Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Alopecia Awareness

I received this email the other day from a reader who wants to raise alopecia awareness:

Hi,my name is *******.And I follow your blog. I have a blog of my own called **************. Well I have a four year old. She was a very bald baby. As soon as I seen hair I started little ponytails,beads when I could lol and braids. Well I was growing her hair. I thought I was doing good,but then notice her hair should have been longer than what it was. So I put on my blog how in a years time if I do everything I am suppose to do I should see a difference. A little after I posted that,I seen a bald spot in her head. I immediately rushed to the E.R thinking its ringworm and she got it from daycare. They gave me Meds for it oral and shampoo. She had a upcoming doctors appointment and when she went her Doctor stated it didn't look like ringworm to her. So she tested her scalp by scraping and collecting a culture from it. I was so nervous because the doctor mentioned alopecia areata. After doing research and crying and worrying. I finally talked to the doctor and she said its negative for ringworm. She referred us to two dermatologist. Her appointments are in April. I have been treating her bald spot with a steroid cream daily. And the other night found a couple more but didn't tell her. I wanted to share this with you,for awareness reasons. Alopecia is an autoimmune disease where the body attacks its own hair follicles and stops growth. I've read stress causes it. And I don't see how she could be that stressed. Im hoping by sharing this with you. You will educate those and they will be aware of this disease. You have a huge fan base. Im still hoping she does not have this. And I haven't shared this on my blog. I actually haven't even been on my blog. I want to keep this quiet.Please keep us in your prayers.


You can read about alopecia areata here and you can read about traction alopecia here.

I wanted to touch on traction alopecia for a moment. I know I've mentioned this before, but please parents and caregivers be aware of your child's hair and scalp. Make sure their styles are not too tight. This incldues braids, cornrows, ponytails, etc. Listen to your children. If your child tells you it hurts, then it probably does hurt and even if they don't tell you it hurts, try not too style the hair too tightly. It's unnecessary.

Taken from

Summary Points:
  • In the USA, traction alopecia is most common in African-American women due to their hair styles. Can also occur in men who use hair weaving to conceal bald areas.
  • More common in children and young adults and less common in older adults.
  • Traction Alopecia is reversible if detected early but can lead to permanent hair loss. Early detection is the key.
  • For women, no medical treatment exists and hair grafts are their only option.
  • Traction alopecia is more common in the frontal and temporal regions, but also depends on the hair style. With cornrows, hair loss is adjacent to the rows.
  • Women and men who suspect they might be vulnerable to traction alopecia should change their hair style and/or reduce usage of hair chemicals, and consult their dermatologists.
  • Traction Alopecia is not related to excema, dandruf or dermititis.

I would like to add, I remember watching a slideshow on youtube showing a little girls hairstyles. The child, probably around A's age, had little hair so her mother kept braiding in extensions. Her hairline was pushed so far back, she had absolutely no hair at the nape area and there were areas of her cornrows that were completely gone, as if the cornrow had been lifted from the scalp. It was the saddest thing. Whats even sadder is people mentioned it in the comments and the mother kept saying no, her daughter has always been bold. Again, please parents, be aware.

I'm glad our reader is getting the help she needs and I wish her all the best. You and your daughter will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Happy Girl Hair has a great post on this, click here to check it out.


  1. Sending my prayers as well. Thanks for sharing and making us more aware!

  2. Hi, my daughter too has had alopecia areata, infact was just diagnosed monday gone. I too was told that it was ringworm when it first started to show 2 yrs ago, and only last oct did they decide to do a biopsy as no form of fungal treatment was working. In my daughters case her patches have started to grow back hair which is great,but have been told that the alopecia could return. I do hope things go well for you and you're daughter..x

  3. I will definitely send prayers your way. I can personally relate, because when I was 5 years old, I started getting bald spots. Luckily, my mother was able to cover them up with two french braids. This went on for about 2 years. I went to a local dermatologist and used to get painful shots in my head, then when I was 7, my mom took me to a dermatologist at a medical university in our state. I'm not sure what medication I was prescribed, and my mother doesn't remember either, but it was little white pills and I decreased the dosage over time, so I think it was predinsone which is steroid. My hair started growing back before my next appointment and my mother never took me back. A year later, I had a head full of thick hair and you would have never guessed I'd had alopecia. Pray, stay positive, do your research, and remember that God is in control....

  4. Praying for the mother and child, God will see them through...and this too shall pass. I am glad that she is bringing it to everyone's attention to keep in mind that we are our children's advocate when it comes to doctors. I am glad they are testing the area. It is cases like this that have me continuely donating my hair to "Locks of Love" as often as I can.

  5. Good Luck and many well wishes. It is good that you are catching this problems early. I suffer from some autoimmune disorders myself (lupus and vitilago). I just wanted to point out to you that its not stress that *causes* an autoimmune disease but it can worsen or trigger the disease. again, much love to your and your daughter <3 i hope you can continue with updates!

  6. Thanks for spreading awareness! My son has alopecia areata as well.

  7. Make sure you do get a diagnosis for alopecia? My daughter had ringworm (scalp, with small raised bumps that turned to a small scab and often left spots where hair -still- does not grow). Although FOUR other people in our family also had ringworm over the course of two years we ALL tested negative for it (scratch test several times). Finally after seeing a dermatologist who specializes in ringworm and tropical skin diseases we were all diagnosed as positive for ringworm and given medication to take orally as opposed to a cream. This cleared up the problem within a couple of weeks - another confirmation that we did in fact have ringworm. The dermatologist who helped us was our sixth. If the steroid cream is helping by all means keep using it, but be sure you continue to watch out for your daughter's longterm health, too. Best wishes to you both!

  8. My 4 year old daughter was diagnosed with Traction Alopecia late last year. The doctor told me not to style her hair at all, and I looked at him like he had six heads. It has been a very tough learning experience for myself and my daughter. I did the exact same thing the mother in the email did: styled my daughter's hair in little pony tails w/ rubber bands, etc. My poor daughter's edges were a nightmare. I finally did a mini big chop on her hair to remove the damaged split ends. Now, I slick her sides down in the front, put a headband on her, and she is super happy. She's proud to "look like Mommy" (I'm natural), and her hair is getting healthier day by day.


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