Alopecia areata is a hair loss condition that affects men, women, and children. Alopecia is considered an autoimmune condition, in which the immune system, which is designed to protect the body from foreign invaders such as viruses and bacteria, mistakenly attacks the hair follicles leading to hair loss on the scalp and elsewhere. According to the American Hair Loss Association, 40 percent of people in the United States with hair loss are female and many women are too embarrassed to discuss it. Many women don't like discussing their hair loss or thinning hair, which in result decreases their self-esteem and may also cause depression. Men and women deal with alopecia differently.