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Alopecia Awareness Month : 10 Ways To Participate in 2024
Dr. Umear Ahmad (GMC)
Medically reviewed by
Dr. Umear Ahmad (GMC)
Updated on May 9, 2024

September is Alopecia Awareness Month. If you or a loved one are experiencing a type of alopecia  or you are simply sympathetic to this cause, you are more than welcome to be part of this inspiring celebration. Rest assured that there are many exciting ways to get involved, and anyone can find a way to participate that reflects their interests, skills and possibilities.

Over 85% of men [1], 55% of women [2] and 15-38% of adolescents [3] will experience hair loss at some point in their lives. This can be very emotionally and socially challenging, especially for those with advanced and persistent alopecia. Baldness is known to significantly affect mental health and quality of life and has been associated with increased rates of anxiety, depression, stress and reduced self-confidence [4][5].  

However, there is little about alopecia itself that can significantly harm those who experience it. The vast majority of negative effects are psychological and stem from bullying and social rejection. Normalising baldness would be a major step forward towards the acceptance and inclusion of people who experience alopecia. And each of us can be a part of this awareness effort, which could significantly improve the quality of life for millions. 

Keep reading this article to learn more about:

  • Where you can learn more about alopecia
  • Activities you can participate in during Alopecia Awareness Month
  • How you can best support people with alopecia
  • What resources are available to you if you are experiencing alopecia    
Table of Contents
Alopecia areata in young woman

About alopecia

While many associate the term alopecia with alopecia areata, an autoimmune condition which causes patchy (or, occasionally, full) hair shedding, it actually refers to any condition that causes hair loss [6]. This can be temporary, or permanent and it can resolve itself spontaneously or require extensive treatment to manage. Some of the most common types of alopecia are:

However, in the context of Alopecia Awareness Month, the main focus is, understandably, on the forms of hair loss which cause advanced or persistent balding, especially alopecia areata. This is because it is diagnosed most frequently during childhood and adolescence and some of its rare forms (e.g. alopecia totalis, alopecia universalis, or ophiasis alopecia) can cause extensive baldness. While in most people, this condition resolves spontaneously within 12 months, it will often flare again and it can be resistant to treatments [7]. 

The best ways to participate in Alopecia Awareness Month

bald man reading a book

1. Learn and share knowledge about alopecia

There are many readily available resources to help you discover more about the causes, symptoms and treatments of different kinds of alopecia. Reliable, well-structured information can be found on the websites of health organizations such as the NHS or WHO, but also on those of specialized organizations, such as Alopecia UK or the National Alopecia Areata Foundation.

Moreover, some private hair clinics can also provide an excellent source of information regarding hair loss.  For example, the Wimpole Clinic knowledge hub is a well-documented trove of both general and specific alopecia facts and recommendations, based on scientific evidence. Here, you can find articles that help give you practical insight, such as:

Taking even half an hour a week during this month to read up or watch videos about alopecia can make you far more knowledgeable than you were before. And if during your documentation, you discover facts that surprise or intrigue you or treatments you didn’t know about, be sure to share them with the world.

On one hand, it could help someone experiencing hair loss. On the other hand, fostering conversations about alopecia can lead to a better understanding and acceptance of this medical phenomenon.  

people at an alopecia awareness event
Photo from the 2023 National Alopecia Areata Foundation Walk For Alopecia Event

2. Sign up for Alopecia Awareness Month activities…or organise one

Every September, organisations that promote alopecia awareness host a series of events that you can take part in, such as online meetings, walkathons, get-togethers or day trips. For example, Alopecia UK organizes an annual trip to Alton Towers available to children and adults with alopecia, but also to friends, family members or supporters of people with this condition [8]. 

If you can’t find any appealing Alopecia Awareness Month activities near you, you can always organise one yourself. Here are some ideas of things you can do to fundraise for alopecia research and awareness or to help spread the word about this worthy cause:

  • Have a yard sale and donate the proceedings to your favourite alopecia NGO
  • Host a theme party, where everyone dresses in blue, the official colour of alopecia awareness. Give your guests leaflets with relevant resources and information.
  • Organize a ticket-based talent show, board game tournament, trivia contest or sporting event (e.g. a soccer game) and donate the proceedings.
  • Have a bake sale to raise funds for alopecia awareness. Include alopecia awareness leaflets in every order. 
person holding a blue awareness ribbon

3. Embrace the symbols – wear blue

Wearing blue clothes and/or a blue awareness ribbon is a good way to show support for people with alopecia. Some may find it pointless or even trivial to dress in a specific colour or wear a ribbon to show adherence to a social cause. However, research suggests that symbols such as awareness ribbons or wearing specific colours can be effective tools for social campaigns [9].

That is because on one hand, they are conversation starters which give you the chance to explain more about your cause. And on the other hand, they signal to the group that you are supporting that they are not alone and their struggle is recognized.  

