Types Of Hair Loss

 

Introduction
The word "alopecia" is the medical term for hair loss. Alopecia does not refer to one specific hair loss disease - any form of hair loss is called alopecia. Alopecia can be caused by many factors from genetics to the environment. The most form of hair loss is called androgenic alopecia while the more rarer ones include telogen effluvium, alopecia areata, ringworms, etc.

 

Androgenic Alopecia

 

 

 

Androgenetic alopecia (AGA) is a common form of hair loss in both men and women. In men, this condition is also known as male-pattern baldness. Hair is lost in a well-defined pattern, beginning above both temples. Overtime, the hairline recedes to form a characteristic "M" shape. Hair also thinks at the crown (near the top of the head), often progressing to partial or complete baldness. The pattern of hair loss in women, the hair becomes thinner all over the head, and the hairline does not recede. Androgenetic alopecia in women rarely leads to total baldness.

 

 

Telogen Effluvium

 

 

 

Telogen effluvium (TE) is probably the second most common form of hair loss dermatologists see. It is a poorly defined condition; very little research has been done to understand TE. In essence though, TE happens when there is a change in the number of hair follicles growing hair. If the number of hair follicles producing hair drops significantly for any reason during the resting, or telogen phase, there will be a significant increase in dormant, telogen stage hair follicles. The result is shedding, or TE hair loss.

 

 

Alopecia Areata

 

 

 

Alopecia areata (AA) is probably the third most common form of hair loss. Researchers believe AA is an autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis, but in this case the individual's own immune system attacks hair follicles instead of bone joints. Just why or how AA develops is not clear. For whatever reason, the immune system is inappropriately activated and attacks hair follicles.

The lifetime risk for AA is nearly 2%, or two in every 100 people will get AA at some point in their lives. It is not contagious; you can't catch AA from someone who has it.