Your scalp, on an average, has approximately 1,00,000 hairs. If you’re losing around 50 to 100 strands every day, it’s natural. But, if you’re seeing an increase in hair fall, it’s time to find out what’s causing it. There are around 40 different types of hair loss. In this article, we look at the common types of hair loss and hair loss causes.
Alopecia areata (patchy hair loss)
Alopecia refers to one of the types of hair loss where your hair follicles are attacked by the body’s immune system. Also known as spot baldness, alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease that frequently begins with one or more circular patches on the scalp.
It is an unpredictable illness where the hair follicles become small and does not grow hair above the skin surface. It usually begins with a few strands of hair falling out, gradually resulting into total round and smooth hairless patch on the scalp. Apart from the scalp, a person could lose hair from other parts of the body as well.
The condition can affect young and old alike and can begin without any warning.
Studies have shown that people with a family history of alopecia areata suffer from this condition. Other hair loss causes include stress, any auto-immune disease and type 1 diabetes.
Your normal hair growth cycle lasts for 2 to 6 years. During this phase, your hair remains in the growth stage – known as anagen. Telogen effluvium occurs when the hair follicles enter the resting period of the growth cycle – known as telogen – and, thereafter, shed. This type of hair loss does not lead to complete baldness, but you will see loss of around 300 to 500 hairs.
Severe stress is one of the major hair loss causes. This apart, other hair loss causes include any chronic illness, major weight loss or weight gain and postpartum hair loss.
Amongst all the types of hair loss, this type means rapid loss of hair in large numbers. Anagen effluvium starts directly from the first stage of the hair’s growth cycle.
What causes anagen effluvium?
The major cause of anagen effluvium is chemotherapy or side effects of any radiation given to cancer patients.
It is a mental disorder that involves recurrent, irresistible urge to pull out hair from your scalp, eyebrows or other areas of your body, despite trying to stop. It can be witnessed among infants, but the peak age at which it generally starts is from the age of 9-13 years.
Trichotillomania is mostly triggered by depression, stress, anxiety and trauma, followed by a sense of relief after you pull your hair.
This is the most common type of hair loss affecting both men and women, but men are more susceptible. It only affects the hair on top of the scalp. Androgenetic alopecia is classified as –
Male-pattern baldness: It affects around 70% men with hair loss beginning any time. Men experience progressive hair loss at their temples and vertex, and many eventually become bald.
Female-pattern baldness: It refers to the thinning of hair due to reduction in the volume or immense hair shedding. This mostly occurs in women during post menopause, when the level of hormones keeps fluctuating. The hair follicles shrink down, further leading to shorter and thinner hair. The follicle is unable to regrow new hair, which leads to baldness.
Causes of androgenetic alopecia
A hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is believed to be the main cause of this type of hair loss in men. This hormone is genetically inherited; however, environmental factors can also slow down hair growth. In women, the causes include hormonal changes, genetics, irregular periods, stress, anaemia, protein deficiency, chronic acne, PCOD, ageing and deficiency of iron and vitamin B.
Also known as ringworm of the hair or ringworm of the scalp, tinea capitis is a fungal infection of the scalp that is common in children. The affected skin on the scalp can be itchy, scaly and inflamed. It is less frequently seen in adults.
Fungi called dermatophytes causes tinea capitis. This fungus needs warmth and moisture and so they survive on sweaty skin. Pets can also spread ringworm.
If you frequently tie tight ponytails, buns or braids, you can suffer from this type of hair loss. These hairstyles pull you hair away from the scalp with such force that your hair is damaged. Traction alopecia can lead to thinning of hair. Changing your hairstyle can help in regrowth of hair.
Wearing a tight headgear on a daily basis.
If you’re looking for homeopathy plan for hair fall, speak with Health Total experts. Call toll-free 1800-891-8131 to book your first FREE Consultation.