Ordinarily, people often classify hair loss into one general category and simply label it as alopecia or balding.
But its not really the case. Hair loss is actually classified into several types, depending on its cause, excessiveness of hair loss and the gender affected by it.
While hair loss comes in many forms, here are some of the most common types experienced by most individuals affected by hair loss.
Involutional Alopecia is a natural condition where the hair gradually thins as one ages. This caused by the shortened phase of the hair growth cycle. The hair remains in the telogen phase and sheds off quickly, which results to thinner, shorter and fewer number of hairs because of the shorter growth phase. Men can begin suffering from this type of hair loss as early as in the 20s. While women tend to experience this at a much later age around their late 30s or 40s.
This type of hair loss happens when a body change or shock triggers the hair growth process into the telogen phase. Telogen Efflevium causes about 30% of the hair to stop growing and goes into a resting phase before falling out. This can result to an increased and massive hair fall. This can be triggered after pregnancy, major surgery, drastic weight and severe stress. Certain medications can also cause telogen effluvium.
Androgenic Alopecia, or more popularly known as male pattern baldness, is a common hair loss condition both in men and women. It got its name from the well-defined pattern where the hair had lost its growth. This can be evident in an “M” shape within the hairline or thinning at the crown, which leads to partial or total baldness. In women, it is called female pattern baldness and only results to thinning of the hair all over the head.
It is a type of hair loss where hair is lost patches, usually in the scalp. Because of this, Alopecia Areata is more commonly referred to as spot baldness. It frequently affects individuals who have a history of this condition. However, it is generally considered as an autoimmune disorder where the immune system attacks the hair follicles, causing inflammation and leads to hair loss. Generally, people who are affected by this, hair growth will return within a year. But, it can also lead to the next types of hair loss.
Alopecia Universalis refers to a rare medical condition where all the hair on the scalp and body fall out. This includes the eyebrows, eyelashes and pubic hair.
Alopecia Totalis, on the other hand, refers to the loss of the hair on the head only.
Trichotillomania is referred to as self-induced and compulsive hair pulling, which could result to patches of hair loss. Balding is only the result of this impulse control disorder. Individuals who have this obsessive-compulsive disorder may not realize that they are doing such act.
This type of hair loss is a result of constant tension or pulling of the hair more common in people wearing tight braids and cornrows. This damages the hair follicles, which leads to hair breakage and hair loss. Also, Traction Alopecia can result from cosmetic procedures where there is hair tension, like facelifts.
Hypotrichosis is a condition where there is no hair growth at all to begin with.
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Causes of Hair Loss
Understanding the cause of your hair loss could spell the difference in just making a lifestyle change or employing the proper treatment to address your hair loss condition.
Heredity and Age
The most likely top culprit for your hair loss is what your parents passed on to you – their genetics. If anyone in your family line has a history of hair loss, the odds of you having the same condition is higher compared to those who do not have a history of hair loss in their family. Heredity plays a huge part in the hair loss condition. Also, aging is a top contender in the reasons for hair loss. As we age, the hair growth cycle slows down, which leads to slow regrowth or no more growth at all.
Severe stress could mean two things. First, physical stress brought about by an illness or a medical procedure could cause for a temporary hair loss. These state of conditions can usually cause the lack of sleep, a change in appetite and increase the stress hormone levels, which could result to hair loss. Secondly, while there is no evidence as of yet directly linking it with hair loss, emotional stress may also have an effect in causing for your hair to fall off. It will not hurt to reduce your stress, like engaging in an active exercise regimen.
Certain medications like anti-depressants, anti-inflammatory, medicines for heart condition, blood pressure and birth control have been known to cause hair loss. Individuals who are undergoing chemotherapy is expected to experience hair loss, as it destroys cancer cells and, unfortunately, even hair.
Diseases and Infections
There times when hair loss is just a symptom of an underlying condition. Hypothyroidism and Lupus are among the most common conditions that can cause hair loss in affected individuals. Fungal infections may also cause temporary hair loss.
A change in lifestyle and bad habits can reduce the incidence of hair loss. In an article posted in Daily Mai, it is revealed that smoking has a link in hair loss. This is because smoking restricts the blood circulation to the scalp and blocks the flow of nutrients to the hair follicles. The hair follicles, just like any part of the body, need the necessary nutrients to sustain its healthy growth. Poor diet lacking iron, zinc, B Vitamins can also lead to hair loss.