Alopecia areata is a disease that causes hair loss. Most people lose hair on their scalp or beard area, but hair loss can occur anywhere on your body. A board-certified dermatologist can tell you if you have this type of hair loss and what may help you regrow your hair. This type of hair loss often begins with a round or oval bald patch on the scalp or beard, which may be small and hidden or noticeable. There are many types of hair loss. Alopecia areata is one of the more common types.
This type of hair loss usually begins in children and young adults, but it can start at any age. People of all skin tones and genders get alopecia areata.
Some people who lose their hair, regrow it, and never have another episode. This is more common when someone has a few patches of hair loss.
More often, people lose their hair, only to see it regrow and fall out again. When hair falls out after regrowing, it’s called a relapse. Many people have a relapse within a year of regrowing their hair, and most relapses occur within 5 years. These episodes of hair loss and regrowth can occur throughout a person’s life.
How much hair regrowth a person has varies. Some people see full regrowth. However, many do not see the hair regrowth they expect. When hair starts to regrow, it may come back finer than before. This is usually temporary. With time and sometimes proper treatment, your natural hair color and texture often return.
At this time, alopecia areata cannot be cured. However, treatment can help people regrow their hair. Dermatologists helped to develop these newer treatments. Thanks to newer treatments, some people who weren’t helped by previous treatments are regrowing their hair.