It happens to most of us at some point. One day you observe more strands of hair in your brush or around your shower drain than there used to be. Or you look in the mirror, and there is a thinning spot on your scalp you had not noticed before.
Excessive hair shedding and hair loss are surprisingly common, and the majority of us will experience some form of it during our lifetime. In order to address the issue, it is important to understand the type of hair loss you have.
How Do I Know What Type Of Hair Loss I Have?
There are many types of excess shedding and hair loss, each with its own underlying cause and level of treatability. These are some of the best-known:
• Telogen effluvium is excessive hair shedding. Telogen effluvium is often temporary and may be reversed when the underlying cause is addressed. It is generally attributable to one or more stressors on the body, whether it is emotional stress like a divorce or job loss, or a physical stressor like poor nutrition, an illness, surgery, giving birth, or weight loss of 20 pounds or more. Telogen effluvium can occur several months after the stressful event, and if the stressor has been removed, hair should regain its normal growth and fullness within six to nine months. However, if the cause of stress is not resolved, the shedding may continue indefinitely.
• Anagen effluvium happens when the hair’s anagen (growth) phase is disrupted by an injury to the hair’s follicles. This results in diffuse shedding of the damaged hairs, either throughout the scalp or in localized areas, depending upon the cause. Anagen effluvium is most frequently caused by chemotherapy treatments, but it also can result from autoimmune diseases, infections, or toxins. Depending upon the type of shedding, anagen effluvium may be reversible.
• Androgenic alopecia, also known as male (or female) pattern baldness, is the most common type of hair loss. In males, this hereditary form of alopecia results in hair loss at the temples and crown of the scalp. In females, it expresses as thinning of the hair at the front, sides, and crown of the scalp. This type of hair loss can be slowed down, but hairs that have been lost will not grow back.
• Alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition that causes hair to fall out in patches. The bald patches are typically smooth, with no rash or redness. These patches may expand and grow together into a continuous bald spot. Occasionally hair will grow back in one spot but fall out in another. Although it cannot be cured, alopecia areata is treatable and regrowth can occur.
• Cicatricial alopecia, also known as scarring alopecia, is a relatively rare type of permanent hair loss in which inflammation destroys the hair follicles. This causes scar tissue to form and prevents regrowth. This process may be accompanied by itching, swelling, or rash-like lesions. The causes of scarring alopecia are not well understood at this time.
• Involutional alopecia is a condition in which the hair gradually thins with age. Over time, larger numbers of follicles go into the telogen (resting) phase, and other hairs become shorter and fewer in number.
• Hair shaft abnormalities can cause excessive shedding or hair loss. Loose anagen syndrome is when hair is not well-rooted in the follicle, and it pulls out too easily or falls out once it grows past a certain length.
• Trichotillomania is a condition resulting from the habit of pulling out one’s hair, and traction alopecia occurs when styling one’s hair in tight braids or ponytails causes thinning or bald spots. Hypotrichosis is a rare genetic condition where little or no hair grows on a child’s head or body. These individuals tend to be entirely bald by the age of 25.
How Do I Know If My Hair Loss Is Normal?
Daily shedding is part of the hair’s natural cycle. It is perfectly normal to lose 50-100 hairs each day. Any loss greater than 100 hairs per day merits further investigation.
If you experience excess shedding or if you have symptoms of any of the above types of hair loss, it is wise to consult a medical professional before it progresses. Many types of hair loss can be slowed down or reversed if addressed in a timely fashion. Even if your hair loss turns out to be permanent, there are options available to restore your crowning glory, and we are here to help.
Contact The Hair Center Of Nebraska For A Consultation
If you are experiencing hair loss, contact the Hair Center of Nebraska for a full hair and scalp analysis today. By setting up a consultation, you are taking the first step toward proper hair restoration and beginning a wonderful journey to a better life. Contact us today to set up an appointment.