Often when people start losing their hair, they will go to great lengths to conceal the fact and may even remain in denial that it is happening. This is perhaps especially true of women with hair loss.
However, for one mum from Basingstoke, hair loss was something she readily accepted, even using it as an opportunity to help others.
According to local newspaper the Basingstoke Gazette, Hayley Hewett began losing her hair recently, due to the hair loss condition Alopecia.
She told the newspaper: “It was my 10-year old daughter Jordan, who found [the hair loss] in April. She was brushing my hair and found a bald patch.”
Ms Hewett, who is 33, was then diagnosed as having Alopecia Areata. With no way of knowing how much of her hair she would lose, how long it would last or whether it would in fact grow back in time, she decided to take control of the situation.
Instead of waiting to see how her hairloss would develop, she took the decision to shave it all off. She was joined by friends and family in The Wheatsheaf pub earlier this month, who watched as she had her long brunette hair cut off. In doing so she raised funds for Basingstoke’s St Michaels Hospice, a charity which cares for people with ‘life-limiting illnesses’.
Ms Hewitt, who is herself a chef at a nursing home, told the Gazette: “I thought rather than wake up one morning with most of my hair gone, I decided that I would raise some money for St Michael’s Hospice.”
What is Alopecia Areata?
Alopecia Areata is an auto-immune disorder in which the body’s own natural defences mistakenly attack healthy hair follicles, damaging them and causing them to cease production of new hair. The exact causes for the condition are unknown, but it is often linked to periods of stress, illness or trauma.
Patchy hair loss is usually experienced when the condition first develops, but in some individuals it can progress further to encompass hairloss over the entire scalp or even the whole body, including eyebrows. The former is known as Alopecia Totalis, while the latter is Alopecia Universalis.
Can Alopecia be treated?
Alopecia Areata itself cannot currently be cured, but it is possible to treat the hairloss that results from it. In many cases of Alopecia Areata, hair will re-grow naturally and topical treatments and other techniques can be used to aid this process and stimulate the healthy production of hair. It can, however, recur at a later time, as has been the case with celebrity Alopecia sufferer Gail Porter.
At The Belgravia Centre we regularly deal successfully with cases of Alopecia Areata, and have found regular treatment with recommended formulations of high strength minoxidil from our in-clinic pharmacies to be particularly effective in reversing mild to moderate cases of the condition. Our success in treating Alopecia Areata is further boosted by the fact that our hair loss experts monitor each individual closely.
However, when all hair follicles have been affected, as with Alopecia Totalis and Univeralis, the chances of re-growth are slim and treatments are not usually effective. In such cases it is best to consult a GP to discuss management of the condition.
To find out more about how our hair loss experts can help or for personalised Alopecia Areata treatment recommendations, please contact us for a consultation, or fill in our online diagnostic form for a home-use treatment programme that we can post anywhere in the world.