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Types of Hair Loss

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Hair loss in men and hair loss in women are both very common. So common even, that more than half of the world’s population will experience it. We get many types of hair loss, each brought on by different reasons. Let’s dive into these different types of hair loss a bit more.

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Understanding The Different Types of Hair Loss

Alopecia, another name for hair loss, is a condition brought on by a disruption in the body’s natural cycle of hair growth. Although it can happen anywhere on the body, the scalp is where hair loss most frequently occurs. Your scalp’s hairs go through cycles of growth, rest, shedding, and regrowth. Let’s see what the types of hair loss are and examine each one in more detail.

Types of Hair Loss

Alopecia Areata

Alopecia Areata is an autoimmune condition that results in patchy hair loss and spot baldness. Numerous people over the world suffer from this condition, which is extremely prevalent. However, people under the age of 30 are more likely to be affected. This disorder can manifest in a variety of ways. The various types of Alopecia Areata include:

  • Alopecia Areata Totalis
  • Alopecia Areata Universalis
  • Diffuse Alopecia Areata
  • Ophiasis Alopecia Areata

Causes of Alopecia Areata

As mentioned above, Alopecia Areata is an autoimmune disease and any autoimmune disease causes your immune system to begin attacking your own body. If you suffer from this type of hair loss, then your immune system targets your hair follicles, which results in the inhibition of hair growth.

When it comes to the types of hair loss, Alopecia Areata results in thinning hair and a broader hair part in women and a receding hairline in men. However, there are a few key elements that can undoubtedly play a role in triggering this and causing it to become active, and they include:

  • Genetics: If you want to know if this autoimmune condition is likely to affect you, it would be a good idea to brush up on your family history and see if there is anyone who suffers from this. It can be passed down from generation to generation.
  • Stress: One of the factors that can prompt a person’s Alopecia Areata to be triggered and become active is stress. Stress from significant events or transitions such as childbirth or physical trauma is typically the stress that might cause Alopecia Areata.
  • Nutrition: One of the variables that can cause Alopecia Areata is a poor diet that results in nutritional deficits. Make sure you consume enough iron, protein, vitamin C, and vitamin D in your diet to support healthy hair and hair follicles.
  • Covid-19: Scientists have found a link between rapidly advancing Alopecia Areata forms and the 2019–2021 Covid-19 crisis.
  • Thyroid Issues: Alopecia Areata can be brought on by either an overactive or underactive thyroid gland.

Telogen Effluvium

Temporary hair loss known as Telogen Effluvium typically follows stress, shock, or a traumatic experience. Usually, the top of the scalp is affected. If a person frequently experiences hair loss that lasts longer than six months, they are said to have chronic Telogen Effluvium. In most cases, Telogen Effluvium can be reversed.

Causes of Telogen Effluvium

A medical condition or event, such as a fever, medicine, or childbirth, is frequently what causes Telogen Effluvium. A person could lose 300–500 hairs per day. The result is patchy hair loss rather than total baldness.

Tinea Capitis

This is a fungal infection that most frequently affects kids. It is brought on by ringworm, which leaves a patchy, itchy, red, and scaly region on the scalp. Fever and swollen glands are other side effects when it comes to this type of hair loss. Thankfully, the hair will grow back if treated promptly.

Causes of Tinea Capitis

A common fungus is what causes scalp ringworm. The fungus targets the scalp’s uppermost layer of epidermis as well as the hair. Those hairs break as a result of this. The following are some ways that the ringworm could spread:

  • Person to Person
  • Animal to Person
  • Object to Person

Androgenetic Alopecia

Androgenetic Alopecia, or more commonly known as male or female pattern baldness, is an excessive androgen response that causes androgenetic alopecia, a genetically inherited disorder. The progressive loss of the terminal hair on the scalp at any time after puberty characterises this illness, which can affect up to 50% of both males and females.

Causes of Androgenetic Alopecia

Androgenetic Alopecia is caused by a combination of genetic and androgen-related causes. The main androgen hormone generated by a man’s body, testosterone, produces DHT as a byproduct. Male traits including the prostate gland, beard hair, and genital organs require DHT to develop during foetal and adolescent development. However, as you get older, the link between DHT and male hair loss gets more pronounced. Your hair follicles can suffer damage as a result, shrink, and stop producing new hairs.

When it comes to the causes of hair loss in females, androgens are the primary factor which affects women who are genetically susceptible to Androgenetic Alopecia. The thinning begins between the ages of 12 and 40, and the polygenic inheritance pattern is apparent. Androgenic Alopecia can be caused by a variety of hormone-related diseases, including certain ovarian cysts, taking birth control pills with a high androgen index, pregnancy, and menopause.


A rare disorder called Hypotrichosis causes you to have very little or no hair development where hair would ordinarily grow. Hypotrichosis typically affects the head, this can apply to your hair, eyelashes, and even your eyebrows. It can also make you feel particularly dry and arid in those areas that are affected. In the area where Hypotrichosis has developed, there will likely be very little hair growth, and the hairs will continue to be thin, short, and brittle.

Causes of Hypotrichosis

Although Hypotrichosis can develop at any age and affect both men and women, the majority of people who have it have had it from childhood because your genetic composition determines whether you have it or not.

