Understanding the different types of hair loss
Hair loss refers to an increased amount of hair loss than you would normally expect and it can occur all over the body. Each day we experience some hair fall out so to understand what hair loss really means you should check out our how much hair loss is normal article. There are different types of hair loss that can occur so this guide aims to provide you with further information about the signs and symptoms of each kind so you can get a better idea about your condition.
This is the most common type of hair loss and can affect both men and women. It is also referred to as male pattern hair loss and female pattern hair loss. This type of hair loss is genetic and can be inherited from one or both parents but it also caused by hormonal factors. Both men and women have levels of testosterone in their body and enzymes in the body can cause this to change into DHT. High levels of DHT can lead to hair loss.
Male pattern baldness can start earlier in life, after puberty and can advance over time. It’s important to note that your hairline doesn’t settle until your late twenties so it is more advantageous to wait until you see the full results of your hair loss before looking at treatment options. Male pattern baldness tends to start with a receding hairline, creating an M shape on your forehead, before you start to thin on top and see a bald spot on your crown. Hair around the side and back of the head tends to stay normal. The scale of baldness depends on the individual.
Female pattern baldness is when hair starts to thin all over. The hairline doesn’t recede in the same way as a man but you can lose hair from your temples. Thinning tends to start with the parting however.
This type of hair loss happens when large amounts of your hair follicles enter the third stage of their life cycle, the telogen phase, where hair falls out naturally ready for regrowth, but the regrowth phase doesn’t start. This type of hair loss is usually temporary and is often related to medical events or conditions, use of some medications, or a mineral deficiency.
Causes can include:
- Birth control pills
- Iron deficiency
- Blood thinners
- Acne medications
Telogen effluvium increases the amount of hair loss you would normally experience so you could be losing between 300-500 hairs a day. As a result of this rapid hair loss you may see noticeable thinning around your scalp. Once you stop using the medication causing the issue or recover from your condition, the hair loss should stop. If the hair loss persists for over 6 months then you should consult with a specialist about your options as it’s considered serious.
The cause of this hair loss isn’t specifically known but it tends to affect people with autoimmune disorders. There are several types of alopecia areata and they have different levels of severity. Hair loss tends to be patchy around all areas of the scalp but as the areas get bigger and the hair loss spreads, it can be present across the entire scalp and body.
This is a permanent type of hair loss caused by inflammation. Inflamed skin disorders damage hair follicles and cause scarring (also known as scarring alopecia) which inhibits regrowth.
Anagen effluvium is often connected with medical treatments like chemotherapy and hair loss occurs at a much quicker rate. Hair will grow back after treatment and you can be prescribed medications to help boost the regrowth.
This type of hair loss results from frequent pulling of the hair and can be permanent. If you often wear your hair in tight hairstyles like ponytails and braids, or use hair accessories such as grips, headbands and extensions, hair can get pulled out and follicles can become damaged.
Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia
Also known as follicular degeneration syndrome and hot comb alopecia. Central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia is linked to use of hair stylers such as hair dryers, straighteners and curlers, along with the use of hair extensions, and certain hair products such as oils and chemicals. Weaves and perms are also linked to this type of hair loss. Medication can be taken to help with hair regrowth.
Involutional alopecia refers to the natural hair loss process whereby hair decreases in volume and thickness as you age. When you get older your hair life cycle shortens so there is less time in the growth stage, and hair enters the third fall out stage quicker.
Also known as scalp ringworm and is common amongst children. It’s a fungal infection that causes small bald spots as hair falls out in patches. You may also experience red itchy rashes and sores on the scalp. Treatment is by oral medication to kill the fungus.
Scalp Conditions such as Scalp Psoriasis and Seborrheic Dermatitis
Scalp conditions tend to result in itchy, inflamed, scaly patches of skin on the head. The itchiness can lead to too much scratching which can result in hair loss from damage to the follicles.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms described above along with excessive amounts of hair loss, get in touch and we can advise on your treatment options. We offer a free consultation so if you are experiencing hair loss, let our experts help.