Types Of Hair Loss
There Are Two Forms Of Alopecia Or ‘Hair Loss’:
1. Alopecia from normal hair follicles and abnormal hair growth
2. Alopecia from damaged hair follicles.
Note: A third type of hair loss is a result of a particular behavior*.
1. Types Of Hair Loss With Normal Hair Follicles (abnormal hair growth):
Androgenetic Alopecia — The most common form of hair loss and is often called “male pattern baldness.” This type of balding is related to the presence of a male hormone called; dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
The name ‘androgenetic’ also implies that the hair loss is hereditary. This type of hair loss is thought to affect all individuals (male and female), however, it might never be noticeable.
Alopecia Areata — Patchy hair loss that falls out because of an autoimmune problem. This type of hair loss usually begins with a signal oval patch, or group of patches, of distinct bare areas.
This type of hair loss can be a few patched areas of hair loss, or involve balding of the entire scalp.
Telogen Effluvium — Hair loss occurs when phases of growth and rest are not met properly. Occasionally referred to as ‘ traumatic alopecia’ because this hair loss can follow a traumatic event, severe stress or use of certain medications.
Two contributors to this form of hair loss can also be iron deficiency and thyroid disease.
Hair loss due to iron deficiencies are a form of telogen effluvium.
Hair loss can be common in individuals with untreated low thyroid. This type of hair loss will correct itself once thyroid levels are restored.
Note: Individuals with thyroid disease often suffer from an autoimmune disease and can be more at risk for developing autoimmune alopecia.
2. Types Of Hair Loss With Damaged Hair Follicles
Alopecia universalis — Hair loss is apparent from birth (genetic causes) and can involve the absence of hair on the body (eyebrows, eyelashes, etc.).
Cicatricial Alopecia — Also referred to as ‘scarring alopecia,’ this type of hair loss is due to scar tissue, damage to scalp and/or hair follicles. Infections, burns, injuries or radiation therapy can cause cicatricial alopecia.
Traction Alopecia — Also referred to as ‘cosmetic alopecia’ or ‘ traumatic alopecia.’ Hair loss is caused by various cosmetic grooming styles that create high tension and damage hairs. Some examples are; tight braids, cornrows, dreadlocks, curling irons, chemical treatments, etc.
Tinea Capitis — Hair loss due to a fungal infection that damages hair follicles. This typically occurs in young adults and can be reversed if the scarring is not extreme.
*Behavioral Hair Loss
Trichotillomania — Caused by behavior. Referred to as “trich,” a compulsion to pull out one’s own hair. Trichotillomania is usually associated with a traumatic life event or ongoing stress. This form of hair loss is usually reversible with behavior modification and/or therapy to address psychological issues.
Postoperative Hair Loss — Hair loss that occurs after cosmetic surgery (ex. brow lift) in which hair is lost in scarring. People who undergo hair transplants have good results with this type of hair loss.
Drug-induced Hair Loss — Caused by taking certain drugs or medications.