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Types of hair loss

There are so many different types of hair loss. If you've been diagnosed, learn more about it.

 
ALOPECIA AREATA

Alopecia areata, also known as spot baldness, is a condition in which hair is lost from some or all areas of the body. Often it results in a few bald spots on the scalp, each about the size of a coin. Psychological stress may result. People are generally otherwise healthy. In a few, all the hair on the scalp or all body hair is lost and loss can be permanent.

 

Alopecia areata is believed to be an autoimmune disease. Risk factors include a family history of the condition. Among identical twins, if one is affected the other has about a 50% chance of also being affected. The underlying mechanism involves the failure of the body to recognize its own cells with the subsequent immune-mediated destruction of the hair follicle.

 

There is no cure for the condition. Efforts may be used to try to speed hair regrowth such as cortisone injections. Sunscreen, head coverings to protect from cold and sun, and glasses if the eyelashes are missing are recommended. In some cases the hair regrows and the condition does not reoccur. In others, hair loss and regrowth occurs over years. Among those in whom all body hair is lost less than 10% recover.

 
PSORIASIS

Alopecia areata, also known as spot baldness, is a condition in which hair is lost from some or all areas of the body. Often it results in a few bald spots on the scalp, each about the size of a coin. Psychological stress may result. People are generally otherwise healthy. In a few, all the hair on the scalp or all body hair is lost and loss can be permanent.

 

Alopecia areata is believed to be an autoimmune disease. Risk factors include a family history of the condition. Among identical twins, if one is affected the other has about a 50% chance of also being affected. The underlying mechanism involves the failure of the body to recognize its own cells with the subsequent immune-mediated destruction of the hair follicle.

 

There is no cure for the condition. Efforts may be used to try to speed hair regrowth such as cortisone injections. Sunscreen, head coverings to protect from cold and sun, and glasses if the eyelashes are missing are recommended. In some cases the hair regrows and the condition does not reoccur. In others, hair loss and regrowth occurs over years. Among those in whom all body hair is lost less than 10% recover.

 
PATTERN HAIR LOSS

Pattern hair loss, known as male-pattern hair loss (MPHL) when it affects males and female-pattern hair loss (FPHL) when it affects females, is hair loss that primarily affects the top and front of the scalp.[1] In males, the hair loss often presents as a receding hairline, while in females, it typically presents as a thinning of the hair.

 

Male pattern hair loss is believed to be due to a combination of genetics and the male hormone dihydrotestosterone. The cause in female pattern hair loss remains unclear.

 

Management may include simply accepting the condition. Otherwise, treatments may include minoxidilfinasteride, or hair transplant surgery.

Evidence for finasteride in women, however, is poor and it may result in birth defects if taken during pregnancy.

Pattern hair loss by the age of 50 affects about half of males and a quarter of females. It is the most common cause of hair loss.

 
TRICHOTILLOMANIA

Trichotillomania, also known as trich, is when someone can't resist the urge to pull out their hair.

 

They may pull out the hair on their head or in other places, such as their eyebrows or eyelashes.

 

Trich is more common in teenagers and young adults and tends to affect girls more often than boys.

 
TRACTION ALOPECIA

Traction alopecia is a form of alopecia, or gradual hair loss, caused primarily by pulling force being applied to the hair. 

This commonly results from the sufferer frequently wearing their hair in a particularly tight ponytail, pigtails, or braids. It is also seen occasionally in long-haired people who use barrettes to keep hair out of their faces.

 

Traction alopecia is recession of the hairline due to chronic traction, or hair pulling, and is characterized by a fringe along the marginal hairline on physical exam. 

 
TELOGEN EFFLUVIUM

Telogen effluvium is a form of temporary hair loss that usually happens after stress, a shock, or a traumatic event. It usually occurs on the top of the scalp.

Telogen effluvium is different from the permanent hair loss disorder called alopecia areata. Large amounts of a person's hair might fall out, but it is often temporary, and the hair usually grows back.

 

A person is described as having chronic telogen effluvium if they frequently experience periods of hair shedding for more than 6 months. Telogen effluvium is generally reversible.

 

A person with this condition does not lose all their hair, although it may become noticeably thin.

 

Telogen effluvium is a form of hair loss characterized by hair thinning or an increase in hair shedding. It occurs more often in women and is usually triggered by a disturbance to the hair cycle.

 

The hair cycle typically has three phases:

  1. Anagen or growth phase.

  2. Catagen or transitional phase.

  3. Telogen or resting phase.

Telogen effluvium is associated with the telogen phase. Normally, 5 to 10 A percentage of a person's hair is in the telogen phase at any one time.

With telogen effluvium, the anagen phase slows down, meaning that fewer hairs enter the next two stages. With this condition, around 30 % of hair follicles move into the telogen phase, which means that hair shedding occurs.

 
ANAGEN EFFLUVIUM

Anagen effluvium refers to hair shedding that arises during the anagen or growth stage of the hair cycle. It may lead to diffuse non-scarring alopecia (baldness). This is a contrast to telogen effluvium or hair shedding that arises during the telogen or resting stage of the hair cycle.

 

Anagen effluvium presents with the abrupt shedding of much of or all of the hair on the scalp, and often from the entire body including eyebrows, eyelashes and body hair. It may leave the scalp partially or completely bald.

 

The main causes of anagen effluvium are infection, drugs, toxins, radiation and autoimmune disease.

Infections may interrupt hair growth in a localised area resulting in a single bald patch or several bald patches. Loose hairs can readily be extracted from the infected area, which may be swollen, boggy and crusted.

 

Examples include:

  • Boils and abscesses

  • Fungal hair infection: tinea capitis or kerion.