Monday, 1 June 2015

Alopecia: What has helped

I remember it was about 3rd form that I noticed I was going bald at the right side of my head. However, I thought it was just a blur of the eyes and ignored it. It wasn't until I got the 5th form that it was apparent that something was definitely wrong as that section of the right was almost completely bald.

I went to get my hair creamed (relaxed) at the hairdresser one day and that was when she told me that I had alopecia. This is an abnormality in the immune system; where the system attacks the follicle/s and disturbs the normal formation of the hair. This tends to happen because the immune system sees the hair as a threat. Thus, causing the hair loss or balding. Through research I have learned that there are varying types of alopecia and found that I have alopecia areata monocularis. This simply means it is in one specific area and for me it is on the right side of my head.






What caused this?
Alopecia can be caused by varying factors such as heredity, fungi, trichotillomania, traumatic damage and iron deficiency are some examples. My balding, I believe is caused from relaxer burns, tight styles I used to wear and heredity. My aunt has balding too so I believe this has been a contributing factor.  

 
What has helped?
1. I've tried a lot of remedies, you can read some of what I have tried here. Of all the strategies, I've tried scalp massages and oil blends (with essential oils or plant sprigs) have been the most effective.

Oil blends that have worked:

  • 4oz bottle of oil + 5-7 drops of tea tree/lavender essential oil
  • 4oz bottle of oil + 5-7 drops of rosemary essential oil  


Why did they work?

  • Lavender has been known to be great for aromatherapy, so if one's hair loss is as a result of anxiety, depression or stress it has proven to be very effective. Lavender also improves circulation. Click here to read more about oxygenation and its benefits to the scalp. Additionally, it treats dry scalp, nourishes the follicle and destroys any lice or foreign insects on the scalp.
  • Tea tree is recognized has a healer of many scalp and hair issues such as ridding infections and dry scalp. Due to its antibacterial and moisturizing properties; which prove beneficial to scalp health.
  • Rosemary stimulates circulation and also provides anti-bacterial properties.

I will add though before considering the use of any type of essential oil, do your research. These oils are highly concentrated and can irritate scalp if not diluted properly with a carrier oil (examples: olive oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil, almond oil).


2. Scalp massages have also played a pivotal role is my hair's regrowth in conjunction with the oil blends. When you think of scalp massaging- you first thing consider placing the pads of your fingers on your scalp and moving them in a circular motion over your entire head. This is how I've done my scalp massages for the last few year but recently found a way that may been even more effective. Recently, I was experiencing tender, very irritated scalp almost to the point where it felt like it was burning. I had just removed my mini twists a week before and the symptoms persisted into another week. Putting some warm oil until my scalp I decided to try another way to massage which I will call the "pinch." Placing the fingers flat on the scalp and moving them towards each other like we would do when we pinch someone. But instead we're using all the fingers and adding a little tension in between.


Before much scalp massages or use of essential oils.

(I will provide a visual a bit later.) I noticed that you get more circulation and you feel the tension loosening in your head this way oppose to moving the fingers in a circular motion which may target one specific area: this targets a larger sub-section/s.

What I have shared is from my own experiences through research and trial and error. Before adopting any of these practices consider a hair and scalp consultation with a professional and thorough research.

Have you experienced any type of hair loss? What remedies have you tried?

Happy regrowing

Sources:
Lavender oil for hair
Tea tree for hair
Rosemary for hair
Rosemary tea rinse for hair