21 Oct A closer look at the most common types of hair loss and the science behind them
Did you know that the average person sheds around 50-150 strands of hair a day? While this type of shedding isn’t a cause for alarm, a receding hairline or noticeable bald spots could mean there’s something more going on.
Determining what type of hair loss you’re experiencing is the first step before selecting the treatment that is right for you. Below we’ll take a look at the most common types of alopecia dermatologists tend to see.
A closer look at common types of hair loss
Androgenetic alopecia and involution alopecia are the most common forms of hair loss, but there are still others that are far from rare.
Androgenetic Alopecia – The most common form of hair loss is androgenetic alopecia, or male or female pattern hair loss. This is a hereditary form of hair loss that affects men and women quite differently.
Men with this condition may start losing their hair in their teens or early 20s, and it typically starts with a receding hairline. Over time, they’ll also start to lose hair from the crown and frontal scalp area.
Pattern hair loss affects women a little bit differently, as they typically don’t notice any thinning of the hair until they reach their 40s. This is when they typically start to notice thinning over the entire scalp, and for some, excessive hair loss at the crown.
Involutional Alopecia – This form of hair loss, unfortunately, comes with age. As we get older, more hair follicles move out of the active hair growth phase and into the resting phase before the hair is shed.
This ultimately means that you simply have less hair that’s also shorter and finer.
Alopecia Areata – Alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition, which means the immune system is mistakenly attacking the hair follicles. This often results in sudden, patchy hair loss, though it can lead to complete baldness.
On a positive note, the majority of people who suffer from this type of hair loss will be able to grow their hair back within a few years.
Scarring Alopecia – Scarring alopecias are caused by skin disorders, including some forms of lupus and lichen planus, that replace healthy hair follicles with scar tissue.
Unlike many other forms of alopecia, scarring alopecias often lead to permanent hair loss and this is because the scars actually destroy the hair follicle, which can’t be reversed.
Telogen Effluvium – This is another alopecia doctors tend to see a lot, and it’s basically a diffused-type shedding of the hair. You may notice more hair falling out in the shower or when you brush your hair, and for many, this can be particularly alarming.
Telogen effluvium is typically caused by external stressors on the body such as physical trauma, major surgery, or a serious illness. Often, with this form of hair loss, there aren’t any specific treatments, though your doctor can provide some reassurance that your hair will grow back once you’ve recovered from that physical stressor.
Determining what type of hair loss you’re experiencing
Just as there are many forms of hair loss, there are quite a few great treatment options out there. By visiting your dermatologist to get an accurate diagnosis, you’ll be able to uncover what’s causing you to lose your hair, plus what treatment options are available for that particular form of alopecia.
More than likely, after an expert diagnosis, you should be able to regrow your hair with a proven treatment and a little patience.
Contact Center of Surgical Dermatology in Westerville, OH for more information on the types of hair loss
Center of Surgical Dermatology is the largest medical and surgical skin treatment and wellness facility in Central Ohio. Since 2007, our board-certified Dermatologists, fellowship-trained Mohs surgeons, and caring professional staff have provided patients with the treatment they can trust in an environment second to none. Learn more about our state-of-the-art Dermatology Center before booking your appointment today.