Alopecia can sometimes feel like a wild goose hunt. You keep looking for a miracle cure that never seems to come. Products that do work only do this temporarily. And the more you fixate on the possibility of regrowth, the more hair will fall out.
It’s easy to get discouraged, especially if you don’t know what signs of alopecia areata regrowth to look out for. Whether those patches are filling, or whether your enthusiastic mind is playing tricks on you.
The thing to remember is that this condition is usually not permanent. In many cases, the hair comes back on its own, with a little time and patience the only medicine. In other cases, natural remedies or more aggressive treatments work.
But how do you know if you are approaching the end of alopecia? Well, this post covers some telltale signs of regrowth and helps you check whether your condition is getting better … or, in some cases, getting worse.
Common alopecia areata regrowth signs:
That’s right. The end of hair loss is about turning into Grandma all too early.
Because, while you’ll be delighted to see some hair sprouting at last, you’ll probably be less thrilled to find that it’s of a snowy white colour. Don’t worry, this is perfectly normal. In fact, regrowth of white hair is quite common in cases of alopecia areata.
Most of the time, the hair will return to its natural colour after a while. (If it doesn’t, you could just rock the Rogue from X-Men look. Trendy.)
You might be left with a patch of white hair, or a mix of your natural colour and white hair, or even with hair that’s a shade darker than your previous colour. But hey, hair is hair, right? So let’s not complain too much what form it decides to grow back in!
If you notice new hair growing regardless of color, you will likely notice that it has a fairly fine texture. This is because it’s just “vellus” hair – that’s the nice, fluffy stuff we were all born with. It can cover your whole patch and it may stick; or it could just fall out again. Shame.
However, when this vellus hair develops into thicker, longer, “terminal” hair … then you know you’ve reached the end of your battle with alopecia. (At least for now.)
For some reason, this hair can be curly even if your normal strands have always been straight. Could it be nice to mix it up, right ?!
Whatever it looks like, make sure to treat your new hair with care. Avoid aggressive chemicals as much as possible and direct heat during styling.
Exclamation mark hairs
Unfortunately, these short hairs, which you could mistake for regrowth, are not a good sign. They usually appear in a mix of vellus hairs around the edge of a patch, and indicate that some sort of inhibition is still occurring. Basically, the body’s autoimmune response weakens these hairs and cuts them short at the scalp level, while at the same time their follicles enter the “telogen” (resting) phase.
In other words, if you notice exclamation marks around your bald spot, it doesn’t mean your hair is growing back or your alopecia is gone. (Sorry.)
Rather, it means that the condition may just be starting. (Sorry again.)
But don’t let these prickly guys hit you. Often they will disappear if you do any treatment, allowing stronger hair to take its rightful place on your crown. (Yay!)
Any of these symptoms sound familiar?
If so, they can indicate that your follicle challenges are coming to an end.
Of course, the exclamation mark hair can mean that the condition is progressing further. And there are a few other things that can indicate persistent alopecia areata.
Pits on the nails are a clear sign; if you don’t have them, that’s a good thing. In addition, I always find that when my alopecia is most active, I have a small red rash at the base of my neck. It often fades when I rub the gel of an aloe vera plant directly on it and it relieves the inflammation caused by my autoimmune reaction. At least that’s what I tell myself.
Conclusion: Keep your chin up…
… and hold that fragmentary head high!
Because you may not see an indication of regrowth yet. But that’s okay. Just try not to get caught up in constantly checking for signs. It will probably only put you more stressed, which could prevent germs from remaining firmly in its tracks.
Instead, try to stay positive, enjoy the looks you can create by having alopecia and you never know … that hair might grow back when you least expect it.