Understanding the 3 Types of Hair Loss

January 28, 2017
It may come as a surprise that not all hair loss is created equally. Some hair loss is genetically linked, and other hair loss occurs as a result of the onset of major stress or trauma.

If you’re experiencing hair loss, it is a good idea to get educated about the different varieties out there.

Arming yourself with information helps you to form the best defense against a rapidly shrinking head of hair.

Androgenic Alopecia

Androgenic alopecia is the most common variety of hair loss, and affects both men and women. Genetically linked, this condition is more commonly known as “male pattern baldness.”

The name isn’t accidental, as it refers to the typical pattern of hair loss that results in thinning at the temples, and progressing toward the crown of the head. The process concludes, leaving a ring of hair from left to right, around the head.

Women experience androgenic alopecia as well, but female pattern baldness doesn’t follow the classic male pattern. Women tend to lose hair throughout the scalp, but the hairline remains in place. It is the rare women who experiences total baldness.

Telogen effluvium

Those suffering from an onset of telogen effluvium experience massive hair loss resulting from hairs entering the telogen phase of hair growth.

This resting phase of the hair follicle results in some hairs falling. Usually telogen effluvium is brought on by a massive stress event, and it’s possible for up to 70% of all hair to enter the telogen phase when this occurs.

A physician using a battery of diagnostic tests can identify an occurance of telogen effluvium.

Alopecia Areata

Alopecia areata is a condition in which persons experience spot baldness. The degree to which this may occur varies from person to person; some experience only one circular area of hair loss, while others, in rare cases, experience total loss of hair on the scalp or the entire surface of the epidermis.

The pattern may vary, but often hair falls out within a short time horizon. Hair loss can occur unevenly from one side of the scalp to the other. The skin left behind does not appear any different than other parts of the scalp.

Researchers suspect that alopecia areata is genetically linked, since it is more common for sufferers to have family members who’ve also experienced similar hair loss.

They posit that it is an autoimmune disorder, where the body attempts to destroy its own hair follicles, or somehow ceases the hair growth process.

It’s not uncommon for some life event to exacerbate existing hereditary inclinations, kicking off an incidence of alopecia areata. Some examples of possible events include an illness, a pregnancy, overwhelming stress, or some other kind of trauma.

Hair loss treatments

For those suffering from alopecia areata or telogen effluvium, it’s important to consult a medical professional for guidance on proper treatment.

Since they’re often connected to some external factors, it is important to understand underlying causes and possible treatments.

Those who suffer from androgenic alopecia, the most common hair loss ailment, there are other possible options to consider. Both over the counter hair loss treatments and prescription options to slow down the process of hair loss are available. There is no reason to sit back and accept hair loss as your destiny.

By confronting the problem, you can begin to turn the tide and maintain an attractive and confidence-boosting head of hair.
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