Kinds of hair loss
Hair loss may appear in different forms and is a frequent complaint. Depending on their causes, there are several different kinds of hair loss:
- Alopecia androgenetica (androgenic alopecia – of male and female type). It is due to the presence, in the hair follicles, of receptors sensitive to the product resulting from testosterone conversion (dehydrotestosterone – DHT). When these receptors are activated, the blood vessels that provide blood to the follicles begin to deteriorate. This reduces the size of the follicles, decreases the diametre of the hairs, shortens the growth stage and lengthens the quiescent stage of the hair cycle. Thus, the follicles gradually cease to function.
- Alopecia areata (circular alopecia) – is due to an autoimmune disorder whereby the immunity system responds to part of the follicular structures as though they were alien and produces antibodies against them. This suppresses growth in the hair follicles and causes hair loss in certain sectors of the skin.
- Alopecia totalis – an autoimmune disorder characterized by a lack of hair growth in all hair follicles. Alopecia areata often turns into alopecia totalis
- Post-traumatic cicatricial alopecia (resulting from traumas)– it is caused by damage to hair follicles resulting from mechanical trauma, burns or from a pathological process that leads to formation of cicatricial tissue during the recovery process.
- Traction alopecia (due to trichotillomania or very tight hair tresses) – occurs among people suffering from trichotillomania, a disorder characterized by the uncontrollable urge to pull out hairs from one’s body. Traction alopecia may also be caused by excessively tight hair tresses
- Alopecia neonatalis (congenital alopecia) – due to congenital lack of healthy hair follicles in the affected regions.
- Deffluvium senilis (old age hair loss) – occurs in people at an advanced age. It diffusedly affects all the hair.
- Deffluvium post partum (hair loss after pregnancy) –after the end of pregnancy, the level of women’s sexual hormones temporarily decreases, which often increases hair loss and aggravates the condition of the hair. This kind of hair loss is transient, and it decreases after hormonal balance is restored.
Though there are many different probable diagnoses, androgenic alopecia is the most frequent cause of hair loss in men and women.