Types of Hair Loss and Scalp Diseases
The following is a list of different types of hair loss and scalp diseases clients may experience.
Female Pattern Hair Loss
This type of hair loss is also called Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA).
It can begin in the middle part of the hair and gradually spread out; we call this the 'Christmas Tree" effect.
It can also begin in the temple areas; you will start to notice that the hair in the temples gradually gets thinner and begins to move back.
Male Pattern Hair Loss
This type of hair loss is also referred to as Androgenetic Alopecia; for most men, it begins in the temple areas. They will notice their crown thinning followed by the center of their hair in-between the temples, and gradually these thinning areas grow larger and eventually join together, leaving men with no hair on the crown. Signs of Male Pattern Hair Loss can begin in teenage years but are most commonly spotted in their 30s. It is caused by the miniaturization of the follicle.
Miniaturization occurs due to a hormone called DHT, DHT is the by-product of testosterone and an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase, causing the hair to become smaller and weaker.
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder that causes your hair to come out, often in clumps the size and shape of a quarter. The amount of hair loss is different in everyone. Some people lose it only in a few spots. Others lose a lot. Sometimes, hair grows back but falls out again later. In others, hair grows back for good.
There are different types of this condition. Alopecia areata is most common in its main form, but there are other, more rare types:
- Alopecia areata totalis means you’ve lost all the hair on your head.
- Alopecia areata universalis is the loss of hair over your entire body.
- Diffuse alopecia areata is a sudden thinning of your hair in patches rather than lost patches.
- Ophiasis alopecia areata causes hair loss in a band shape around the sides and back of your head.
This type of hair loss often occurs when people are going through a stressful time in their life, medication introductions, or adjustments or after surgery. Typically it lasts less than six months; however, chronic telogen effluvium can last years and, if not treated, can become permanent.
Anagen Effluvium (Chemotherapy-Induced Hair Loss)
Anagen Effluvium is the sudden fallout of hair during the growing phase. This typically is the result of medications related to chemotherapy. It is important to hydrate and stimulate the scalp through massage during this time to ensure health and efficient hair growth once treatments are complete.
Trichotillomania is a condition in which the person involved has a compulsive habit of pulling their hair. Some find great comfort in it, while others are unaware that they are doing it. It often provides great relief to the individual but can cause permanent hair loss. The pulling can break and fracture the hair strands, and in severe cases where the root is extracted, the follicle can become permanently damaged, unable to regrow hair. Seeking the advice of a medical doctor, psychologist and Trichologist is often recommended.
Traction Alopecia occurs typically from over styling of the hair. When there is a substantial amount of pulling, from tight braids, ponytails, or improperly placed extensions, the result is damaged follicles, and if not corrected, this condition can cause permanent hair loss. We suggest exploring gentler styling techniques and seeking the advice of a Trichologist to assess the extent of the damage and treatment options.
Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia (CCCA)
CCCA is a type of hair loss that is common in African American women as a result of years of over styling. Often occurring in the center of the head, the hair itself has been broken repeatedly, and the damage continues down into the hair shaft causing permanent damage. Gentler styling techniques are highly recommended, and seeking the advice of a Trichologist to assess the extent of damage is recommended.
Lichen planus is a common autoimmune disease that causes inflammation (swelling, shiny, glossy red and irritation) on your skin, scalp or inside your mouth.
Inflammatory scarring type of hair loss that occurs as patchy hair loss on the scalp. Scaling and redness can occur around the follicle, and symptoms include burning, itching, and often pain or tenderness.
Folliculitis decalvans is a form of alopecia (hair loss) that involves scarring. It is characterised by redness and swelling and pustules around the hair follicle (folliculitis) that leads to destruction of the follicle and consequent permanent hair loss. Folliculitis decalvans is one cause of cicatricial alopecia (baldness with scarring) and is sometimes known as tufted folliculitis.
Folliculitis decalvans affects both men and women and may start first during adolescence or at any time in adult life. The exact cause is unknown. In most cases Staphylococcus aureus can be isolated from the pustules but the role of the bacteria is not clear.
Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia
Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia is becoming more and more common. It's when the front hairline (typically in women) loses most, or all of the hair, and the forehead
is extended. This is typically a scarring type of hair loss. However, there are solutions to manage it.
What diseases affect the scalp?
The most common are:
- Dandruff (pityriasis capitis)
- Seborrheic dermatitis
- Pityriasis amiantacea
- Seborrheic keratosis (common in elders)
- Lichen simplex