Is it normal to have a small bald spot?
The sudden development of hair loss can be a worrying sight, especially if you see patches of baldness cropping up haphazardly. Men and women can both lose hair in different ways, whether it’s a receding hairline, patchy beard, or bald spots on the head, eyebrows, and eyelashes.
There are numerous types of hair loss such as male pattern baldness and traction alopecia. However, small bald spots are a common symptom of a condition called alopecia areata. Coin-sized bald spots are the telltale sign of this medical condition. It occurs when the body’s immune system starts to attack itself as it mistakes hair follicles for suspicious foreign bodies.
- What causes a bald spot?
- Are bald patches permanent?
- What home remedies help bald spots?
- Is there a cure for baldness?
What causes a bald spot?
When the body’s immune system decides that it no longer recognises the hairs, it sends antibodies to attack the hair bulb. This causes inflammation under the skin, surrounding the bulb.
Consequently, the hair follicle becomes irritated and pushes the hair out. The affected area(s) show up as “crop circles” on the head as if small UFOs have landed there.
Men and women start to lose hair in circular patterns in their teenage years. If you’re going to experience alopecia areata it will typically first appear when you’re under the age of 25.
This is within your school years which, as we all know, can be hard on your self-esteem and confidence at the best of times. Bullies are always on the lookout, and as alopecia areata is so visible, it can be hard to hide this condition from your peers.
We completely understand this and suggest trying some home remedies (listed further down).
Is alopecia areata passed down through family history?
When people lose their hair they obviously want to know what the cause is. One of the first things to do is to ask your family members if anyone has suffered from this condition before. It can be passed down through genetics, so even if they don’t have the symptoms now, they could have had it when they were younger.
Up to 20% of people affected by alopecia areata have a family member with the same condition. However, the reason why the immune system attacks the hair follicles is unclear, furthermore, it’s unknown why it’s genetic. Many people experience more than one episode of bald areas forming,
What causes female bald spots?
Female pattern baldness and alopecia areata cause bald patches on women’s heads. Women with a family history of hair thinning or hair loss should keep an eye out for the early signs as early treatment can help reverse it.
However, bald patches can be a sign of something else. They can also be side effects from medication, hormone imbalance, pregnancy and menopause. All in all, hormones are one of the main culprits causing hair to fall, which is evident in male and female pattern baldness.
Can stress cause hair to fall?
Thinning hair can be caused by stress because high levels of stress can force hairs into the telogen phase prematurely. The medical term for this is telogen effluvium. After a few months of prolonged stress, you will lose hair. You might have noticed more falling out in the shower or when brushing it.
Although you’ll see hair loss when you’re stressed, it can grow back when you reduce your stress. Stress also makes people lose hair when you pull at your hair to try and release these emotions.
This is called trichotillomania and can happen anywhere on your body – even your eyebrows. Men and women are both known to pull at their hair when they are feeling negative emotions including:
- Boredom and loneliness
Are bald patches permanent?
Bald patches are not permanent if you have the medical condition alopecia areata. This is also the case when hair loss is caused by medication, pregnancy, menopause, and stress.
When stress and hormone levels have balanced out, your hair growth will be able to return. It usually takes a few months for your hair growth cycle to restart and for you to see the results.
Although you can regrow hair from alopecia areata, sometimes the hair follicles start to produce white hairs. So you may see circular patches of white hair surrounded by your normal coloured hairs.
Also, the condition can recur several times throughout your life. So, unfortunately, you may have regrown the hairs on your bald areas now, but in a few months or a few years, they could come back.
Additionally, don’t expect your hair to grow back overnight. It can take several months for your hair to grow back to the thickness that it was before.
Does coconut oil grow hair on bald spots?
Coconut oil is said to be the magic potion for hair loss. It’s an ancient treatment for numerous skin conditions and it’s also highly beneficial for the hair. It’s believed to help with hair loss, itchy/ dry scalps, and hair thinning. Coconut oil is packed full of anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and emollient properties.
When applied to the hair and scalp it’s highly moisturising and helps to protect against any bacterial problems that inhibit hair regrowth. Additionally, massaging it into the scalp, specifically where you have bald areas helps boost blood circulation. Furthermore, this stimulates hair growth by nourishing your hair follicles.
What home remedies help bald spots?
It’s been said that your kitchen cupboard has many of the answers to help regrow hair on bald spots. There are many natural hair oils that are suitable for both men and women. They include:
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Coconut oil
- Aloe Vera
- Onion Juice
- Rice water
- Green Tea
Is there a cure for baldness?
Bald spots caused by alopecia areata don’t usually require medical treatment as normally the hair grows back. However, there are occasions when the hair follicles don’t produce new hairs. This can be devastating as you’re left with patchy hair.
A hair transplant isn’t usually advised for alopecia areata (if it’s still active) as your immune system will continue to fight the hair bulb. However if the condition is “burned out” or there has been no change or recurrence for a substantial period of time, then surgical treatments may be an option. It’s best to speak to a hair transplantation specialist who will be able to advise you on whether this treatment will be effective.
Overall, bald spots are typically caused by alopecia areata. However, they can occasionally be a result of other medical conditions such as traction alopecia.
Hair can sometimes naturally regrow on these patches without any treatment. But sometimes topical or surgical treatments are recommended to fully restore the hair.