Hiya all!

I notice that when asked about my alopecia I tend to talk about how its an autoimmune disease and that we don't really know where it comes from. It's only caused by stress to the point that stress can trigger it, but you have to have alopecia for it to be triggered. Most likely it is hereditary but we don't know how commonly so.

I have said this for the last 15 years and now I realize that this might all be quite dated information. Has more happened in alopecia research? Do we know more of how you get it? And if so, would anyone be able to to point me to good articles about this.

Thank you for your help!


Views: 3354

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Hi Minea,

Alopecia is an auto immune disease.
But why the immune system is behaving like this ?

If you consider only stress causes this, then why kids are affected with this ?

There is no scientific proof that alopecia can cause by hereditary.
Its our own body which is behaving like this.

I am taking treatment from am immunology scientist in India, I can see some positive symptoms on my body .
With in 4 months I will update on my treatment and cure status,

If I get my hair back I will recommend my Scientist doctor to you.

I have Totalites.

As far as the statement that,  "if you consider only stress causes this, then why kids are affected with this ?"  

Well people seem to forget that kids do have life-stress.  

Kids can be traumatized and can also go through long bouts of negligence, abuse, intense starvation, and other disadvantages.  

They do not have any way to rise above stress and as a matter of fact, they sometimes have fewer inner recourses than the rest of us.  

I've seen people swear to God that kids can't have mental breakdowns and they frantically try to get their point across. They see childhood stress and trauma as a ridiculous idea, but kids do have mental breakdowns and they do have enough stress to get them sick.   Otherwise, there would not be mental wards for children and there would be no child-therapists.   

Mental disturbances and alopecia are thought to go together.   

where u r in india?

Hi Krathi!

Thanks for the message! 

I really am not looking for treatments, have gone through plenty of those in my childhood (I've had alopecia almost 30 years). But thank you for offering.

I suppose you answered my question as in that there is no new information? 



There's no hereditary component. Chances of passing it down is 1 in 5. Greater if there is more than one generation who has alopecia. Stress is only one factor but as far as I know there is no "true" cause.

- Kat


My dermatologists do not know any new information about Alopecia. They just keep parroting the same spiel to me. I have decided that it is just something I have to live with. Not really a big deal unless it is for you. I have learned how to live with the different stages of my hair falling out. I just shave it off when it gets too thin and am thankful when I have enough to get a haircut. Alopecia has helped me grow my self esteem greatly over the 35 years I have had it. Having experienced everything from just my head hair falling out to losing all of the hair on my entire body (Yikes!!). That was a trip, I must say. No eyebrows, eyelashes or nose hair is an interesting experience. Not having to shave my legs was not a bad thing! Things could be sooo much worse so I am grateful for my hair when I have it. I wish you the best in your journey with Alopecia. Smile....you are soooo much more then your hair:) If the world cannot accept that then that is just too bad for them. (brush those people off your shoulder....small people have small minds).

My understanding is that one inherits a general tendency for autoimmune problems. For example, I have a lot of allergies and had severe childhood asthma. These are auto immune disorders.  My son has Type 1 diabetes, and when he was dx'd, the question wasn't just about family history of childhood diabetes, but about autoimmune disease in our family.  

I also have Alopecia universalis, going on 30 years.  I have learned to be skillful with wigs and makeup because I want to work and live normally in my small town. I decide who to tell, for example, my friends - not my husband's clients or the children I teach.

I would LOVE to see my own hair again sometime in my life though!

Hiya! That is exactly what I have understood as well. It would just be nice to see some numbers behind this but maybe science isn't that far. :) 

My alopecia is called androgenic alopecia. Genetic and an excess of androgen, eventhough I am a woman.

Nothing can stop or prevent or cure it.

So I wear a wig, started wearing one late June 2016... it was a major mind shift.

HI there,

This is a good resource about the current understanding of alopecia and about clinical research.


What Research Is Being Conducted on Alopecia Areata?

