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Hair loss types: Frontal fibrosing alopecia self-care

Are you seeing the results you want from treatment?

If not, talk with your dermatologist about your skin care routine. Changing products or how your care for your skin may improve your results.

Woman holding large basket of self-care products

To help their patients who have frontal fibrosing alopecia (FFA) get the best results from treatment, dermatologists recommend these self-care tips.

  1. Fill your prescriptions and follow your treatment plan. FFA can cause permanent hair loss. Delaying treatment gives this hair loss time to progress, which can lead to more visible (and permanent) hair loss.

  2. Talk with your dermatologist before trying a quick fix or home remedy for hair loss. You’ll find plenty of home remedies and products that claim you’ll regrow your hair. Some sites selling these remedies even promise to refund your money if you don’t regrow your hair.

    Dermatologists tell their patients to be wary of these products and home remedies, which can sound so appealing. If there really was a quick fix or home remedy for FFA, your dermatologist would share it with you.

    Even knowing this, promises of "all-natural" and "money-back guarantee" can sound tempting. Some patients want to try one of these quick fixes before seeing a dermatologist or starting their treatment plan.

    If you feel that a hair loss product or home remedy could help, talk with your dermatologist before you try it.

  3. Speak with your dermatologist if you are concerned about possible side effects from the medication. Dermatologists have plenty of experience treating people with the medications that they prescribe to stop further hair loss. They also understand that some patients may have concerns about taking medication to treat hair loss.

  4. Understand that treatment takes time to work. It’s natural to want to see results as soon as you start treatment. On average, patients begin to see results about 6 to 18 months after beginning treatment. The sooner you start treatment, the better your outcome.

  5. Be gentle with your skin. FFA causes inflammation. Where you have hair loss, being very gentle can avoid more inflammation. This means washing your face (and other areas where you have hair loss) gently with your fingertips. You want to use a mild, fragrance-free cleanser in these areas.

  6. Reduce your use of hair-styling tools that generate heat (e.g., blow dryers and curling irons). Heat tends to speed up inflammation in the skin. Reducing your use of heated styling tools may reduce inflammation on your scalp.

  7. Ask your dermatologist about ways to hide noticeable hair loss. If you want to hide signs of hair loss, tell your dermatologist. A dermatologist can tell you how to disguise FFA in a way that gives you a natural look. You may be able to apply a powder to your scalp that hides the hair loss. With the right technique, this can look completely natural. Your dermatologist may also recommend other options for hiding hair loss.

  8. Consider joining a support group. Is hair loss making you feel sad or self-conscious? When hair loss takes an emotional toll, talking about it with others who are experiencing hair loss can help.

    The Scarring Alopecia Foundation offers support groups for people who have a scarring type of hair loss like FFA. To find out more about these support groups, go to: SAF: Support and meetings.

Getty Images

Lis-Święty A, Brzezińska-Wcisło L. “Frontal fibrosing alopecia: a disease that remains enigmatic.” Postepy Dermatol Alergol. 2020;37(4):482-9.

Written by:
Paula Ludmann, MS

Reviewed by:
Shani Francis, MD, MBA, FAAD
William W. Kwan, MD, FAAD

Last updated: 8/3/22

All content solely developed by the American Academy of Dermatology

The American Academy of Dermatology gratefully acknowledges support from the following companies:

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