You’re not alone!
At Mulberry we’ve met many people living with Alopecia. Alopecia can be slight and affect only a small, discrete area on the head, or it can affect the entire scalp. The first thing we tell all our clients is they are not alone. It is a widely misunderstood disorder, and we want to educate our clients on exactly what Alopecia is.
It is completely possible to live a rich, full life while living with Alopecia. Millions of people that live with hair loss have found strength in the Alopecia community.
If you or someone you know lives with Alopecia, get in touch with a local Alopecia support group. Life is not meant to be lived alone, and those with Alopecia can find it emotionally difficult to feel supported by themselves. Support can be found at the Canadian Alopecia Areata Foundation here:
What is Alopecia:
Alopecia is a broad term to describe hair loss in both men and women. Excessive hair loss can occur at any age for men and women, with many factors at play. It will commonly present itself before the age of 30, with 60% of cases appearing before the age of 20. Alopecia is also not caused by stress, despite common reports.
- Alopecia Areata occurs when the body’s white blood cells begin attacking each other. This affects the production of hair follicles, resulting in hair loss at a greater rate than normal.
- Traction Alopecia is common for those who tightly braid their hair or wear cornrows. The constant strain on the hair follicle can weaken the bond over time. The result is hair loss and thinning close to the hairline, where the hair is more fragile. If the hair is not allowed time to grow, it can take years to grow back.
- Chignon Alopecia is similar to Traction Alopecia, but is common in professional ballerinas. By constantly wearing the hair in a sleek bun, the hairline follicles are worn down over time.
What are the signs of Alopecia?
The first noticeable symptom of Alopecia is hair loss, usually in small patches. These patches are often round or oval shaped, the size of a coin or larger. While it is normal to lose 70-100 scalp hairs a day, Alopecia will cause hair to fall out in large sections.
Alopecia can affect not only the scalp. Hair loss can occur anywhere on the body.
Is Alopecia contagious?
Alopecia is not contagious. While working as a Hairstylist I’ve met many men and women with Alopecia, most of which would always feel obligated to “warn” me before touching their hair that they had Alopecia, and insist they were not contagious. It was disheartening that they felt it necessary to inform me it wasn’t contagious, as I felt all Hairstylists should know this.
A client of mine with alopecia had been refused service by a Hairdresser, simply because the Stylist thought she would “catch” hair loss. No one should be refused service because of Alopecia, and our hope at Mulberry is that proper education will solve this.
While Alopecia is not contagious, it can be hereditary. Genetics play a role in determining who is more at risk for hair loss, but this does not mean it is guaranteed. Children with a parent living with Alopecia will often not display signs of hair loss.
Is my hair gone forever?
No, many people will grow their hair back. This can be a long process for those who naturally have long hair, but it is completely possible. Some hair may not grow back, and Alopecia can return later in life. This does not mean you will live with Alopecia forever; diet changes, lifestyle alterations, and hair extensions can give your hair the boost it needs.
What can I do?
The first step once you believe you have Alopecia is to visit your doctor, they will determine if it is indeed Alopecia, and the next course of action. Commonly they will prescribe a corticosteroid. This will suppress the immune system from attacking your white blood cells.
Your doctor will most likely suggest a healthy diet to ensure you are consuming the required nutrition every day. Nutritionally dense food will give your immune system the needed nutrients.
Depending on the level of hair loss, extensions can be used to recreate your natural hair. While we would not suggest semi-permanent extensions such as Hot Fusion, Microbeads, or Tape Ins, there are other options. Halo and Topper Extensions are lightweight, and do not cause permanent damage to your hair.
What does a Halo do?
A Halo is a one piece extension that rests underneath your occipital bone (the widest part of your head). The Halo has an invisible wire that sits an inch away from your hairline, on top of your head. There is no damage to your own hair. A halo takes less than 30 seconds to apply, and less than 5 seconds to remove.
For a complete tutorial check out our Halo application video here:
What does a Topper do?
A topper is a one piece hair extension with four small silicone grip clips. It gives volume to the top and sides of your hair, whereas the Halo gives volume to the sides and bottom. A Topper is a great option for those with thinning hair on the top of their head. The Topper is not a wig, it does not require tape or glue to apply. For those with Alopecia Universalis or Totalis (complete hair loss) we would suggest a full wig.
Too see exactly what a Topper is and how to apply check out our helpful tutorial here:
We believe the most important part of living with Alopecia is to keep living your life as usual. This is a difficult disorder to live with, but there are options to help ensure hair loss does not dominate your life. Hair loss is a traumatic experience, be sure to reach out to your local Alopecia support group. These people will be happy to help you navigate this emotional time in your life.
Mulberry Hair Extensions is proud to serve those living with Alopecia, and give them their confidence back. Our team is constantly encouraged with the confidence and warmth our Alopecia clients have. Our purpose is to equip women with the hair they love; to live their life, on their terms.
If you or someone you know lives with hair loss, reach out to us here to see if you would be a good fit for hair extensions. Our Mulberry Team would love to hear from you.
Thank you to the Canadian Alopecia Areata Foundation for their great work in the Alopecia Community. Their good works can be found at https://www.canaaf.org/