Although a cure is not imminent, researchers are making headway toward a better understanding of the disease. This increased understanding will likely lead the way to better treatments for alopecia areata and eventually a way to cure it or even prevent it.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other organizations support research into the disease and its treatment. Here are some promising areas of research:

  • Developing animal models. This is a critical step toward understanding any disease, and much progress has been made. By studying mice with problems similar to those encountered in human alopecia areata, researchers hope to learn more about the mechanism of the disease and eventually develop treatments for the disease in people.
  • Studying hair follicle development. By studying how hair follicles form, develop, and cycle through growth and resting phases, researchers hope to gain a better understanding of hair growth cycle biology that may lead to treatments for the underlying disease process.
  • Understanding stem cell biology. Epithelial stem cells are immature cells that are responsible for regenerating and maintaining a variety of tissues, including the skin and the hair follicles. Stem cells in the follicle appear to be spared from injury in alopecia areata, which may explain why the potential for regrowth is always there in people with the disease. By studying the biology of these cells, scientists hope to gain a better understanding of factors that trigger the disease.
  • Finding genes. Scientists have identified genetic variations associated with the development of alopecia areata. They also discovered that alopecia areata has genetic similarities to other autoimmune diseases, namely type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and celiac disease. An understanding of the genetics of the disorder will aid in disease prevention, early intervention, and development of specific therapies. To assist researchers searching for such genetic clues, the NIAMS supported the development of the National Alopecia Areata Registry, a network of five centers, to identify and register patients with the disease and collect information and blood samples (which contain genes). Data, including genetic information, is made available to researchers studying the genetic basis and other aspects of the disease and disease risk. For more information, log onto the registry website at www.AlopeciaAreataRegistry.org.

More information on research is available from the following resources:

  • NIH Clinical Research Trials and You helps people learn more about clinical trials, why they matter, and how to participate. Visitors to the website will find information about the basics of participating in a clinical trial, first-hand stories from clinical trial volunteers, explanations from researchers, and links on how to search for a trial or enroll in a research-matching program.
  • ClinicalTrials.gov offers up-to-date information for locating federally and privately supported clinical trials for a wide range of diseases and conditions.
  • NIH RePORTER is an electronic tool that allows users to search a repository of both intramural and extramural NIH-funded research projects from the past 25 years and access publications (since 1985) and patents resulting from NIH funding.
  • PubMed is a free service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine that lets you search millions of journal citations and abstracts in the fields of medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, the health care system, and preclinical sciences.

Where Can People Find More Information About Alopecia Areata?

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) 
Information Clearinghouse
National Institutes of Health

1 AMS Circle
Bethesda, MD 20892-3675
Phone: 301-495-4484
Toll free: 877-22-NIAMS (877-226-4267)
TTY: 301-565-2966
Fax: 301-718-6366
Email: NIAMSinfo@mail.nih.gov
Website: https://www.niams.nih.gov

If you need more information about available resources in your language or another language, please visit our website or contact the NIAMS Information Clearinghouse at NIAMSinfo@mail.nih.gov.

Other Resources

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health
National Institutes of Health

Website: https://nccih.nih.gov/

American Academy of Dermatology

Website: http://www.aad.org

National Alopecia Areata Foundation

Website: http://www.naaf.org

American Hair Loss Council

Website: http://www.ahlc.org

Thank you so much for this!

Had AU for 43 years now and never have I heard one word on the cause, not even have they told me stress.  My hair started coming out hours after the birth of my oldest daughter, totally gone within weeks, never to return.  The rest, lashes, brows etc soon after.  I am far to old now (61) to be bothered with all the reasons why, if only or all that stuff.  Long ago figured this is me and things will not change for me even if they find a reason or a why.  I am ok with me just the way I am.  I also can not be bothered with those who are not.



Any mention of products and services on Alopecia World is for informational purposes only; it does not imply a recommendation or endorsement by Alopecia World. Nor should any statement or representation on this site be construed as professional, medical or expert advice, or as pre-screened or endorsed by Alopecia World. Alopecia World is not responsible or liable for any of the views, opinions or conduct, online or offline, of any user or member of Alopecia World.

© 2022   Created by Alopecia World.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service