WARNING: The Embarrassing Bodies website contains images of an explicit medical nature and nudity in a medical context.

Conditions

Alopecia

Alopecia

Is it normal to be scared of the doctor? Vote now! >

When presenter Gail Porter lost much of her hair because of alopecia she refused to wear a hat or wig, deciding instead to maintain a public profile and raise awareness of the condition. Alopecia is an autoimmune hair loss disease that affects 1 in 100 people, and can strike men, women or children of any age. The onset of hair loss is often sudden, random and recurrent, and can lead to either patchy or complete loss of hair on the scalp or body. The notoriously familiar male/female pattern baldness is another form of the condition. There is no single cause – it can be hereditary or genetic, the result of trauma or stress, or even medication. However, people who have had eczema, asthma or a thyroid disease are more prone to the condition. There is no known cure or proven therapy to induce hair re-growth, but there are various treatments available. Hair loss isn’t damaging to health, but it can prove challenging.

+++UPDATE+++
In the episode first broadcast on 13th May 2009, an over the counter product called Minoxidil was recommended for Caroline’s treatment – which is sold under the product name of ‘Regaine for Men’.
Always seek advice from your doctor, as people suffer with different types of alopecia and different treatments are available, although not always effective.

Watch the Live from the Clinic interactive case video on alopecia >

If your child is suffering from alopecia, read the special kids guide to the condition.

Watch 12 year old Lauren get a weft fitted in the Clinic Consultation: Alopecia video.

What the Men in White Coats Say

Comments and Questions

The EB doctors have been looking at your comments and have answered some of the common questions below. Remember that it is always best to check with a health professional if you have any concerns about your health.

Comments & Questions are now archived, but if you see anything on the site that worries you, please report it and one of our moderators will look at it as soon as possible.
Please note: Unfortunately Channel 4 cannot respond to individual inquiries. If you have any concerns, you can check out NHS Choices, but ultimately it is always best to check with a health professional.

I have alopecia aereata and keep getting fobbed off by the hospital for steroid injections was meant to go on the 29th December 2015 to start treatment on my way to my appointment got a phone call saying they had to cancel my appointment and ring me back to rearrange and appointment and still have not received anything no phone call not even a letter and it is now the 10th Feb 2016 and bad part is my hair is still falling out and have to wear a wig or cap 24/7. Any advice??





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

I had alopecia in 2010 where I lost approx 50% of my hair, it grew back quite shortly after and have only suffered small patches since. In the last month my alopecia has got a lot worse and I have numerous bald patches with hair still continuing to come out. I recently started the pill microgynon so wondering if this could be having an effect?





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your answer.


Please don't swear or be rude in your answers, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting answers. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

Questions submitted to the site will be answered by other site users, not by medical professionals, so if you have a medical concern, please book an appointment with your GP.

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

I'm a 24year old female up until two weeks ago I had very thick hair and lots of it but lately it has been falling out rapidly my hair is now very thin and towards the crown going bold I have psoriasis but mainly at the front of the head on the hairline not towards the back is there anything I can do to stop anymore falling out or at least slow the process down?? please help!!!





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

Hello. My problem is in my pubic area. De pubic hair is receding fast and the ones there are so scanty yet I get really itchy down there until I wash thorougly. Can u pls diagnose?





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your answer.


Please don't swear or be rude in your answers, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting answers. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

Questions submitted to the site will be answered by other site users, not by medical professionals, so if you have a medical concern, please book an appointment with your GP.

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

Hi, I am 15 1/2 years old and I have had alopecia almost since birth. I have never been happy with this and around 2 years ago I decided to begin shaving my hair. This has lead to reduced hair re-growth to the point were my hair is now only growing on two small patches on my scalp. I have had injections which helped the re-growth somewhat but I finished my course of treatment and the progress was lost. I would like to know if there is anything else that I could try? Another question is body hair. I do have body hair around the genitals and armpits. However, I do not have any hair on the forearms, legs or chest. The hair on my armpits is also much less than that of my friends. I would like to know if this is at all linked with alopecia and if there is any help I could get on this as well? Thanks





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your answer.


Please don't swear or be rude in your answers, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting answers. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

Questions submitted to the site will be answered by other site users, not by medical professionals, so if you have a medical concern, please book an appointment with your GP.

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

I'm a black african man. I'm going bald at the age of 26. Can you tell me if there is hair transplant for a black people please and where can I get it done if there is any. Thank you





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your answer.


Please don't swear or be rude in your answers, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting answers. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

Questions submitted to the site will be answered by other site users, not by medical professionals, so if you have a medical concern, please book an appointment with your GP.

