Most Common Types of Hair Loss
Hair Loss (Alopecia)
Hair loss disorders comprise an extensive group of conditions that can be classified as scarring and non-scarring alopecia. Whereas scarring alopecia is irreversible, in non-scarring alopecia there is no damage of the hair follicles. Some of the most common types of hair loss disorders fall under nonscarring alopecias. The most important factor is to understand the pathophysiology of hair loss in order to stabilize the condition and promote the hair growth as quick as possible.
The three most common alopecias are male and female pattern baldness and diffuse hair loss. The most common scalp disorders are dandruff, eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis, which all can lead to an unhealthy scalp.
Male Pattern Baldness
(Androgenetic Alopecia) MPB
Male pattern baldness affects approximately 50% of males. The earliest signs are the recession of the frontal hair line, followed by thinning on the crown. The thinning is caused by the male androgens , hormones such as DHT (Dihydrotestosterone), which slows down cell division at the root, reducing the number of hair follicles. As the follicles become smaller, the hairs produced are much finer and their growth is much slower, leading to very fine and thin hair. Although genetics and hormones cause most MPB, also age, race, lifestyle, other medical conditions and stress are contributing factors.
Female Pattern Hair Loss
(Androgenetic Alopecia) FPHL
The incidence of women’s hair loss has increased in the last years with their hair getting sparser, especially in the frontal regions, due mainly to a combination of various factors which include dieting, stress, thyroid, contraception and menopause.
Female pattern hair loss is an inherited nonscarring progressive thinning of hair in which the male hormones influence the women’s hair follicle leading to a reduction in the cycle of the hair growth, with the normal hair being progressively replaced by shorter hairs which are thinner, finer and wispier than normal. Early onset of Female Pattern Hair Loss is noticed first in puberty. The scalp may become greasier and dandruff may also be present.
Late onset of Female Pattern Hair Loss tends to occur in women in their mid-thirties and worsen during menopause as the female hormone levels starts to fall. With the ageing process the female/male hormone balance shifts, and male hormones might become more dominant. This affect approximately 35% of the post-menopausal women.
Diffuse Hair Loss
You may notice an increased number of hairs on a pillow or in your brush, and although it is very distressing, there is help available. Diffuse hair loss is divided into two categories Anagen Effluvium and Telogen Effluvium.
Anagen Effluvium is a condition where the hair loss is induced usually by chemotherapeutic agents used to treat cancer. Hair loss happens during the anagen (growing) stage. Anagen Effluvium can happen only in part or all the scalp, leaving the scalp totally bold and it is often accompanied by the loss of eyebrows, lashes and body hair.
Telogen Effluvium is a condition where the hair is shedding during telogen (resting) stage and usually caused by a trauma, stress or medical condition. In diffuse hair loss, the hair becomes thinner but there is no loss of follicles, meaning the full recovery is possible and the hair loss is temporary.
Hair Loss and Childbirth
In most cases hair loss after childbirth is normal. The hair during pregnancy is normally very healthy. This is due to the rise in female hormones, which are very good for the hair. However, after the childbirth the hormone levels fall with a negative effect on the hair. This change in pattern causes the hair to become thinner in most women, but within few months the hair corrects itself to normal. In some women this correcting phase takes longer so the hair remains thinner for some time. This can cause a lot of anxiety and stress which can prolong the process even further.
There are numerous different types of hair loss, causing people distress, but we have taken here the most common ones. We will write about other types of hair loss regularly. Stay in tune.
Most Common Types of Scalp Disorders
There are many different types of dandruff but mainly they can be categorised in two types – oily or dry. Dandruff is caused by a yeast-like fungi and it can cause an inflammatory disorder with large, yellowy oily flakes or it can appear as dry greyish or whitish flakes. Where dandruff doesn’t directly cause the hair loss, the scratching of the scalp can indeed injure or damage the hair follicles leading to some hair loss eventually. Most important is to know the type of dandruff, its origin, balance the scalp as quickly as possible with products suitable for your scalp and condition.
Eczema and Dermatitis
Eczemas are inflammation of the upper part of the skin. They may be caused by external irritants, chemical, physical or bacterial. There are various eczemas but most common for the scalp are contact dermatitis usually caused by an irritant such as hair chemicals. Seborrheic dermatitis or Seborrheic Eczema, which is believed to be a result of an excess oil production causes oily flaking dandruff. Seborrheic Eczema is a long-term skin condition. Scalp Eczema symptoms include inflammation, dry or moist skin, swelling and itching, small spots, filled with lymph or serum, crusts and patches of areas often develop which become thickened.
It is estimated that 1.3 million people in the UK suffers from psoriasis. Not everyone has psoriasis in their scalp, but it is still a very common skin disorder. Very typical to scalp psoriasis is raised patches that are red and scaly and silvery. Scalp psoriasis can be spread all over the scalp or can appear just as one single patch. There are different grades of scalp psoriasis, some of them can be very mild, however the severe ones can cause thick layers of skin that end up as sores. Severe type of psoriasis certainly affects the quality of life, itchiness can lead to infections and hair loss.
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Today’s hectic lifestyle can impact our hair and scalp health by many different factors: lifestyle, work, stress, pollution, poor diet, lack of exercise, following a bad hair care regime by using junk hair cosmetics just to mention a few.