64.1 Million people live in the UK. For every thousand citizens, two suffer with Alopecia Areata – the increased appearance of bald patches that can grow to the size of a large coin. That’s a lot of people suffering from the type of hair loss in the UK alone. Alopecia Areata: The Basics Alopecia Areata is caused by an autoimmune disease – when your immune system mistakes parts of your body for bacteria – which attacks your healthy cells leaving your hair roots mildly inflamed. This inflammation leads to the hair becoming increasingly weaker, at which point it begins to fall out and create several bald patches. Alopecia Areata is most common in 15-29 year old males, with most sufferers losing a considerable amount of their hair before the age of 21. Whilst in most cases of Alopecia Areata, hair grows back after a few months, the condition may worsen and develop into two severe forms of hair loss: Alopecia Totalis – no scalp hair whatsoever – and Alopecia Universalis – no hair on the scalp or body whatsoever. Little Britain Saves the Day In a time where Alopecia Areata is becoming an increasingly common form of hair loss, it’s quite touching to see that the famous are reaching out to sufferers and unifying themselves through the tough times teenagers go through when first facing the condition. Little Britain legend Matt Lucas recently wrote to 14-year old Jacob Fitzpatrick, who has been losing his hair due to Alopecia Areata since the age of ten. Lucas, who suffered from Alopecia at an even younger age – he lost all of his hair at the age of 6 – reached out to the teenager whose confidence was falling apart at the seams due to the condition. The letter came after Jacob’s mum Sarah had written to Lucas explaining Jacob’s situation. The comedian’s reply highlighted the positives of losing your hair which included “it’s nice not to have to get your hair cut” and “women find it sexy!” Whilst Jacob is still suffering from mild hair loss, he believes the letter from Matt Lucas came at just the right time to rescue his confidence and help him on his way to recovery. Problem Solved? There are several solutions to Alopecia Areata including Steroid Injections – a series of injections of steroids into the scalp that supresses the immune reaction that occurs in the condition – and Topical Immunotherapy – substances such as Diphencyprone being placed on the affected skin once a week for several weeks. Another solution which is seen as more permanent than others is Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP) treatment. SMP is a highly advanced process, during which tiny deposits of specialist pigment are placed within the upper dermis of the skin. When applied by a skilled practitioner, these deposits accurately replicate real shaven hair follicles, and together provide an indistinguishable illusion of a real head of hair. This treatment is safe, effective and permanent, and causes no damage to your hair follicles to ensure that your real hair has every opportunity to grow back in the future. HIS Hair are the world’s leading practitioners in SMP with 17 clinics spread across four continents.