Other Types of Hair Loss

When the public thinks of hair loss, they normally don’t consider the different types of hair loss.  While most people consider “hair loss” to be just as it sounds, a loss of hair on the scalp, there are actually many different types of hair loss conditions.  The following is a rundown of the various types of hair loss.  Please click on the name of each condition for more information.

Alopecia Areata

Alopecia Areata (AA) is an auto immune disorder that causes hair loss in every part of the body. The disease, suffered by both men and women, creates the appearance of patchy baldness where there is a lack of hair. Alopecia Areata is a self-limiting condition and can recover without any treatment.  Steroid injections are sometimes necessary to treat the more resistant lesions.

Anagen Effluvium

Anagen Effluvium affects patients who are receiving chemotherapy, radiation or toxin treatments.  Hair loss usually occurs after the first few weeks of therapy and may grow back depending on the type of Anagen Effluvium.  Patients may notice a change in their hair texture after it grows back initially but they usually recover with no remaining baldness.

Traction Alopecia

Traction Alopecia results from the continuous pulling of hair located in a certain area.  Certain hair styles like tight pony tails and braids can lead to this condition.  Restrictive headgear, such as tight turbines, can also cause hair loss from traction alopecia.  The first step in treating patients is to recommend different styling habits including wearing shorter hair.  If recovery is not complete, a hair transplant could successfully restore the hair in the balding areas.

Trichotillomania

Trichotillomania is a psychological condition which causes the individual to involuntary pull at their hair and can lead to hair loss in manipulated areas. Underlying psychological disorders such as anxiety are thought to be the main contributor of this condition which affects mostly women and children.  If the condition persists, the patient may lose the hair follicles permanently.  A hair transplant is not recommended if this psychological condition still exists in the patient.

Telogen Effluvium

Telogen Effluvium is hair loss or thinning caused by sudden stress.  This condition affects mainly men and women prone to male or female patterned baldness. Patients suffering from this condition will usually experience thinning of the scalp hair.  Telogen effluvium occurs when hair follicles enter a resting phase.  The hair usually returns over time.  However, it may be irreversible in some cases.  The severity of this condition depends on whether there are other genetic causes for the hair loss such as the delivery of a baby or the termination of a woman’s pregnancy.

Shock Loss After Surgery

Shock loss used to be a common symptom after hair transplant surgeries and occurred due to the stress of inflammation and healing.  The medication Propecia has helped minimize the rate of shock loss that usually occurs immediately after a hair transplant procedure.  It is now recommended in addition to surgery.

Scarring Alopecia

Cicatricial Alopecia can result in the total loss of scalp and body hair following inflammatory conditions caused by dermal inflammatory conditions and infections. Scarring Alopecia, or Cicatricial Alopecia, occurs as a result of gross scars or micro-scarring at the cellular levels.  It may be accompanied with other underlying medical conditions which can damage hair follicles at the cellular level.  It is recommended that patients seek and receive treatment early on from a hair specialist.

Medication Induced Hair Loss

Although many medications have hair loss as one of their side effects, medication induced hair loss is not a common cause of hair loss.  Here is a list of the most important medications that may have hair loss as an adverse effect:

  • Chemotherapy medications
  • Alloppurinol
  • Coumarin
  • Clofibrate
  • Gemfibrozil
  • Heparin

Infections and Hair Loss

Bacterial and fungal infections were previously a major contributor to hair loss in children.  Improved health care, early diagnosis and new medications have helped eliminate most of these diseases targeting the scalp and hair follicles.