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Types of Hair Loss

Hair Loss - Types

Hair loss or thinning hair will affect most of us at some time in our lives. Identifying your type of hair loss will help you understand it and find out the best way to treat it. Here are the most common types of hair loss:

Age-related Alopecia

Is common in people over the age of 50 when the rate of hair loss increases above 50 - 150 hairs per day. Hair grows in cycles ranging from two to six years and when you get older, this cycle slows down and will eventually stop (dependent on the individual's lifespan). This means that towards the telogen phase of the hair growth cycle, the hair may not begin at the start of the cycle again.

The most common causes;

  • Age

  • Diet & Lifestyle

Alopecia Areata

Is a condition that often begins in early childhood, teenage years or young adulthood. The most common type of Alopecia Areata involves hair loss in one or more round spots (about the size of a large coin) on the scalp. The area of hair loss may tingle or be slightly painful.

Hair tends to fall out over a short period of time, with the hair loss commonly occurring more on one side of the scalp than the other. Because it causes bald spots on the scalp, especially in the first stages, it is sometimes called spot baldness. Alopecia Areata can take two other forms.

In approximately 1% - 2% of cases, the condition can be identified as Alopecia Totalis, or Alopecia Universalis. Alopecia Totalis is the name given to complete hair loss on the scalp. It is estimated that between 14 - 25% of people with Alopecia have Alopecia Totalis. Alopecia Universalis causes complete absence of head and body hair, including eyelashes and eyebrows, along with underarm and genital hair. This is the most severe form of Alopecia Areata and is also one of the rarest.

The most common causes;

  • Auto-Immune Disease

  • Illness & Stress

  • Thyroid Dysfunction

Androgenetic Alopecia

Is believed to be the most common and wide spread hair loss type known today. It is reported that more than 70% of all men and about 50% of all women will be afflicted with Androgenic Alopecia at some point in their lives.

It often starts around the late 20s to 30s and affects over 50% of men over the age of 50. Hair is lost in a well-defined pattern, beginning above both temples and thinning at the crown. Over time, the hairline recedes to form a characteristic "M" shape and often progresses to partial or complete baldness.

In approximately 1% - 2% of cases, the condition can be identified as Alopecia Totalis, or Alopecia Universalis. In women, it is often known as Female Pattern Baldness and differs to the male version. The hair becomes thinner all over the head, rather than receding, and the hair loss rarely leads to total baldness.

The most common causes;

  • Hereditary

  • Diet & Lifestyle

  • Polycystic Ovaries

Telogen Effluvium

Is when an abnormal amount of hair falls out (over 50 - 150 hairs per day) usually creating a thinning appearance of hair while the scalp will look relatively healthy.

This type of hair loss is most commonly noticed when excess hair is found on your pillow or in the shower. Telogen Effluvium is a form of temporary hair loss and identification is easiest by looking at the causes.

The most common causes;

  • Illness & Stress

  • Post Birth

  • Menopause

  • Diet & Lifestyle

  • Medication

Traction Alopecia

Is commonly identified when hair loss is in the frontal and temporal regions. It is also easily distinguished when the hair is either weak or where the hair around the bald patches is comparably healthy and strong.

The most common causes;

  • Over Styling

Anagen Effluvium

Is hair loss related to chemotherapy or radiation therapy that is used to treat cancer. Initially it causes patchy hair loss, which often then becomes total hair loss.

The most common causes;

  • Medication

Alopecia Mucinosa

Is a relatively rare form of hair loss that leaves scaly patches on the skin, in which the follicles are unusually prominent and irritated / spotty.

The most common causes;

  • Unknown

Other Forms of Hair Loss

Hair loss can be a consequence or side-effect of other primary medical concerns, including:

  • Trichotillomania - a psychological impulse control disorder causing the individual to pull out hair.

  • Tinea Capitis - A fungal ringworm infection contracted from animals which can cause hair to appear stubbly.


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The information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Results may vary from person to person. Read Full Disclaimer >>

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