Types Of Hair Loss
People from all over the world suffer from hair loss. It affects everyone in some way, no matter how old you are or what ethnicity you are. And it doesn’t matter if you are male or female: at some point, you or someone you know will suffer from some form of hair loss.
Pattern Hair Loss
The most common form of hair loss is androgenic alopecia, also known as pattern hair loss (male or female). This hair loss is caused by your androgens, otherwise known as your hormones. In men, this is testosterone. In women, it is progesterone. DHT is short for dihydrotestosterone, and this is what causes the loss of hair in males and females. Hair loss in men typically starts at the front and the back, and eventually those areas creep together to meet in the middle. Typically, women’s hair loss starts to thin in the middle and spread outwards. Women will most likely start noticing hair loss and thinning where they part their hair, and it will radiate out from the middle to the edge of the scalp.
Alopecia areata is also called “spot baldness” or “patch baldness”. It is recognizable by the small patches of hair missing in what is otherwise full growth of hair. You can find this type of baldness in the scalp as well as the facial hair. This is an autoimmune disease and can show up in one of two forms. The first is a scarring alopecia usually caused by fibrosis or some other form of inflammation, which leads to the loss of the hair follicle. The other is a non-scarring alopecia where the hair has fallen out but the follicles are still intact; therefore, this type can be reversed with proper treatments.
Hair loss caused by strain or by pulling force on the hair follicle is called traction alopecia. This is mainly caused by tight ponytails, braids, cornrows, and wearing weaves or extensions. The hair loss is due to the constant tension on the hair follicles by the strain of the hair being pulled at such force for a prolonged period of time. This form of hair loss can be treated by a hair transplant, but it is necessary to determine whether or not scarring has also occurred in this area beforehand.
Stress and Lifestyle Changes
Stress and major lifestyle changes can also cause hair loss by the hair going into the resting stage, called the telogen phase, before it is supposed to and altering the normal hair cycle. This type is called telogen effluvium and can be caused by eating disorders, pregnancy/childbirth, fever, anaemia, hypothyroidism, crash diets, drugs, and severe mental or physical stress of any kind.
Scarring, Inflammation, or Medication
Some less common causes of losing hair are attributed to scarring, inflammation, or medication. Some causes of scarring and inflammation that can affect hair loss include lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, or fungal infections. Some other things that can contribute to hair loss are chemotherapy, radiation therapy, HIV/AIDS, hypothyroidism, and iron deficiency.
It is important to be assessed by an educated and experienced hair restoration specialist who understands how to treat all of these types of hair loss.