Hair Care

Common Types of Hair Loss

Written by Dr. Rabia and medically reviewed by Dr. Sneha Kannan

 
Image: Common Types of Hair Loss

Typically, an individual sheds around 100 hair daily. Most people do not realize this and get worried. When hair loss occurs, it can be either-

  • Diffuse, meaning loss of hair occurs from the entire scalp resulting in thinning of hair or thinning of the ponytail in females. It can be seen in telogen effluvium
  • Or it can occur in patches at few places on the scalp.

Telogen Effluvium:

Telogen effluvium is a condition in which excessive loss of hair occurs after some initial event like fever, infection, certain drugs, surgery or due to stress, which is commonly seen in students during exams. Usually, it recovers after the initial trigger is removed and the patient gets better in 3 months. Sometimes, it can be chronic if constant shedding occurs for more than 6 months and that can be due to iron deficiency, zinc deficiency, and other systemic conditions. For its treatment, the underlying cause should be identified and treated.

Alopecia Areata:

Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease where hair loss occurs in patches. It most commonly involves the scalp but can also involve bearded area in males. When it affects the entire body, it is called alopecia universalis. It is usually a reversible condition and 80 % of people have regrowth of hair during the first year after hair loss. Topical and oral steroids are the mainstay of treatment, and intralesional steroid can be used in it. Other options for treatment of alopecia areata are topical irritants like Dimethyl Sulfoxide application or Cantharidine application.

Androgenetic Alopecia:

Another common hair loss, especially in males, is androgenetic alopecia or male pattern hair loss. It can also occur in females, especially those with hormonal imbalances. For its treatment, camouflage can be used in the form of wigs, synthetic hair, and Minoxidil hair spray is used in this type of alopecia. Oral Finasteride is also used for its treatment.

Other causes of hair loss are those in which inflammatory causes permanently destroy the hair follicles like lichen planus, frontal fibrosing alopecia, etc. Other causes of hair loss can be chronic infections, chemotherapy, medications, or hair shaft defects.

One common problem in females is excessive use of hot straighteners and curlers on hair that also weakens the hair shaft and causes excessive loss and shedding of hair.

Last reviewed at: 20.Mar.2019

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