What we urgently need to know about alopecia | Martha debayle

Daniel Asze, Medical, Cosmetic and Surgical Dermatologist. President of the International Trichoscopy Society.

Many women of color have alopecia.

According to a 2016 survey of 5,594 black women, 47.6% reported experiencing hair loss.

A 2018 study found that there was a higher chance of alopecia areata in black and Hispanic women compared to white women.


We have approximately 100,000 follicular units on our heads, each forming 2-5 hairs depending on our race and heritage.

It grows 0.35 mm a day or 1 centimeter a month and can grow up to 90 cm.

The hair shaft is made up of 3 main layers: medulla, cortex, cuticle.

The hair follicle is a privileged tissue (such as the placenta, the brain, the anterior chamber of the eye, the testicles)

Hair cycle: anagen (growth) 2-6 years 85-90%, telogen (rest) 3 months 10-15%.

alopecia areata

It affects one in 500 to 1,000 people in the United States. It’s unclear what type of alopecia Jada Pinkett Smith has, but her appearance suggests alopecia areata.

It is a type of hair loss that occurs in patches, although it can extend to the entire scalp or even the rest of the body.

Normally, this type of alopecia disappears and the hair grows back, and these patches may reappear in a future relapse.

It is a problem that is usually related, in addition to the genetic component, to autoimmune diseases such as celiac disease, diabetes or arthritis, stress, infections.

The evolution of alopecia areata is difficult to guess. Its effects can be temporary or last for many years.

It cannot be prevented. However, it is recommended to lead a healthy lifestyle with stress control, applying relaxation techniques and a regular moderate exercise plan.

TREATMENT: Topical, injected and oral corticosteroids, cyclosporine, methotrexate, psychological therapy, jak inhibitors, wigs

traction alopecia

With more tendency to wear braids and hair extensions, black and mestizo women with curly and frizzy hair suffer from traction that, when repeated, ends up directly affecting the hair follicle.

Overly matted hairstyles pull the scalp and gradually move the hair fiber away from its root.

As a result, these hairstyles cause traction alopecia, localized hair loss, usually at the temples and forehead, where the hair is finer and therefore more fragile.

TREATMENT: capillary implant

androgenic alopecia

It is the most frequent.

This type of baldness usually occurs after the age of 50 to a greater or lesser extent.

Approximately 50% of men and 10% of women suffer from it.

The origin is mainly genetic, although it can also be hormonal.

This genetic origin was originally attributed to maternal genetics, however, it has been shown to be unpredictable as genes are not inherited in exact proportions and are a combination of different relatives, i.e. polygenic inheritance.

In the case of the hormonal component, a phenomenon occurs in which the male hormones or androgens act on the genetically predisposed hair follicles, progressively causing their atrophy until the complete disappearance of the hair.

In the case of women, hair loss is diffuse since not everything is lost and there are no so-called ‘receding hair’.

TREATMENT: Topical minoxidil, oral minoxidil, oral finasteride, oral dutasteride. hair transplant

fibrosing alopecia

Better known as frontal alopecia

It usually affects more women than men.

This type of alopecia poses many unknowns and its causes are still quite unknown.

What is known is that it may be related to menopause.

Fibrosing alopecia mainly affects the area where the hair begins in the front, causing it to grow further back.

TREATMENT: Corticosteroids cream or injection, calcineurin inhibitors, oral finasteride or dutasteride

Celebrities who have had problems with hair loss

Viola Davis

Naomi Campbell

Tyra banks

Kristin Davis

Keira Knightley

Rosie O’Donnell

selma blair

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