Finding a bald spot can be extremely devastating, especially not knowing the root cause of the balding. A bald spot can indicate hair loss, alopecia, or various underlying conditions that could further the condition.
A small, dime-sized bald patch could quickly and easily grow into a much larger area within months, and the chances of regrowth of new hair follicles would be drastically decreased if left ignored.
There are several factors that could contribute to drastic hair loss and balding such as environment, health, diet, stress, age, and hormonal changes to name a few.
However, the most common cause of round, circular areas of balding is Alopecia Areata, an autoimmune condition that causes the body to over produce T-cells that attack the hair follicles causing extreme cases of hair loss.
Many cases of Alopecia are both avoidable and treatable, but the key is to seek help from a professional as soon as the bald spot is noticed.
If you happen to find a bald spot from what seems to be out of the blue, follow these steps to help get to the root of the problem and quickly regrow your hair:
You Can Recover From Hair Loss or Alopecia
SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT WITH YOUR DOCTOR
According to Board certified Dermatologist Dr. Yolanda Lenzy, you should schedule an appointment with your primary care doctor or dermatologist to diagnose these issues. This is always the first thing you should do when noticing a bald spot.
A professional will be able to make a determination on whether the hair loss is contributed to over-manipulation of the hair, an underlying medical issue, or if there is a more serious issue that requires a hair loss professional such as a dermatologist or trichologist.
“In my opinion, hair care professionals are not qualified to formally ‘diagnose’ conditions, this is the role of the physicians,” says Dr. Lenzy.
STOP WEARING PROTECTIVE STYLES THAT PULL
Another commonly diagnosed form of hair loss is known as Traction Alopecia, which results from the hair being pulled too tightly. Traction Alopecia usually occurs gradually, but balding can happen before you even notice hair loss.
Traction alopecia is commonly seen in those who often wear protective styles such as braids, Marley Twists, locked styles, and ponytails that are pulled too tightly and causing added tension to the hair,” says Board certified Dermatologist Dr. Yolanda Lenzy.
If you like to wear these protective styles check out the Do’s and Don’ts of Wearing Protective Hairstyles.
RE-EVALUATE YOUR HAIR CARE ROUTINE
Traction alopecia is usually diagnosed as a self-inflicted condition. Most causes of hair breakage are caused by improper hair styling, using styling tools with broken or rugged edges, incorrect detangling, and other breakage-related practices.
Evaluate your hair care routine to determine if there is anything you may be doing to contribute to your hair loss and quickly implement healthy hair care practices this is true especially for the edges.
LIMIT USE OF HEAT STYLING
Heat styling hair that is already fragile or damaged is a bad idea. Adding direct heat to your hair while suffering from alopecia or severe hair loss can only make matters worse and contribute to even more hair loss.
The hair around the bald area may already be too weak to withstand direct heat and could cause the area to grow even larger. It would be best to put away the flat irons, blow-dryers and other direct heat styling tools for a while.
WEAR LOW-MANIPULATION STYLES
Wearing low-manipulation styles will eliminate the amount of stress put on the hair from daily styling, detangling, etc. Traction alopecia and other types of traumatic alopecia are usually a result of over-manipulation and added stress on the hair. Wear hair styles that require very little maintenance, styling, and don’t pull or tug on the hair. If wearing extensions or braids, be sure to rotate styles to avoid pulling and breakage.
The term ‘protective style’ can be somewhat of a misnomer because frequent or repetitive use of styles such as braids, weaves and locs can actually contribute to loss of edges or Traction Alopecia. With all forms of hair loss, I recommend consulting with a Dermatologist with a special interest in hair loss,” says Dr. Lenzy.
The key to growing long, healthy hair is to follow a healthy hair regimen. Growing healthy hair requires proper care and maintenance, and without handling your hair delicately it could lead to serious breakage, hair loss or possible balding.
A healthy hair regimen should consist of cleansing with a sulfate-free shampoo that is free from harmful chemicals to remove build-up and grime. Follow up with a moisturizing conditioner, a deep conditioner and/or protein treatment as needed to help strengthen and rebuild the hair.