extremely promising results already seen by teams who have used JAK inhibitor drugs (originally developed to treat certain cancers, rheumatoid arthritis and other diseases) to regrow hair.
Children with alopecia
Unfortunately, children have an especially raw deal when it comes to Alopecia Areata and its related conditions. They are frequently subjected to teasing and bullying at school, something which many children and former victims have sought to highlight with the hope of initiating change and educating people about the conditions to help increase tolerance. Furthermore, there are fewer treatment options available to children with alopecia than there are for adults.
At Belgravia we use high strength minoxidil preparations as part of comprehensive alopecia areata treatment courses for clients aged 16 and over. However, this approach is unsuitable for anyone under 16 years of age.
This is when charitable organisations such as the Little Princess Trust in the UK and Children With Hair Loss in the USA can prove invaluable in the support and real hair wigs they offer. Additionally, charities such as Alopecia UK also have terrific support networks available to those affected by autoimmune hair loss – either directly or indirectly – regardless of age.
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.