Types of Hair Loss


Hair loss is something which everyone has to cope with some time or the other in the course of a lifetime. At an average about 100 hairs per day can be lost but this figure varies depending on the thickness of hair. Therefore, what may be normal hair loss for one person can be excessive for another.

The different types of hair loss are described below:

Alopecia Areata

This is believed to be an auto-immune disease of the hair; it first appears as one-inch rounded bare patches. This condition is common to men and women alike and often first occurs in childhood. With this condition, hair restoring is very rare. Alopecia Areata is divided into three categories based on severity:

  1. Alopecia Areata characterized by mild patchy hair loss
  2. Alopecia Totalis which results in a totally bald scalp
  3. Alopecia Universalis where body hair is also totally lost along with the hair on the scalp.

Androgenetic Alopecia

This type of hair loss has two categories namely male pattern baldness and female pattern baldness. It is the major form of hair loss. In women, it is characterized by thinning of the scalp hair but in men, the process begins with a receding hairline but ends up with a totally bald scalp.

Anagen Effluvium

This type of hair loss is also known as Cancer Treatment Hair Loss as it occurs as a side effect of drugs used for treating cancer using chemotherapy or radiation treatment. It occurs suddenly and can happen within 1 to 3 weeks. Although known to be caused by cancer treatment, it is also caused by toxic substances like arsenic and thallium.

Self-induced Hair Loss

There are two types of self-induced hair loss:

  1. Trichotillomania: This kind of hair loss is caused by continually plucking and pulling the hair resulting in bald patches. This condition is common to children, adolescents and women. In extreme cases, psychiatric counseling may be required.
  2. Traction Alopecia: This is the type of hair loss which occurs as a result of wearing hair tightly as in ponytails. If the hair is consistently tied tightly, the hair loss can be permanent. On the other hand, hair can be restored by changing the hairstyle.

Telogen Effluvium

This hair loss is caused by stress-related trauma such child birth, termination of pregnancy, stopping or starting birth control medication, dieting drugs, or severe emotional stress.

Scarring Alopecia

This is the type of hair loss which results in the inflammation of hair follicles due to some kind of infection. A few of the infections which can cause this condition are:

  1. Congenital Atrichia
  2. Aplasia Cutis Congenita
  3. Lichen Planus
  4. Pseudopelade of Brocq
  5. Discoid Lupus Erythematosus

Other Types of Hair Loss

These include SyphiliticAlopecia, a side-effect of syphilis, Scleroderma which is characterized by tightening of the skin and Tinea Capitis which is caused by ringworm.