September is Alopecia Awareness Month. Alopecia is a Latin term meaning “hair loss”, however there are four main types of alopecia: Androgenic Alopecia (AGA), Alopecia Areata (AA), Alopecia Totalis (AT), and Alopecia Universalis (AU). This month HPIHair Partners will dive into the differences between these four types of alopecia.
We have sat down and interviewed several women who are on the upside of this condition.
Our first interview was with a female, 65-70 year old, with Alopecia Universalis (AU). AU is a form of alopecia that effects the entire body, those with AU have no hair on their body anywhere.
What form of alopecia do you have?
"I originally had AA (alopecia areata - spots of hair loss). In 1998 I was diagnosed with my first round of breast cancer and lost all my hair due to chemotherapy. I beat that and my hair began to come back some, then 15 years later I was diagnosed with breast cancer again, this time after treatment, my hair never came back. At this point my doctors had realized my AA had now turned into AU."
When did you first start losing your hair?
"I started to notice thinning and random spots of loss around 22-23 years old, I was still in college at the time."
How long after you noticed the hair loss did you receive an alopecia diagnosis?
"My hair loss came and went in my early 20s, my dermatologist at that time recommended steriod shots to help promote growth in the spots of loss. I think it was 1990 when I began to notice the worst of the loss and then in 1998 when I received my breast cancer diagnosis, I knew the rest would begin to fall out."
Tell us about the progression of your hair loss. Was it gradual? Did it happen at an alarming rate? Etc.
"It started as patches on one side of my head, my derm related it to the stress of being a newer college student, but i though there had to more to it, I had been in college for a few years at this point, it wasn't new to me anymore. The spots came and went, I would get the injections as new spots came up. Then it got progressively worse, and eventually I lost all my hair. I found HPIHair Partners and I started to wear hair, nicer than most all pieces i had tried before. It looks so natural."