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Hair loss affects both men and women at different stages in their lives. According to various surveys, hair loss has affected about 80% of men and 50 % of women. And the worst part is that this number is continuously increasing.
Currently, a hair transplant is considered the best solution for hair loss. However, without understanding the cause of hair loss, hair transplantation won’t be effective.
In this article, we have discussed different types of hair loss in detail. Continue reading to learn more about them. But keep in mind, only an expert dermatologist can determine the type of hair loss someone has.
So, don’t assume anything and consult with your dermatologist for an expert opinion.
Types of Hair Loss
Both men and women are affected by different types of hair loss. The following are the most common types of hair loss:
- Hereditary Hair Loss (Androgenetic Alopecia)
- Diffuse Hair Loss (Diffuse Alopecia)
- Circular Hair Loss (Alopecia Areata)
- Involutional Alopecia
- Traction Alopecia
- Anagen Effluvium
- Telogen Effluvium
Now, let’s discuss each type of hair loss in detail.
NOTE: This guide is for informational purposes only and not for a diagnosis. Always consult an expert dermatologist for diagnosing your hair loss type.
Hereditary Hair Loss (Androgenetic Alopecia)
The most common type of hair loss occurs due to genetics. The hereditary hair loss is medically known as Androgenetic Alopecia. In this type of hair loss, patients inherit hypersensitive hair follicles from their parents. The follicles are oversensitive towards androgens, especially Dihydrotestosterone or DHT. These androgens make the hair follicles degenerate progressively.
Hereditary hair loss is common among men and women alike. However, the way it affects them both differs. Men can become completely bald, but women usually suffer from excessive hair thinning and baldness around their part.
Diffuse Hair Loss (Diffuse Alopecia)
Diffuse hair loss or Diffuse Alopecia is another common type of hair loss. In this condition, the patient suffers from excessive hair loss on the entire scalp. Some patients may even experience hair loss on their entire bodies. However, it doesn’t happen in every case.
Diffuse Alopecia may be caused by one of the following reasons:
- Intense Emotional Stress
- Chronic Diseases, like Anaemia
- Liver Failure
- Chronic Renal Failure
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Lymphoproliferative Syndrome
- Chronic Infections, like HIV, Secondary Syphilis
Usually, Diffuse Alopecia subsides once its cause has been eliminated. However, detecting its cause is a challenge sometimes. So, it means the hair loss may get out of hand before its root causes are detected and treated.
Patchy Hair Loss (Alopecia Areata)
In Alopecia Areata or patchy hair loss, patients get progressive bald spots all over their scalp. Some men may get bald spots in their beards and mustaches, too. A lot of people get a hair transplant to treat this condition.
Alopecia Areata affects everyone differently. Therefore, it is characterized by different types. Some of its common types are given below:
- Alopecia Areata (Patchy Hair Loss)
The most common type of Alopecia Areata is patchy hair loss. Patients suffer from small, round patches of hair loss on their entire scalp.
- Alopecia Totalis
In this type of Alopecia, patients suffer from complete hair loss on the entire scalp. It means patients become entirely bald.
- Alopecia Universalis
This type is an upgraded version of Alopecia Totalis. In this condition, patients suffer from a complete loss of hair on the scalp as well as the body.
In this type, hair loss occurs in the shape of a wave around the scalp’s edge. It usually affects the back of the head.
This type of hair loss doesn’t have any other reason except aging. As a person ages, he/she experiences gradual hair thinning, leading to hair loss. It happens because, with age, more hair follicles go into the resting phase. On the other hand, the hair that remains on the head becomes shorter and more refined. Their number also decreases with time. Involutional Alopecia is the second most common type of hair loss after Androgenetic Alopecia.
Traction Alopecia is the only type of hair loss that doesn’t have a medical reason. It occurs near the temples or along the hairline due to damaged hair follicles. The hair follicles that become damaged due to constant tension or pulling for a long-time cause Traction Alopecia.
This type of hair loss is common among people who repeatedly wear tight hairstyles, such as high ponytails, tight braids, buns, etc. These hairstyles keep the hair in a constant state of tension. As a result, hair follicles become damaged, causing hair loss.
In Anagen Effluvium, the patient suddenly loses hair during the growing phase (anagen). The most common reason for this type of hair loss is exposure to toxins or chemicals. Usually, patients going through chemotherapy or radiation therapy for cancer experience Anagen Effluvium. Although the condition is severe, it is reversible. It means that some hair loss may be permanent, but most of the hair will regrow after 1-3 months.
When the hair follicles are pushed into the resting phase (telogen) prematurely, it causes Telogen Effluvium. This type of hair loss occurs due to one of the following reasons:
- physical trauma
- major illness
- intense stress
Patients experience diffuse hair thinning across the entire scalp. However, in most cases, this type of hair loss is not permanent. Once the root cause is eliminated, it can be reversed.
Hair Loss and Hair Transplant
Not all types of hair loss need a hair transplant. Therefore, it is essential to diagnose the root cause and type of hair loss before undergoing any treatment. An expert dermatologist surgeon can guide well about the kind of hair loss and recommend a suitable treatment. So, schedule an appointment with a reliable clinic and consult with them.
Author of this article
Dr. Catagay Sezgin is a proud member of the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS) with over 15 years of practice, mainly in Turkey and the UAE. The number of satisfied clients around Turkey and the UAE speak for his work. Dr. Sezgin is known worldwide for his work as a celebrity hair transplant surgeon.