Types of Hair Loss
There are many possible causes of hair loss, however, most hair loss is normal, and part of each person’s individual genetic makeup.
Normal Hair Loss
We all lose hair every day. Hair grows for a period of time, usually 2 to 6 years, and then the follicles shed the hair and go into a resting stage for approximately 3 months, then a new hair growth cycle begins. It is normal to lose between 50 to 150 hairs per day from normal shedding.
Pattern Hair Loss
Androgenetic alopecia is the scientific name for the genetic tendency in both men and women for pattern baldness. Pattern hair loss in men is often referred to as Male Pattern Baldness (MPB). Androgenetic alopecia is the cause of over 95% of all pattern hair loss, including baldness in men and thinning hair in women.
Pattern hair loss occurs in somewhat predictable stages and is relentlessly progressive. Usually, the earlier in life pattern hair loss begins the more advanced the pattern will ultimately become. Studies have shown that pattern loss is increasingly evident and advanced as people age.
In MPB the hairs on the top of the scalp have a genetic sensitivity to the male hormone testosterone (DHT). The hairs on the sides and back of the scalp do not possess this genetic trait and therefore are not affected. For this reason, hairs removed from the sides and the back (Donor Hair) will maintain their genetic predisposition when transplanted and continue to grow when moved to the top of the scalp where hair loss has occurred.
Patchy Hair Loss
Alopecia areata is an immune system disorder, which causes hair follicles to stop producing hairs. Sudden loss of hair from small patches on the head is a common symptom. Advanced forms of the disorder include alopecia totalis, where all hair on the head is lost, and alopecia universalis, which results in the absence of all body hair.
Traction alopecia is the loss of hair from constant pulling, often the result of tightly braided hairstyles and hair weaves.
Delayed Loss from Stress
Telogen effluvium is a slowing of new hair growth resulting from sudden severe stress, followed by a delayed shedding of hair. The stress induces a high proportion of follicles to enter the resting stage, and a few months after the stressful event, all of the resting follicles begin to shed hairs at about the same time.
Sudden Hair Loss
Anagen effluvium is the sudden loss of growing hairs as a result of chemicals or radiation. Cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy halt the growth phase of hair follicles and result in the sudden shedding of hair. Some medications (i.e.; diuretics, blood thinners, acne medications and birth control pills.) can also cause hair loss as a side effect.
Hair shaft breakage is when part of a hair breaks off, but the growing end remains in the follicle and continues to grow. Hair shaft breakage results in thinner hair and can be caused by excessive styling, chemicals, sun, and chlorine in swimming pools.
Nutritional deficiencies are rarely a cause of hair loss. In rare cases, certain nutritional deficiencies can cause weak hair shafts that tend to break off.
Other Hair Loss Causes
Certain chronic Illnesses can result in hair loss. Hormone-related irregularities can include hair loss among other symptoms. Skin Infections can result in hair loss. Trauma, such as burns and injury to hair follicles, can cause permanent hair loss.
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