12 things you need to know about Alopecia

1. There are two main types of alopecia that affect women

The first is Alopecia Areata, which Dr Batte explains “is caused by an overactive immune system, which can start targeting your healthy cells. The immune system targets the cells in your skin where your hair grows, making it weaker and causing your hair to fall out in patches”. This type of alopecia is most common in women under the age of 30, but isn’t unheard of occurring at any age.

The second type of alopecia is referred to as ‘female pattern hair loss’. “This type of alopecia usually affects women around or after the menopause, which is typically around 50 years old,” says the doctor.

2. It’s not as rare as you’d think

“Around 2% of people are affected by Alopecia Areata in their lifetime,” which is a slightly higher percentage than you might expect. The stats are a lot higher when it comes to some degree of female pattern hair loss, though, which will reportedly affect nearly half of us over the age of 70

3. It can be hereditary

Both types of alopecia can be passed down by family members. “If a family member lives with or has experienced hair loss before, you may be more prone to hair loss,” notes Dr Batte, pointing to the statistic that one in five people that live with alopecia will have a family member who also has or has had alopecia in the past.

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