Types of Hair Loss
Hair loss can cause great distress, and there are many misconceptions about its causes and treatment.
Probably the most common type of hair loss is the so-called ‘male pattern baldness’, which despite its name, can affect women as well as men. This is a problem that requires sympathetic handling, and a qualified Trichologist has to understand the patient’s anxiety and help him come to terms with the loss of hair. Suffering from this condition can be helped with medical assistance.
There are many other types of hair loss which can respond to treatment. There are also some types of hair loss which can have a natural or spontaneous recovery. Excessive hair loss can often be a symptom of some other problem or variation in the metabolism of the body and for this reason, co-operation between the patient and the doctor is often necessary.
Androgenetic Alopecia is the most common type of hair loss, affecting almost 80% of men in a lifetime commonly known as male pattern hair loss or female pattern hair loss, Androgenetic Alopecia is hereditary but can be managed with advanced treatments.
Male Pattern Hair
In men, hair loss can begin any time after puberty and progress over the course of years or decades. It starts above the temples and continues around the perimeter and the top of the head, often leaving a ring of hair along the bottom of the scalp. Many men with male pattern hair loss eventually become bald.
Female Pattern Hair
In women, the hair slowly thins at the Crownal part, then slowly affects all over the scalp, but the hairline usually doesn’t recede. Many women experience this type of hair loss as a natural part of aging, although hair loss may begin any time after puberty. Female pattern hair loss can cause hair to thin dramatically, but only rarely does it lead to baldness.
Telogen effluvium, a type of hair loss, occurs when large numbers of follicles on the scalp enter the falling phase of the hair growth cycle called telogen, but the next growth phase doesn’t begin. This causes hair to fall out all over the scalp without new hair growth.
Telogen effluvium does not generally lead to complete baldness, although you may lose 300 to 500 hairs per day, and hair may appear thin, especially at the crown and temples.
A medical event or condition, such as a thyroid imbalance, childbirth, surgery, fever, vitamin or mineral deficiency—iron deficiency, typically triggers this type of hair loss.
Telogen effluvium usually begins three months after a medical event. If the triggering event is temporary—for example, if you recover from an illness or stop taking the medication causing the hair loss—your hair may grow back after six months. Telogen effluvium is considered chronic if hair loss lasts longer than six months. For reasons that are unclear to doctors, this type of hair loss may last for years in some people. If hair doesn’t regrow on its own, our doctors can offer treatments that can help.
Anagen effluvium is rapid hair loss resulting from medical treatment, such as chemotherapy. These potent and fast-acting medications kill cancer cells, but they may also shut down hair follicle production in the scalp and other parts of the body. After chemotherapy ends, hair usually grows back on its own. Doctors can offer treatments to help hair grow back more quickly.
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition, which means the body’s immune system attacks healthy tissues, including the hair follicles. This causes hair to fall out and prevents new hair from growing.
This condition can affect adults and children, and hair loss can begin suddenly and without warning. Hair from the scalp typically falls out in small patches and is not painful. Hair in other parts of the body, including the eyebrows and eyelashes, may also fall out. Over time, this disease may lead to Alopecia Totalis or complete hair loss. Doctors treat Alopecia Areata with treatments that may help hair regrow.
Several types of hair shaft abnormalities can lead to hair loss. These conditions cause strands of hair to thin and weaken, making them vulnerable to breaking. The hair loss doesn’t occur in the follicle but as a result of a break somewhere along the hair shaft, which is the visible part of a hair strand. This can result in overall thinning, as well as in many small, brittle hairs.
Making simple changes to the way you style and treat your hair can reverse some hair shaft abnormalities. Other conditions may require medical intervention.
Loose Anagen Syndrome
Loose Anagen syndrome, which most commonly presents in young children, occurs when hair that is not firmly rooted in the follicle can be pulled out easily. Most of the time, hair falls out after it has reached an arbitrary maximum length. Children with loose anagen syndrome often cannot grow hair beyond a relatively short length. The condition more commonly affects girls with blond or brown hair.
In people who have loose Anagen syndrome, hair can fall out easily—even when it’s growing. For example, hair loss may accelerate overnight because of the friction of a pillow. The cause of loose Anagen syndrome is unknown, though it may be related to a disorder in the hair growth cycle that prevents hair from staying in the follicle.
There are few reliable treatments, but the condition tends to improve greatly with puberty, and some treatments may result in fuller hair.
People with Trichotillomania pull their hair out and find it difficult to stop. This results in hair loss on the scalp or elsewhere on the body. Hair often returns if the behavior is stopped, but hair loss can be permanent if the pulling continues for many years.
The best treatment for this condition may be psychological counseling about causes of this condition and why you feel the urge to pull your hair.
Some hairstyles, including tight ponytails and braids, pull hair away from the scalp with such force that hair strands are damaged and fall out. Unless the hairstyle is changed, traction Alopecia may lead to thinning hair or bald spots. Most of the time hair regrows after you alter the hairstyle.
Did you know?
India’s no.1 the aesthetic clinic, Multiple Clinics and Supers specialty Clinics across South India supported by a team of 100+ experienced Trichologist, Cosmetologists, Surgeons and a service team with more than 1200 Hair & Skin experts.