For many men and women alopecia can be a devastating disease. However there are solutions such as permanent cosmetics that can help to camouflage the serious change in appearance that some experience.
I invite you to visit our client gallery that shows before and after pictures. Until there is a medical cure, know that there is help to regain your confidence.
It begins with a small bald patch, perhaps in a man's beard or a woman's eyebrow. Its occurrence is sudden. Yesterday the hair was thick and luxurious. Today it's simply gone. In a very short time, perhaps as quickly as 4 to 6 weeks, every hair on your body disappears. You are completely and totally bald -- everywhere. Your head, eyelashes, eyebrows, beard, arms, legs-- yes, even there. Alopecia areata sufferers may joke about never having to wax or shave again, but it's one of those self-deprecating jokes meant to ease the emotional pain and embarrassment of a traumatic disease that drastically changes a person's appearance.
Unrelated to male-pattern baldness, alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease that induces the body to attack its own hair follicles. Progression of the disease, which attacks men and women equally, is individual and unpredictable for the 2% of the world's population who are affected. Some alopecia sufferers lose every hair on their body (alopecia universalis); others experience a few bald patches. In some cases the hair grows back, but more often it does not. When it does regrow, hair is often sparse and wispy and likely to fall out again. Cortisone treatments have been found to cause minimal hair growth on the head but are not effective for the eyebrow area where shape and fullness is desired.
New genetic research from Columbia University shines the first rays of hope on this emotionally devastating disease. Researchers have discovered that one of the eight genes associated with alopecia acts as a trigger for the disease by focusing immune cells on hair follicles. The immune cells, in effect, "kill" the follicles, resulting in baldness. Previously, alopecia was believed to be related to autoimmune skin diseases such as psoriasis. The new findings indicate a stronger link to autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and celiac disease. Researchers consider their genetic discovery a major breakthrough and hope further research will lead to treatments and a cure for alopecia.
For now, paramedical tattooing seems to be the only effective solution for alopecia sufferers. Natural-looking permanent eyebrows can be tattooed to give the face a normal appearance. With Melany Whitney's skill as a makeup artist turned skilled permanent makeup specialist, new eyebrows can be created based on the client's own facial morphology; actually improving overall appearance by enhancing and reshaping the natural brow line.
The client photos shown in this article, as a before and immediately after (color will lighten in seven days), are an excellent example of the transformation possible.