Types of Alopecia That One Must Know

It is a common assumption among many people that a major reason for hair loss is their old age. However, what we don’t realize is sometimes the cause for our hair loss might not be our age but could be conditions such as alopecia or even extreme stress. It is not only old people who suffer from hair loss but also younger individuals as well as children. This condition is known as the various forms of Alopecia.

There are many different types of alopecia that you must know about-

1. Alopecia Areata – Alopecia areata is a condition, related to autoimmune disorders such as Thyroid and Lupus. Any individual suffering from this condition tends to lose their hair in patches. Once you start losing hair, the growth of new doesn’t take place for many weeks and sometimes can take several months. Alopecia Areata often leads to Alopecia Totalis which is the complete loss of hair on the scalp or Alopecia Universalis i.e. complete loss of hair all over the body.

2. Alopecia Barbae – This condition is common among men. In this condition, men experience a loss of hair which is localized to their beard area, where they tend to lose their facial hair in a single patch, or sometimes they may lose hair from their entire beard. This condition is known as Alopecia Barbae.

3. Alopecia Totalis – Alopecia Totalis is an advanced form of alopecia which is a condition characterized by the complete loss of hair on the scalp.The cause if alopecia totalis is unknown, it is considered to be an autoimmune conditionwherein the immune system attacks the hair follicles by mistake. A research study suggests that 20% of the affected people have a family member suffering from alopecia, indicating that genetic factors may contribute in the development alopecia totalis. However, there is no cure for alopecia totalis as yet.

4. Alopecia Universalis – This condition is an advanced form of Alopecia. This condition is characterized by the loss of hair all over the body. People suffering from alopecia universalis not only lose the hair on their scalp but may also lose their eyebrows, eyelashes, and pubic hair. There are no hair fall treatment which can cure this condition.

5. Cicatricial Alopecia – Cicatricial Alopecia, also known as Scarring alopecia is a condition resulting from inflammatory skin conditions such as folliculitis, cellulitis or acne. Some autoimmune disorders such as Lichen Planus or Lupus may also lead to cicatricial alopecia. In such a condition, an individual loses their ability to regrow the lost hair which eventually results in permanent baldness.

6. Traction Alopecia –  This condition is especially common among women who tend to wear their hair in tight ponytails, braids, etc. on a daily basis. As a result, they develop this condition called traction alopecia which is caused by the excessive pulling of the hair shafts. The continuous pulling of the hair shafts results in permanent hair loss due as the formation of the hair follicles stops.

7. Trichotillomania – Trichotillomania is a condition which is characterized by an urge to repeatedly pull out one’s own hair. The repetitive hair pulling results in hair loss. Often the hair on the scalp is most affected, however, eyebrows, eyelashes, and beard might also be affected. There are many individuals who tend to chew or swallow the hair they pull out. This can also lead to many gastrointestinal problems. Trichotillomania may also cause a significant amount of emotional distress. The cause of the condition is still not known. This condition was previously classified as an impulse control disorder however, now it is considered an obsessive-compulsive disorder.

8. Androgenic Alopecia – Androgenic alopecia, common in both men and women is a genetic condition. This condition in men is known as male pattern baldness, wherein men begin suffering hair loss as early as their teens. Male pattern baldness is characterized by a receding hairline and gradual disappearance of hair from the scalp. This condition in women is called female pattern baldness. However, women don’t experience thinning of hair until their late 40’s. Women usually experience a general thinning of hair over the whole scalp. The most affect part is however, the crown.

9. Telogen Effluvium –  The second most common form of hair loss which is diagnosed by doctors is telogen effluvium. This kind of hair loss occurs when there is a change in the number of hair follicles which grow the new hair. During telogen i.e. the resting phase of hair growth, the number of hair follicles lowers resulting on more and more dormant hair follicles. This leads to telogen effluvium hair loss. This condition is however, not permanent.

10. Anagen effluvium – Anagen effluvium is a condition which is characterized by a significant loss of hair shafts in the anagen phase i.e. the growth phase. In many cases, individuals have experienced major hair loss. However, in most cases, hair usually returns. Some of the main causes if anagen effluvium are chemotherapy, radiotherapy, oral contraceptives, malnutrition, etc.