Hair is made of protein called keratin, so when follicles produce new cells, old cells appear on the surface making strings of hair. Normally, adults have on their head about 100,000 - 150,000 hairs, averagely losing hundred a day. All of our bodies are covered with it, more or less. However, if it’s affected with some factors that number can be greater.
Alopecia Areata is a condition when hair is falling from some parts of the head, making patches, or from other parts of the body like eyebrows, eyelashes, nose hair and generally all over the body where hair grows. It is considered to be a skin disease, because it affects skin of the scalp and is usually diagnosed by dermatologist. There are no medical explanations of how these patches develop and why are selected in the way they are and also, there is no test that can show if the patches will stay contained in that area or spread to another one. The cause is abnormal functioning of the immune system, when it attacks hair follicles making it fall more than usual. It’s not limited on any sex or age, it can happen to everyone, although women don’t reach the scale of complete baldness as men. The good thing is that it does not leave scars, only hairless areas.
There are some misbeliefs that exist about alopecia areata. One of them is that it can be caused by enhanced stress. However, National Alopecia Foundation considers that it cannot be caused by nervous disorder, since stress can cause hair falling evenly and hair grows back again after stress factor disappear. Alopecia Areata Causes boldness only on some parts of the head.
Another Alopecia Areata Misbelief is that you can develop more follicles than you already have with all kinds of treatments. That is pretty much impossible, because they can only decrease as you age. The only way that can be achieved is by having a hair transplant surgery. All of the factors like hair color, whether your hair is going to be straight or curly or rate of hair growth are predetermined genetically.
Saying that DHT is the only reason for hair loss is also not true. DHT (Dihydrotestosterone) is just one of the factors that can cause losing your hair. It’s a male sex hormone, an androgen. 5α-reductase, an enzyme, synthesizes DHT in the adrenal glands, hair follicles, testes and prostate. Male and female adults can lose hair as a consequence of changes in the metabolism of androgen in the body - men more commonly than women. One of the types of Alopecia Areata is caused by hair follicle's sensitivity to DHT and its called androgenetic alopecia. The follicles miniaturize (shrink), resulting in a shorter lifespan and the abnormal production of hair.
There were no medicines in the past, but now special shampoos and lotions exist that can help you prevent hair loss and stimulate hair growth. Consult with your doctor about the best treatment for you.