Hair loss, also known as alopecia, is a disorder that affects natural hair growth by interrupting the hair growth cycle in the body. Hair loss is not limited to your scalp, so it can also affect the rest of your body.
Standard Hair Growth Cycle
Hair grows everywhere on your skin except for the soles of your feet, palms of your hands, belly button, and eyelids. On the other parts of the body that show no hair, the hairs are so tiny; they are invisible to the naked eye.
Hair follicles constantly produce a protein called keratin that makes up your hair. As your hair grows, new hair cells push out the old cells out of the skin. Therefore, when you experience hair loss, you will have signs such as
- Gradual hair thinning
- Patchy or circular bald spots on the scalp
- Unexplainable loss of hair
- Scaly patches spreading on your scalp
- There are several types of hair loss. Each is the result of various factors. If you have started experiencing hair loss, keep scrolling to get the answers you need concerning this condition.
Types of Hair Loss
1. Androgenic Alopecia
Androgenic alopecia is the most common type of hair loss. The condition is genetically predisposed to people with the disorder. Androgenic alopecia affects both men and women. The condition slowly progresses with time. However, you can manage or treat it with hair replacement therapy.
In men, androgenic alopecia or male pattern baldness occurs anywhere after puberty, and it often manifests as a receding hairline. This gradually leads to the disappearance of the hair at the front of the scalp and crown.
Androgenic alopecia in women is also known as female pattern baldness. It can occur any time after puberty and is most noticeable as hair thinning but rarely leads to baldness. Visit Pure Dermatology Cosmetic & Hair Center to get the best advice on possible hair restoration treatments that work for you.
2. Involutional Alopecia
You may have noticed your hair slowly thinning out and some increased hair loss. This may be a result of involutional alopecia. The condition shortens the growth phase of your hair follicles, hastening them into the resting phase. Involutional alopecia occurs gradually with age.
3. Telogen Effluvium
Telogen effluvium occurs when your hair starts thinning due to changes in your hair growth cycle. Your hair follicles enter a resting phase; however, the growth of new hair cells fails to begin, causing hair thinning and hair shedding.
4. Scarring Alopecia
Also referred to as ‘cicatricial alopecia,’ Scarring Alopecia is a rare form of hair loss caused by inflammation. The inflammation leads to scarring, which destroys hair follicles. The condition affects the ability of your hair to regenerate, leading to permanent hair loss.
5. Alopecia Areata
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder, which causes your immune to fight off healthy tissues in your body, including your hair follicles. In most cases, hair loss happens suddenly and may appear as hair loss patches among children and adults. Eyebrows and lashes may also fall out.
6. Tinea Capitis
This condition is the result of a fungal infection called ‘scalp ringworms.’ It primarily affects children leading to patchy hair loss on their scalp. The affected area can also appear red and inflamed, causing itchiness. However, an antifungal prescription should eliminate the infection, and their hair will grow back.
What Are The Causes Of Hair Loss?
Persistent hair loss might be an indication of an underlying health condition. It is essential to consult with your dermatologist to diagnose the issue then find a suitable hair loss solution.
- Genetics and family history. Hair loss hereditary traits can be passed down your family tree. These genes can affect both women and men, making the individual predisposed to female or male pattern baldness.
- Hormonal Changes. Hormonal changes influence some types of hair loss conditions in the body. Abnormal hormone levels caused by thyroid complications, menopause, pregnancy, or childbirth, can disrupt a normal hair growth cycle.
- Radiation therapy and X-rays. Radiation treatment can lead to significant hair loss. Though the effect is temporary, your hair may not grow back at the same pace or texture.
- Drugs and supplements. Some medications are known to cause hair loss when undergoing therapy. For example, drugs used in chemotherapy, meta-adrenergic blockers, birth control pills, and blood thinners are often associated with temporary hair loss.
- Autoimmune disorders. Some people with autoimmune diseases may develop alopecia areata. The condition affects the hair follicles leading to hair thinning and consequent hair loss. However, by treating the autoimmune disease, the hair will eventually grow back.
- Injuries and burns. Skin trauma associated with injuries or burns can cause temporary hair loss before the hair follicles start regenerating. However, scar tissue formation prevents the regeneration of hair follicles, leading to permanent hair loss.
- Stress and illness. High levels of stress can lead to hair loss. Stressful events or situations lead to anxiety which results in your hair falling out. In addition, scalp infections like ringworms can cause loss of hair. However, managing your stress levels and illness can improve growth and reduce hair loss.
- Cosmetic procedures, hair styling, and treatment. Invasive and continuous cosmetic procedures can gradually reduce the health of your hair, leading to hair loss. Pulling and tugging during hair styling or using heated combs, blow dryers, and hair straighteners can lead to your hair falling out. Furthermore, bleaching, perms, and hair dyeing may lead to hair thinning. Severe damage to your scalp can lead to inflammation and scarring, often causing permanent hair loss.
- Poor nutrition. Your hair requires adequate nutrients to grow. A diet with low iron, proteins, and vitamins may lead to hair thinning.
How Do I Prevent Hair Loss?
There are a few things that you can make routine to prevent any further hair loss. First, be gentle with your hair. Whether combing or braiding your hair, avoid tugging too tightly. Reducing the amount of pressure will reduce hair damage.
Likewise, good nutrition habits will go a long way. Eating a balanced diet will provide the necessary nutrients needed to promote hair growth and regeneration of damaged hair follicles. Furthermore, prescribed medication and supplements are also used to enhance hair growth.
Always consult with your dermatologist before considering any medication therapy for hair loss. In addition, avoid constantly using hair shampoo and any hair styling tool that might cause hair breakage or loss.