Types of Hair Loss
Causes of hair loss are varied, and of course treatments are specific to the type of hair loss. Five major types of hair loss are discussed below. It is very important to identify the exact type of Hair fall because the treatment is different in each case. If you are suffering from Hair Fall then this article will help you to identify the type of Hair Fall that you have.
Alopecia areata (AA) is a condition affecting humans, in which hair is lost from areas of the body, usually from the scalp. Because it causes bald spots on the scalp, especially in the first stages, it is sometimes called spot baldness. In 1%–2% of cases, the condition can spread to the entire scalp (Alopecia totalis) or to the entire epidermis (Alopecia universalis). Conditions resembling AA, and having a similar cause, occur also in other species.
The most common type of alopecia areata involves hair loss in one or more round spots on the scalp.
* Hair may also be lost more diffusely over the whole scalp, in which case the condition is called diffuse alopecia areata.
* Alopecia areata monolocularis describes baldness in only one spot. It may occur anywhere on the head.
* Alopecia areata multilocularis refers to multiple areas of hair loss.
* The disease may be limited only to the beard, in which case it is called Alopecia areata barbae.
* If the patient loses all the hair on his/her scalp, the disease is then called Alopecia areata totalis.
* If all body hair, including pubic hair, is lost, the diagnosis then becomes Alopecia areata universalis.
Alopecia areata totalis and universalis are rare.
Alopecia areata is not contagious. It occurs more frequently in people who have affected family members, suggesting that heredity may be a factor, and at least one of the genes involved has been mapped to chromosome 8p21-22. In addition, it is slightly more likely to occur in people who have relatives with autoimmune diseases.
The condition is thought to be an autoimmune disorder in which the body attacks its own hair follicles and suppresses or stops hair growth. There is evidence that T cell lymphocytes cluster around these follicles, causing inflammation and subsequent hair loss. An unknown environmental trigger such as emotional stress or a pathogen is thought to combine with hereditary factors to cause the condition. There are a few recorded cases of babies being born with congenital alopecia areata; however, these are not cases of autoimmune disease because an infant is born without a fully developed immune system. Alopecia can be an adverse effect from using Prilosec, which is a Proton Pump Inhibitor that is used in treating GERD, among other things.
As with most autoimmune diseases, alopecia areata is associated with increased risk of developing other autoimmune diseases, specifically systemic lupus erythematosus or SLE.
May also be caused by Vitamin B5 (pantothenate) deficiency, which is needed as cofactor for acyl transfers, and for fatty acid synthase
2. Androgenic Alopecia
Androgenic alopecia (also known as androgenetic alopecia or alopecia androgenetica) is a common form of hair loss in both male and female humans, chimpanzees, and orangutans. In male humans in particular, this condition is also commonly known as male-pattern baldness. Hair is lost in a well-defined pattern, beginning above both temples. Over time, the hairline recedes to form a characteristic "M" shape. Hair also thins at the crown of the head, often progressing to partial or complete baldness.
The pattern of hair loss in women differs from male-pattern baldness. 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.
A variety of genetic and environmental factors are likely play a role in causing androgenetic alopecia. Although researchers are studying risk factors that may contribute to this condition, most of these factors remain unknown. Researchers have determined that this form of hair loss is related to hormones called androgens, particularly an androgen called dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
3. Telogen Effluvium
Telogen effluvium is characterized by sudden, diffuse hair loss caused by an interruption in the normal hair growth cycle.
This interruption is often the result of trauma, such as chemotherapy, childbirth, puberty, major surgery, severe stress, and severe chronic illness. This trauma causes large numbers of hair follicles to enter a stage of telogen, or rest, simultaneously. After roughly 3 months of the telogen cycle the follicles will enter the anagen cycle, a stage of growth. The old hair will be forced out of the follicle by a new hair that is formed beneath it. This will cause a period of diffuse hair shedding. This condition is usually self correcting and can affect people of all ages.
There is also another form of telogen effluvium referred to as 'chronic'. This is essentially the same except it is on-going.
It is when a person (child or adult) twists or pulls his/her hair, eyebrows or lashes until they come out. The hair pulling is sometimes a coping response to unpleasant stress and occasionally is a sign of a serious problem. In more serious cases, the person will keep pulling out his/her hair until there are bare patches. Active areas of trichotillomania show blunted, short hairs which are signs of recent regrowth of plucked hair. When these short hairs do not show up under microscopic examination, the traction alopecia is probably permanent.
5. Traction alopecia
Traction alopecia is a form of alopecia, or gradual hair loss, caused primarily by pulling force being applied to the hair. This commonly results from the sufferer frequently wearing his or her hair in a particularly tight ponytail, pigtails, or braids. It is also seen occasionally in long-haired toy dogs whose owners use barrettes to keep hair out of the dogs' faces.
Traction alopecia is a substantial risk in hair weaves, which can be worn either to conceal hair loss, or purely for cosmetic purposes. The former, such as those sold in the U.S. by Hair Club, involve creating a braid around the head below the existing hairline, to which an extended-wear hairpiece, or wig, is attached. Since the hair of the braid is still growing, it requires frequent maintenance, which involves the hairpiece being removed, the natural hair braided again, and the piece snugly reattached. The tight braiding and snug hairpiece cause tension on the hair that is already at risk for falling out.
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