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Author Topic: Does alopecia have a preponderance for pigmented hair?  (Read 10844 times)

Offline graham.d

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As a bearded 58 year old male I was surprised to discover a "hole" in my grey/silver beard a while ago. Research on the web suggested alopecia and that it may grow back after some time. After some months this is exactly what happened but I was surprised to note that it grew back as dark hair close to my original colour. So now I have a small patch (about 1 sq cm) of dark hair in my beard.

Now this does not worry me but further research suggests that this is the opposite to what should occur. Apparently, alopecia has a greater tendency to affect pigmented hair and if/when it grows back, it may grow back colourless. As a matter of interest, coincidentally, a much younger colleague had a similar problem and his dark hair regrew a matching dark colour, which suggests that my web research was not wholly right about this.

This may suggest a cure for gray hair maybe some way of selectively destroying parts of the hair follicles and allow stem cells to recreate nice new ones. The approach may be a bit drastic though.

A lot of web sites seem to parrot other's opinions and those covering this subject are no exception. Does anyone have the facts about the physiology here or is anyone curious about this personal experience?

On a serious point, I feel that the web could be used to set up some sort of database of numerous personal experiences in the medical field and to have these collated. I know I have a few but that telling your GP would not result in anyone realising that there was any commonality (unless there was some local epidemic). Specific studies on any medical subject have to be thought of and set up and cost a fortune. There should be a bottom-up way of generating a lot of useful data that we could get for free. Any comments on this?
« Last Edit: 26/04/2011 22:57:28 by chris »


 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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Re: Does alopecia have a preponderance for pigmented hair?
« Reply #1 on: 23/03/2008 08:42:26 »
Sorry, I can't help with the alopecia problem. 1 of the brats has a bald spot on the crown of his head and has been referred to a specialist. As you said, information on the web suggests his hair will grow back grey. We're hoping this is not the case with him as he's only 7.

As for your idea about a website, I'd be a bit wary. Although it sounds like a good idea, you could get people posting spurious cures that could do more harm than good. How would you police it?
 

Offline graham.d

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Re: Does alopecia have a preponderance for pigmented hair?
« Reply #2 on: 23/03/2008 12:59:56 »
I think the problem is that there could be plenty of valuable data out there that is just getting lost because there is nowhere it can get reported and collated. I think such a website would need some medically qualified supervision, but not censorship. There could be suitable cautioning via posts on the site regarding potentially duff, or even harmful, advice, but that if there were any patterns emerging, that there would be someone who could spot these and collate the data. This could be a huge resource that is currently untapped.

Another personal experience I had was that following a hernia operation I got shingles (within a few days) with a rash along the same nerve fibre that would have been damaged during the surgery. I doubt this was a coincidence. The specialist and the GP did not seem especially interested but someone researching into how the Shingles virus can get activated may have been. However there was nowhere to report this to and, of course, it may have been a chance occurrence, but if there were others with a similar experience it could be significant in advancing understanding of how the virus behaves.

These particular incidents are somewhat trivial but I would bet there are many out there that are very important but go unreported, at laest to the right people.
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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Re: Does alopecia have a preponderance for pigmented hair?
« Reply #3 on: 23/03/2008 20:47:35 »
As I said, it's a good idea; and if it had qualified supervision then, yes, it could grow into a valuable resource.
 

Offline alisonmat1

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Re: Does alopecia have a preponderance for pigmented hair?
« Reply #4 on: 22/04/2011 14:21:15 »
I also need help!! I have been suffering from hair loss for the best part of a year now, and not really sure where to turn to. My doctor is adamant it isn't alopecia, which I am happy to accept, I wasn't necessarily looking for the cause as much as looking for the solution, but maybe if I find the true reason for my hair loss it will be easier to find treatments.
Thanks.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Re: Does alopecia have a preponderance for pigmented hair?
« Reply #5 on: 22/04/2011 20:25:27 »
"My doctor is adamant it isn't alopecia"
That's odd. Alopecia just means hair loss.
 

Offline alisonmat1

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Re: Does alopecia have a preponderance for pigmented hair?
« Reply #6 on: 25/04/2011 17:20:29 »
My thoughts too, however he explained that alopecia has aspects of mental issues too, it is related to stress and is a condition that never completely goes away. In a way I was obviously pleased that this wasn't my diagnosis, but I am still lost as to what to do next.
 

Offline graham.d

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Re: Does alopecia have a preponderance for pigmented hair?
« Reply #7 on: 26/04/2011 16:45:48 »
It results from damage or destruction of hair follicles. This maybe due to the immune system going wrong and apparently there is clinical evidence that suggests this in some cases. This in turn can be stress related or, it seems, can be completely random. There may also be some heredity factors. I had a great aunt who went completely bald at about the age of 50 and I knew a bloke who went totally bald in his twenties. I don't get the impression that it is an area that attracts well funded research.

The hair in my beard grew back OK and I have no recurrence so the condition was temporary. Alisonmat1, if there is nothing to indicate a genetic trait, then I think that a gradual loss of hair may be due to hormonal changes. This maybe detectable and correctable by suitable compensating drugs. I doubt that testing for this will be available without paying for it, but I guess if you are sufficiently concerned there will be a specialist somewhere who can do this.
 

Offline alisonmat1

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Does alopecia have a preponderance for pigmented hair?
« Reply #8 on: 29/04/2011 11:39:02 »
thanks so much for your advice - ill keep you posted!
 

Offline antiaging06

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Does alopecia have a preponderance for pigmented hair?
« Reply #9 on: 04/05/2011 02:58:01 »
Most common cause of alopecia is DHT. Not everyone who gets stressed gets hair loss.
 

Offline alisonmat1

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Does alopecia have a preponderance for pigmented hair?
« Reply #10 on: 04/05/2011 16:16:07 »
does anyone else have any similar experiences?
 

Offline alisonmat1

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Does alopecia have a preponderance for pigmented hair?
« Reply #11 on: 08/06/2011 16:18:06 »
Anyone?
 

Offline sue1234

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Does alopecia have a preponderance for pigmented hair?
« Reply #12 on: 10/06/2011 15:49:10 »
Alison, a few things hit my radar when I think of hairloss in women(not excluding men,though):

1.  Anemia
2.  Increased testosterone
3.  High serum calcium
4.  And, stressful events
5.  Oh, and malnutrition from what seems like under-the-radar health issues, such as IBS-diarrhea and unknown celiac disease

Hope you can discuss these with a doctor and rule out some of the possible causes of hair loss.
 

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Does alopecia have a preponderance for pigmented hair?
« Reply #12 on: 10/06/2011 15:49:10 »

 

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