Alopecia Awareness Month

4. Be an inspiration

If you are experiencing alopecia or have experienced it at some point in your life, sharing your story can help others in your situation feel seen and understood. It is entirely up to you how you choose to do this and on what scale – making a social media post with a #AUKHEADUCATION handle, writing an article in a local publication or simply having a meaningful conversation with your loved ones can still make a difference. 

If you are supporting someone with alopecia, encourage them to share their own stories (if you believe this is something they may enjoy doing). However, be gentle in this approach, not everyone is open to sharing their difficult experiences.

online petition

5. Advocate for alopecia treatment

Depending on where you live, there may be institutional barriers to obtaining affordable alopecia treatments. For example, in the UK you can’t get Finasteride on the NHS (at least for hair loss), even though it is the most prescribed treatment for androgenetic alopecia (male or female pattern baldness).

Moreover, steroid injections for hair loss are not compensated either, save for exceptional cases. Similarly, you cannot get Minoxidil on the NHS, and topical Minoxidil is one of the most effective and versatile hair growth treatments. That is because alopecia treatment is considered cosmetic and thus, not eligible for compensated treatment. 

If you believe that publicly ensured taxpayers who experience alopecia should benefit from treatment on the NHS, contact your local representative and/or start a petition concerning this issue. 

group counseling session

6. Foster emotional support

Emotional support is a crucial part of managing the psychological burden of alopecia. In most states, there are some formal support groups that you can join if you are experiencing hair loss. Attending one can not only bring you personal comfort, but it can also help the other participants feel less alone and gain insight from your perspective and experiences. 

However, if you don’t feel comfortable participating in a physical support group, there are also numerous online communities dedicated to alopecia, such as the Smart Patient Alopecia Community, dedicated to people who experience hair loss and their loved ones. Or even more informal groups, such as Facebook or Reddit pages dedicated to discussing alopecia-related issues. 

If you are a friend or family member of someone with alopecia, ask them about the best ways you can support them. And hold space for them to express their emotions freely, without trying to fix their problem or put a positive spin on it. 

person donating to a charity online

7. Contribute financially to alopecia research and awareness

If you can afford to make a financial donation, you may consider offering financial support to a reputable organisation involved in alopecia research or in raising awareness. Most legitimate such entities have activity reports and research results posted on their website, so you can choose the organisation where you believe your contribution may generate the most impact. 

Don’t be deterred if you cannot make a substantial donation. Every penny counts and civil society organisations are experienced in making the most out of every contribution. The modest financial support of many can make an immense difference when pooled together. 

a group of volunteers

8. Volunteer to help spread alopecia awareness 

Some of the most valuable contributions you can bring to any cause are your time and skill set. Most alopecia awareness organisations appreciate all the help they can get. And Alopecia Awareness Month is a busy time, with a lot of activities they may require volunteers for. Depending on your interests and qualifications, you may be asked to assist with preparing or distributing print materials, registering participants for meetings or events, updating the website or social media page, and many more.

Volunteering your time and work can be one of the most immediately rewarding forms of participation, as it may allow you to come in direct contact with the people you are helping, watch your contribution being used, make new friends and get a sense of community. 

serious bald man

9. Speak out against bullying

Philosopher John Stuart Mill once remarked: “Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.” [10] While it can be daunting to confront people who bully others on account of their alopecia, it would be commendable to do so whenever it is safe and possible. This may range from standing up for yourself or another who is getting teased on account of their hair loss to calling out bald jokes and other forms of offensive humour encountered online or offline. 

Speaking out against bullying can help create a safer, more welcoming space for people who experience hair loss. But it can also make those who engage in teasing or offensive humour reconsider doing so, at least in polite company.    

Bald woman on her laptop

10. Stay informed all year round

Alopecia awareness is a marathon, not a sprint. While participating in the September festivities is a great use of your time, there are things you can do during this time that will come in handy all year round. This may include:

  • Signing up for newsletters from alopecia awareness organisations that interest you  
  • Joining social media pages dedicated to discussions related to hair loss
  • Setting up alerts to get news regarding advancements in alopecia treatments 

Staying up-to-date on alopecia developments and events can make it easier for you to advocate this cause and find the needed support and resources for yourself or your loved ones.

Are you experiencing alopecia?

If you are concerned about advanced hair loss but don’t know why your hair is falling out or would like a second opinion on diagnosis and treatment, book a consultation with one of our top-tier trichologists. Our medical team at the Wimpole clinic is experienced in treating challenging cases of alopecia with state-of-the-art medications and therapies.

Furthermore, should you be a good candidate for a hair transplant, our success rates approach 100% regardless of whether you choose to undergo an FUE or FUT procedure. You can see our results for yourself in our before and after hair transplant gallery.

Alopecia Awareness Month : 10 Ways To Participate in 2024, Wimpole Clinic

Dr. Umear Ahmad (GMC)
Medically reviewed by Dr. Umear Ahmad (GMC)Updated on May 9, 2024
The Wimpole Clinic offers FUE Hair, Beard & Eyebrow Transplants & Trichology.
Talk to a specialist ☎ 020 7935 1861.

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