Hair loss comes in many forms. Here are some of the most common:
Androgenic (Androgenetic) Alopecia − A common form of hair loss in both men and women. For men, it’s also referred to as male pattern baldness, characterized by the thinning or loss of hair on the crown of the head or receding from the temples. A horseshoe pattern of hair around the sides and back of the head usually remains or hair may continue to fall out, resulting in total baldness over time.
Alopecia Universalis − The complete loss of all scalp and body hair.
Alopecia Totalis − The complete loss of all scalp hair.
Alopecia Areata − A condition caused when the body’s own immune system attacks the hair follicles and disrupts normal hair formation and growth. What causes this is unknown, but it appears to be an abnormality in which the immune system attacks particular tissues of the body. Biopsies of affected skin show immune cells inside of the hair follicles, where they are not normally present. Alopecia areata is sometimes associated with other autoimmune conditions such as allergic disorders, thyroid disease, vitiligo, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and ulcerative colitis. Alopecia areata sometimes occurs in multiple family members, suggesting a role of genes and heredity.
Marginal Alopecia − Another name for and regularly associated with Alopecia Areata.
Ophiasis − A form of alopecia areata in which hair loss occurs in a wave-like pattern encircling the head.
Traction Alopecia − A hair loss condition caused by damage to the papilla and hair follicle from constant pulling or tension over a long period. It often occurs in people who wear tight braids − especially “cornrows” − that lead to high tension, pulling and breakage of hair. It can also result from cosmetic surgery that creates hair tension, such as facelifts.
Chignon Alopecia − A form of traction alopecia in which hair loss occurs at the crown. It commonly occurs when hair is styled in a tight bun over long periods of time. Ballet dancers can often suffer from this.
Hypotrichosis − A condition in which there is no hair growth. Unlike alopecia, which describes hair loss where formerly there was hair growth, hypotrichosis describes a situation where there was no hair growth in the first place.
Telogen Effluvium − Hair loss that happens when follicles are prematurely pushed into the “resting stage” of growth by stress or illness.
Trichotillomania − A disorder in which a person compulsively pulls out their own hair, resulting in noticeable hair loss.
Lichen Planopilaris − A disease that generally affects the skin and mouth. It can cause redness, irritation, and in some cases, permanent hair loss.
Trichorrhexis nodosa − A defect in hair fiber characterized by fraying and swelling nodes in particular spots along the length of the hair fiber caused by the absence of a cuticle layer.
Folliculitis − This bacterial condition irritates hair follicles and is one of the most common types of skin infection. Although usually trivial, it can produce extensive disease. It may be superficial or deep, and causes the formation of a pustule or inflammatory nodule surrounding the hair. Infected hairs may be easily removed.
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