Hair loss in men is usually caused by a condition called androgenic alopecia. It is a genetic kind of hair loss that causes the hairline to recede in the ‘standard’ fashion that we’re all familiar with. This is normal everyday hair loss and should not cause any alarm from a medical point of view.
There are also the kinds of alopecia that are classified as auto-immune diseases. These are known primarily as alopecia areata, alopecia totalis and alopecia universalis, although rarer strains do exist.
Hair is lost in different places of the scalp during the onset of alopecia areata. They way it is lost however, is quite different because it occurs in round patches of varying sizes. There is no sufficient explanation for why areata occurs, though alopecia areata can disappear just as quickly as its onset. The reverse however is also possible, and the disease can quickly progress to cost the sufferer a large proportion of their head hair. When all head hair is lost, the condition is referred to as alopecia totalis.
Statistically, you and I have a 2% chance of developing this condition at some point in our lives. This is true for both males and females of all ages and ethnicities. The risk is higher if there is a family member that also has alopecia areata, and for those who experience the condition during childhood, the risk of it recurring in later life is significantly higher.
Studies have shown that the white blood cells attack the hair follicles thinking it to be a foreign object. This causes it to shrink and hair to be lost as a result. The trigger that causes this phenomenon has yet to be determined. It does not attack the stem cells that supply the hair with new cells however, enabling at least the possibility of regrowth.
Scalp micropigmentation cannot cure alopecia totalis as such, at least not in the traditional sense, nor can it prevent its symptoms. It can however, cover up the symptoms (the hair loss) to such an extent that people simply won’t notice anything unusual. This of course depends on the skill of the technician, but certainly the ability to achieve such results does exist. Unlike traditional remedies, scalp micropigmentation offers a permanent solution for totalis (and indeed areata), regardless of how many times the condition comes back, and even if its symptoms never go away.
During a scalp micropigmentation procedure, pigments are directly applied into the scalp to create an illusion of a full head of shaven hair. A specialist uses specially made fine needles to make shallow penetrations in the areas where these bald spots occur.
In the instance of alopecia totalis, the technique can be applied to the entire head to recreate a head of hair from nothing at all. The pigments are carefully applied in different sizes, densities and colours specifically to address the progression of hair loss, or total absence of hair. It is important to know that these pigments only create a semblance of hair and not replace real hair itself. As such, it cannot grow longer like real hair strands. A scalp micropigmentation treatment however, should be maintained through regular cleaning, shaving and moisturising. This is ideal for those with alopecia totalis, because of the total absence of hair means even the minor inconvenience of a shaving routine is usually unnecessary.