What Happened To My Daughter's Hair?
What do you do when your fifteen-year-old daughter comes to you and tells you she is losing her hair?
First of all DON’T PANIC! This is very scary at first, having a healthy young girl just all of a sudden start to loose her hair and I don’t mean just a little bit, I mean a lot!
Victoria was fifteen when she noticed her hair starting to fall out, a lot! She mentioned this to us, her parents, but we just thought everyone looses some hair. So we continued on as if all was well, but this young girl was losing more and more hair. She took her dad down stairs and showed him the clumps of hair loss; he then mentioned it to me. I went down stairs to do laundry and found the clumps in the garbage. She covered up the loss of hair really well with hats and scarves until we took her to the doctor. The doctor took one look at her and he knew she had alopicia areata. It did not take him long to get her into see a specialist. The specialist was a dermatologist who specializes in skin, scalp, hair and nails. He was great; he knew how to make our daughter feel comfortable.
Alopicia areata is an autoimmune disease, where the immune system attacks the healthy parts of the body, in this case the hair. The biggest cause of the autoimmune disease is, stress! Alopicia areata can come in different forms, some people may only lose a patch of hair on their head, the hair will grow back, usually white in colour and not very healthy, the hair will stay for a while and eventually fall out again. This cycle will continue for most, if not all, of their life. Another type of alopicia would be alopicia universalis, which is loss of hair over the entire body, including eyebrows and lashes.
How to deal with the hair loss? The specialist first tried Victoria on a cream of anthralin. She would put this cream on her head for about twenty minutes every day. The cream would irritate her scalp and trick the immune system into thinking it didn’t have to attack the scalp, so her hair would grow. This is a very messy cream that stains everything towels, paint, the tub to wash her hair. However the cream was working! She had some hair growth where there was none. She never did get a full head of hair, but she came close. The more hair she had the less she would use the cream and she started losing her hair again. She did not want to spend the time using the messy cream anymore. The cream could only be used on Victoria’s head so she decided to take the corticosteroid injections on her eyebrows. This also helped the hair grow but the pain was intense she couldn’t continue any more.
What does a fifteen-year-old girl do when she has lost most of her hair?
You might think she would cry and hide in her room for the rest of her life, I would if it happened to me at that age. But not this girl, she did not miss one day of school because of the loss of her hair. While she was taking the treatments we bought her a wig and she seemed ok with that, but everyone likes to do different things with there hair and she is no different. What is the answer to changing the hairstyle of a wig? Buy a new one of different length, colour or style! We started to shop around for good deals on wigs, because the first one we bought was five hundred dollars. We shopped around and found a local lady who sold wigs from her house, the deals and styles there were so great we ended up with three wigs for the price of the first one we bought. And she got all different colours so she could match any hair to any outfit. She was making the best of a not so good situation.
Victoria is now twenty-one and she is amazing! She goes on the Internet to find different wigs of different styles lengths and colours. She has four main wigs she wears and four more for different occasions, there are also some that have worn so thin she can’t wear them any more. When we tell people where she works they ask, “Which one is she? What colour of hair does she have?” this is a question that we never know how to answer she changes her hair more often than I change my shoes.
Do you know anyone who might be loosing his or her hair?
There are different kinds of hair loss and many different ways to try to fix the problem. The most common type of hair loss is androgenetic alopecia, male pattern baldness. This is a genetic condition that can occur in men and women, but mostly in men. There are many different products and ways on the market to try and fix the problem, and I’m sure they all work well on some people, you just have to find the right one that for you. Make sure you check with your doctor and work with him to find the right direction.