Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if I have Autoimmune Alopecia?
Autoimmune Alopecia can present itself differently in different people. It often begins as a small circular hairless area on the scalp or beard. This area can spontaneously re-grow hair in as many as 80% of cases and the person may never be bothered again. However in some cases the hairless patches can multiply on the scalp. In more rare cases the hair can fall out rapidly in a matter of weeks to result in full scalp hair loss known as Alopecia Totalis or Universalis if the hair on the body is affected. If you have any concerns about hair loss you should speak to your doctor.
I lost a patch of hair, what should I do?
Make an appointment with your doctor. The hair loss may be alopecia areata or it may be secondary to something else. It is best to investigate sooner rather than later.
Who is most likely to develop Autoimmune Alopecia?
If anyone in your family has had alopecia, or if other autoimmune diseases run in your family, you may have an increased risk of autoimmune alopecia areata. However, most people have no directly traceable link to either.
Was my Alopecia caused by colouring my hair too frequently?
Absolutely not! Alopecia is an autoimmune disease and anything topically applied to the scalp would not result in aquiring Autoimmunne Alopecia.
Did I do something wrong for this to happen to me?
No! There is absolutely nothing you could have done to prevent yourself from developing Autoimmune Alopecia. It is a complex condition involving a multitude of genetic factors.
Is it a lack of personal hygiene that causes Alopecia?
No! Many people are embarrassed of having Autoimmune Alopecia and even feel ashamed that they have it at some stage. But having an autoimmune condition is nothing to feel ashamed about and is absolutely no reflection on a person’s personal hygiene. Autoimmune Alopecia is the result of an immune system malfunction NOT a result of how often you do or don’t wash your hair
Is Alopecia contagious?
No. Alopecia is not contagious. Autoimmune Alopecia is a genetic Autoimmune Disease and definitely can not be passed on through contact with people who have it.
Can Alopecia be passed on to my kids?
While there is an increased risk compared to someone that does not have alopecia, there is more chance that they will not develop alopecia areata.
Will my hair ever grow back?
The course of alopecia areata is unpredictable and an individuals previous experience does not predict timeframes between bouts of hair loss or future responses to treatments. 80% of individuals that are diagnosed with alopecia areata have regrown an acceptable amount of hair one year later, often with no treatment. Unfortunately, most people will have more than one episode of hair loss in their whole life.
Will my eyebrows and eyelashes fall out?
Universalis refers to complete hair loss of the entire body and includes the eyelashes and eyebrows. This is the most rare form of Autoimmune Alopecia and unfortunately there is no forseeing whether this will definitely happen. This is the most upsetting part and unaccepting part of this disease. At present there is no way of knowing or controlling how extensive the alopecia will become.
Could diet and lifestyle play a role in managing my Alopecia?
There have many claims that certain treatments help alopecia including hypnotherapy, aromatherapy, high fat diets, low fat diets, high levels of vitamins, certain herbs and many more. There has been no strong evidence that any of these help.
A healthy, balanced diet and a good level of physical activity is recommended. Although it may not cure the condition, it is thought that a poor diet and low levels of exercise can worsen autoimmune disease.