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Types of Hair Loss

Affecting both men and women, hair loss can develop as a result of a wide array of causes, including medical reasons and genetic influences. While the vast majority of hair thinning and loss can be attributed to genetics, other sources of concern may play a role. At Leonard Hair Transplant Associates, our goal is to provide the best possible care based on your needs and goals. To achieve this objective, we will need to determine the type of hair loss, medically known as alopecia, that you’re experiencing. During your initial consultation, Dr. Robert Leonard or Dr. Matthew Lopresti, our experienced hair restoration surgeons, will evaluate your areas of concern and review your hair loss story to determine the ideal approach for you. We offer an extensive selection of surgical and nonsurgical hair restoration options, and together we will develop a customized treatment plan to help preserve and restore your natural hair.

What are the common causes of hair loss?

Many factors can contribute to hair loss, and a patient may be experiencing one or more of these issues. Some of the most common causes of hair loss include:

Many of these concerns cause only temporary hair loss, such as stress, illness, childbirth, some types of injuries, medications, and diet. After the event passes, many patients see hair regrowth and a return to their previous hair fullness. Other factors, including scar tissue and genetics, will lead to long-term hair loss.

What are the different types of hair loss?

Understanding the type of hair loss a patient is experiencing is essential to providing optimal treatment. An individual who is experiencing temporary hair loss due to a medical condition or cosmetic procedure will require a different approach than someone who has progressive hereditary hair loss. Depending on the type of hair loss from which you’re suffering, our skilled surgeons will recommend a hair preservation and restoration program appropriate to your needs. Types of alopecia include:

Androgenic alopecia: Also known as male pattern baldness (or female pattern hair loss in women), androgenic alopecia is a genetic condition that causes hair thinning (follicle miniaturization) and progressive hair loss. This concern can begin as early as in the patient’s teens or 20s. Men and women experience androgenic alopecia a little differently. Men tend to see receding hair on the crown and frontal scalp. Women, on the other hand, often see general thinning across the scalp. However, any pattern can be seen in both men and women.

Alopecia areata: Patchy hair loss that typically occurs suddenly, alopecia areata can affect men and women of all ages, including children. Usually a temporary condition, most people will see hair return after a few years; however, some individuals may experience widespread (complete) baldness that does not improve.

Alopecia universalis: A condition in which all body hair, including the eyebrows, eyelashes, and pubic hair, falls out.

Traction alopecia: Certain hairstyles and cosmetic treatments, such as tight braids or a ponytail, can, though much less frequently, cause traction alopecia, a condition in which long-term strain on hair follicles causes hair loss. Certain chemicals found in cosmetic hair treatments can also worsen this condition as they make the hair weaker and more vulnerable to damage.

Telogen effluvium: Hair goes through growth cycles. When a large number of hair follicles enter the resting phase simultaneously there may be excessive shedding and thinning soon after. It is commonly observed after childbirth, after a high fever, after undergoing general anesthesia, among other situations. This is typically a temporary condition that will improve with time.

Scarring alopecias: Injuries and skin conditions that cause scarring can lead to permanent hair loss in the affected areas. The most common causes are skin conditions, which actually destroy hair follicles. There has been an unknown reason for a significant increase in these conditions in the general population over the last several years. Additionally, cosmetic treatments that use heat can cause scarring if the temperature is too high and results in a burn.

If you have additional questions about hair loss types, or if you would like to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our physicians, please contact our medical team today.