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

Hi I am an 18 year old girl and just finished high school. But since about August of 2014 I have been experiencing very bad hair loss. Before this I used to have very thick very curly hair and since alopecia started I have found that my curls are fading aswell. It started out as a bald patch on the left side and gradually got bigger but now I have about 7-9 bald patches and it's getting harder to hide. And my hair is still falling out alot. I have read that poor diet can also lead to this? Is it true? I do not have a good diet at all I have a calorie intake of about 400 or less a day. And weigh about 47 kg's. I would love any advice on how to better the alopecia problem it has really been affecting my life and confidence. Thank you





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your answer.


Please don't swear or be rude in your answers, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting answers. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

Questions submitted to the site will be answered by other site users, not by medical professionals, so if you have a medical concern, please book an appointment with your GP.

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

Hello having lost some hair twice when pregnant, it grew back, then it started falling out rapidly which really worried me. I did a little research and decided it was probably a combination of stress and the happy pils I was on at the time (fluoxetine). But, having got rid of the major stress in my life a year ago (my ex!) and weaned myself off the happy pills a few months ago my hair is still falling out, and I would say I have lost over 50%. Luckily I started with very strong thick hair so others don't notice it but as I am still losing it I am now beginning to worry about it. I am having a blood test for thyroid this week but any advice would be appreciated.





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

When I was 17 I lost all of my long thick curly hair from alopecia, I was put on 12 steroids a day to try and help growth, didn't work, I had acupuncture in my head weekly, still didn't work. In the end after a year of trying everything, nothing worked so started looking at wigs, I then fell pregnant with my eldest (now 12)and my hair grew back after being told it never would! Since then 12 years ago I have suffered a few times and am again now, unfortunately nothing ever works apart from being stress free and happy. As hard as it is to try and be happy when ur worried about your hair loss, u just gotta try and not worry about it too much, have something to look forward too, take the stress and worry away and that's what's helped me each time x

I am 19 and I have lost eye brow hair and also got bold patches on my beard. I have lost about 70% of my right eyebrow and around 40 % of my left eyebrow. This started with me getting a bold patch on my beard and now its gotten on to my eyebrows and also on the side of my face and now its effecting my sideburns too. I been to my GP and she gave me a steroid gel which she told me to use for 8 weeks but there has been no change, I have lost even more hairs from my eyebrows. I would just like to know if there is I can do to help the regrowth of my hair as that gel is not working....





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your answer.


Please don't swear or be rude in your answers, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting answers. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

Questions submitted to the site will be answered by other site users, not by medical professionals, so if you have a medical concern, please book an appointment with your GP.

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

I have been losing my hair on top and the hair line, is there anything I can do to stop this. Also hair transplants , are they good...?? Where are the right places to go to without being ripped off. If you can help please.....?? Thank you





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines


Important Notice

The information provided on this website (including any NHS Choices medical information) is for use as information or for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical care by a qualified doctor or other qualified healthcare professional. We do not warrant that any information included within this site will meet your health or medical requirements. This Embarrassing Bodies site does not provide any medical or diagnostic services so you should always check with a health professional if you have any concerns about your health.


If you want to embed our videos in your site, read our embedding T&Cs here


More Information

  1. Quick Health Advice: Male Hairloss

    In Videos - Dr Christian explains the causes of male hairloss and the treatment…

  2. Doctor Responses: Alopecia and Hair Loss

    In Videos - Your most common questions about alopecia, answered by the EB doctors.

  3. Bodies Behaving Badly

    In Episodes - Episode 1 of Embarrassing Teenage Bodies examines conditions includ…

  4. Quick Health Advice: Unwanted Facial Hair

    In Videos - Dr Harper explains the causes of unwanted facial hair and some of t…

  5. Boys, Boys, Boys

    In Episodes - Episode 3 of Embarrassing Teenage Bodies takes a closer look at bin…

  6. Teens Below the Belt

    In Episodes - Episode 4 of Embarrassing Teenage Bodies tackles conditions includi…

  7. Doctor Responses: Excessive Hair

    In Videos - Dr Pixie answers your most frequently asked questions about excessi…

  8. Am I Normal?

    In Episodes - Episode 2 of Embarrassing Teenage Bodies looks at conditions includ…

  9. Consultation: Excess Facial Hair

    In Videos - Dr Dawn Harper looks at a patient whose excess facial hair is takin…

  10. Am I Normal Hair

    In Videos - Dr Dawn Harper discusses what is and isn't normal when it comes to…

  11. Consultation: Second Adult Circumcision

    In Videos - Dr Jessen examines a patient in need of a new circumcision

  12. Dr Priya Manickavasagar

    Doctor Info - Find out more about Dr Priya.

  13. James Russell

    Doctor Info - Find out more about James Russell.

  14. Consultation: Soreness on the Penis

    In Videos - A patient is examined for soreness around his penis

  15. In Detail: Urethral Reconstruction

    In Videos - An in detail look at an operation to reconstruct a man's urethra.


Am I Normal?

Share, explore, vote, watch… Am I Normal? is a bold new Channel 4 project that will redefine what you think of as ‘normal’.

Visit Am I Normal? >