Anagen Effluvium

When the anagen, or active growth phase, of the hair cycle is disturbed, a condition known as Anagen Effluvium develops. The proliferation of hair cells is stopped by certain environmental variables, and crucial enzymes are prevented from converting into crucial hormones that assist the keratinisation process for hair development. The result is that the hair becomes significantly more delicate and brittle, easily breaking off. On the scalp, this results in baldness and bald areas.

Causes of Anagen Effluvium

Anagen Effluvium is most frequently caused by chemotherapy-induced alopecia. A break in the hair shaft occurs in the affected anagen hairs as a result of the disease’s noxious or inflammatory attack.

Apart from chemotherapy being the most common cause of Anagen Effluvium, some other causes include:

  • Pathophysiology: Pathogenesis disrupts mitotic activity, causing cell arrest and a weaker hair shaft.
  • Protein Deficiency: To diagnose protein insufficiency, a thorough systemic workup is required. The most common laboratory results include hypoglycemia, hypoalbuminemia, and hypoproteinemia.
  • Alopecia Areata: A physical or mental trauma can cause anagen hair to shed from the hair shafts, which can cause Anagen Effluvium.
  • Infection: Due to fungal infections caused by other microorganisms, the anagen hair may become loose and fall out easily.

Cicatricial Alopecia

The inflammatory disorder Cicatricial Alopecia, also known as scarring alopecia, affects your hair follicles. Due to the long-lasting harm that Cicatricial Alopecia has inflicted, you may end up with bald spots on your scalp, leaving your hair follicles damaged and causing irreversible hair loss.

Causes of Cicatricial Alopecia

Although the exact aetiology of Cicatricial Alopecia is unknown, inflammation is believed to kill the stem cells and oil glands of the hair follicles, causing fibrosis and hair loss. Apart from inflammation, infection or burns may also result in this harm. Inflammation is caused by a variety of cell types, including lymphocytes and natural killer cells.

Hair Shaft Abnormalities

Hair loss can result from a variety of disorders of the hair shaft. The thinned and weakened hair strands brought on by these situations are more prone to breaking. Your hair tends to break anywhere along your hair shaft which may cause a general thinning as well as a proliferation of thin, fragile hairs.

Causes of Hair Shaft Abnormalities

Hair loss may eventually result from irregularities in the hair shaft, which are typically brought on by underlying conditions like hypothyroidism or Netherton’s syndrome. The majority of these conditions can be diagnosed by a pathologist and treated by a medical expert. Other factors contributing to hair shaft abnormalities may include physical harm, such as over-combed hair or excessively heated hair.

Diagnosing The Different Types of Hair Loss

Going to a dermatologist for a professional assessment is advised if you suspect that you may be suffering from any of these types of hair loss. They will be able to inform you about the ailment, whether you are affected by it, what your causes of hair loss could be and the possible treatments available if any.

Before reaching a diagnosis, your doctor will probably conduct a physical examination and ask questions about your food, hair care routine, and medical and family history. Additionally, you could undergo the following tests:

  • Blood test: This could reveal medical issues that could be the source of hair loss.
  • Scalp biopsy: Your doctor scrapes samples from the skin or removes a few hairs from the scalp to study the hair roots under a microscope. This can help in figuring out if hair loss is brought on by an infection.
  • Light microscopy: Your doctor uses a specialised tool to analyse your hair.
  • Pull test: To determine how many hairs will fall out, your doctor gently pulls on a few hairs. This assists in figuring out the shedding stage.

You will be given alternatives to treat, reverse, or control your disease when the doctor has determined which types of hair loss you have and what the cause is.

Treating the Different Types of Hair Loss

Naturally, if you find yourself battling with hair loss and just want to look for any hair loss solutions. The type of hair loss you’re battling with will ultimately determine your options when it comes to treatment. The following are possible treatments for hair loss:

  • Medication: There are two main medications that people tend to use, and they are Minoxidil and Finasteride. Products that include minoxidil can either regrow hair, slow down hair loss, or just do both. Finasteride is a pill you need to take daily but it does come with some side effects.
  • Hair Transplantation: Hair transplants are a hair loss treatment that is chosen by thousands of people each year. The three main hair transplant methods are the FUT hair transplant, FUE hair transplant, and DHI hair transplant. Even more, IdealofMeD provides an FUE DHI combination hair transplant method.
  • Laser Therapy: Laser therapy may help some types of hair loss, including alopecia areata, by reducing follicular inflammation that prevents hair regrowth. Low-level laser treatment (LLLT) may encourage the growth of new hair in cases of other types of hair loss.

There are many other treatments you could try for the different types of hair loss, home remedies or even lifestyle changes. You will even find many people trying yoga for hair loss.

Types of Hair Loss | Doctor Examining Head

Frequently Asked Questions

Androgenetic Alopecia, or male/female pattern baldness, is one of the most common types of hair loss that people suffer from.

No. Some types of hair loss are just temporary while others prove to have permanent results.

Your best option would be to see a specialist who will ask you a series of questions and do some tests to see what type of hair loss you could be struggling with, what the possible causes are and what treatment options you have.

Last updated by Macaela on August 18, 2022. Content medically reviewed by D. Demirel, MD.

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