7 first signs of alopecia: how can you act?

What are the first signs of alopecia? How can someone tell if they are starting to go bald? In this article we will learn about some of the warning signs.

Last update: 04 September, 2021

When the first signs of alopecia begin to appear, the fear of baldness ceases to be vague to become a very real fact. The loss of some strands is relatively normal for everyone, but up to a point.

And although you may not have thought much about it during your youth, when hair is abundant, after 30 years the first signs of alopecia are noticed. You leave more hair on the pillow when you get up, more strands remain on the comb and the forehead appears broader.

What is alopecia?

The word alopecia derives from the greek voice alôpekia or alopex, which means 'fox'. The adoption of the word is due to the fact that this mammal sheds its hair twice a year. And strangely enough, also in some animals there is a form of baldness, called alopecia X or follicular sequestration.

It is estimated that between 50 and 150 hairs a day is a normal loss for an adult human. Although there is no exact measurement. Specifically, is named alopecia abnormal hair loss.

There are different types of alopecia:

  • Androgenic: according to studies, it is the most common. It affects half of the male population.
  • Diffuse: it can be caused by hormonal changes or reactions to drugs. In this variety, the hair follicle is reduced until it stops growing hair in certain areas.
  • Areata: hairless areas are formed, without an order or pattern.
  • Scarred: where hair stops growing, a scar appears.
  • Nervous: caused by stress or anxiety.
  • Traumatic: from external factors, such as traction, pressure, or trichotillomania.

First signs of alopecia

Recognize the first signs of alopecia is the best way to prevent it from happening and try to find a solution. Here we explain what you have to look for.

1. Loss greater than usual

It is normal to lose some hair. Usually you do not see them, being scattered in different places. But if you find more and more of your hair everywhere, this may be one of the first signs of alopecia that you notice.

Intense hair loss is manifested by the presence of many strands in the comb or brush.

2. The comb and the sink speak to you

In accordance with the above, as you have greater hair loss, you will notice it in the comb or brush, depending on what you use. On the other hand, whether you do it in the shower or in the sink, when you wash your head, the loose hair will be perceived; even in the towel.

3. Entries in the hairline

When you look at your college photos and look in the mirror now, do you get the impression that your forehead is broader? In many men, the first signs of alopecia have to do with the appearance of the entrances or with changes in the call forehead line.

It is possible that this is only accentuated a little, without actually developing baldness. But in other people, this slight change becomes more and more noticeable.

4. Sparse or sparse hair

The abundance of hair can be a key factor, becoming its thinning in another of the first signs of alopecia to take into account. Then, the strands begin to thin or thin.

This means that where there was abundance, now there seems to be scarcity. In the case of men, it shows in the entrances. In the female alopecia is volume loss is telling.

5. Crown

Before being noticed in the entrances or on the forehead, in some men the first signs of alopecia appear on the crown, which is the tip of the head. In that area a peeled incipient appears.

6. Dandruff and grease

By itself, dandruff or oil in the hair is not an indication or a cause that we are experiencing more hair loss than usual. Nevertheless, its persistence affects hair health. Even, according to some studies, dandruff can precipitate and exacerbate androgenic alopecia.

7. Scalp discomfort

Frequent discomfort in the scalp, such as redness or itching, we must take them into account when requesting an evaluation of the health of the hair, with a view to determining if we are facing one of the first signs of alopecia.

And even though her hair is not falling out yet, one of the possible causes for which alopecia is triggered are fungi and some types of dermatitis. So, in case of feeling irritation in the head or seeing a peeling, it is best to go to a specialist.

Factors that influence the appearance of the first signs of alopecia

Now that we know what the first signs of alopecia are, we must see what factors may be related to its appearance. However, it is appropriate to limit there is no single cause of baldness:

  • Genetics: in the case of androgenic alopecia, this is the determining factor.
  • Stress: In certain people, stressful situations can influence hair health, influencing hair loss, according to research.
  • Products, treatments and medications: Some silicone and alcohol hair products are believed to contribute to scalp damage. However, there are no studies that certify it. We do know that chemotherapy drugs, anticoagulants, antidepressants and corticosteroids play a role.
  • Diseases: Chronic pathologies are often the cause of the appearance of the first signs of alopecia. These include lupus, syphilis, hypothyroidism, and psoriasis.
  • Hair traction: Studies have found that combing roughly or with too much force can lead to noninfectious irritative mechanical folliculitis, also called traction folliculitis.
  • Smoking: In research conducted in Taiwan, frequent cigarette smoking was found to be a statistically significant factor related to androgenic alopecia.

Treatments for alopecia

When the first signs of alopecia start to appear, the need to find a solution arises. Next we will know which are the most used treatments:

  • Drugs: Products such as minoxidil or finasteride have been used to help slow hair loss. The studies carried out reveal that, consumed in combination, the patients show improvement.
  • Capillary redensification: also called capillary redensification protocol (PRC), combines biophotomodulation and magnetic pulse treatments. It is a non-surgical and minimally invasive procedure.
  • Hair graft: With the capillary graft, the aim is for the hair to grow again in the areas where it has stopped growing. For this, follicular units are extracted from other areas and implanted in the affected areas.
  • Platelet rich plasma: Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) seeks to promote the generation of collagen, as well as to facilitate the development of new capillaries, stimulating blood supply and reducing skin fibrosis. A 2020 review reveals that the use of PRP has shown encouraging results as an alternative therapy.
Hair follicle grafting treatments aim to surgically regenerate hair production.

What to do at the first signs of alopecia

There is no single cause that affects the appearance of the first signs of alopecia. Therefore, the way of acting must be in correspondence with the factors.

If we are in a situation of stress and we have noticed more hair loss, we should not resort to any treatment, but rather attack the problem at its cause. That is, pay attention to what causes stress.

On the other hand, it is important to make a diagnosis on time. Both in this and in other health problems, early detection is essential to find the appropriate solutions.

The good news is that there are a variety of options to tackle the problem of hair loss. Even though we know that there is no cure for baldness, yes it can be controlled or slowed down.

Also, remember that before the appearance of these first signs of alopecia, the ideal is to go to a specialist. Only he will help us identify the cause. And it will even tell us if we are in the presence of a health problem that we should worry about or a simple normal hair loss.