Alopecia (Hair Loss): Types, Causes & Management Options

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Almost 80% of male pattern baldness in India is related to testosterone and testosterone derivative DHT issues.

Highlights

  • Alopecia is a medical term for hair loss.
  • 12% of women 20 to 29 years of age experience hair loss.
  • Genetic or hereditary factors are the key reasons for hair loss.
  • With the latest advancement in technology, our doctors can cure even critical cases of hair loss.

What Is Alopecia?

Alopecia, also called Alopecia Areata, is a chronic and immune-mediated skin disease that causes sudden hair loss on your scalp, beard, body, eyebrows, and eyelashes. It can also be addressed as bald patches or spots. The patchy hair loss is unpredictable as the hair growth can become normal at any time and then hair starts falling again. The affected parts show no signs of inflammation or other reasons for hair fall. 

The hair loss patches may be coin-sized or include the affected part. The most common signs of alopecia areata are localized bald spots, mostly on the beard or scalp. If your scalp loses all the hair, the condition is known as alopecia totalis. If the hair on both your scalp and body is involved, it is known as Alopecia Universalis.

Androgenetic alopecia or patterned hair loss is the most common form of hair loss, which develops slowly with time. Hair loss can affect people of all ages. However, Androgenetic alopecia can affect people in their early 20s and 30s.

Types Of Hair Loss:

Here are some common types of alopecia:

  • Androgenic Alopecia

It is also known as male or female pattern hair loss and is common for both men and women. If you are a woman, Androgenic Alopecia can thin your hair. However, your hairline doesn’t get affected and you are u likely to get fully bald. Women tend to notice a widening of their part.

This hair loss condition often causes partial or full baldness if you are a man. Your environment and genes tend to play crucial roles in causing androgenic alopecia. At Clinic Next Face, we use laser technology to stimulate your scalp and hair follicles that promote blood flow and hair growth. 

  • Alopecia Areata

Alopecia Areata is also called patchy baldness. The bald patches can occur on any body part. However, many people get an oval or round patch on their scalp. It is a  type of autoimmune disease where your immune system attacks your hair follicles. Your hair may grow back itself without treatment and may fall out again. Our dermatologist may ask you to wait and see if your hair regrows before prescribing a treatment.

You can apply medications to your bald patch. Take steroid shots that our dermatologist recommends. Apply chemicals that our dermatologist suggests on your scalp to control excessive hair loss, also known as topical immunotherapy. 

  • Alopecia Totalis

It is a form of alopecia areata that loses all the hair on your scalp.  When alopecia totalis gets severe, immunosuppressive therapy, like methotrexate or prednisone may help. 

  • Traction Alopecia

Putting stress on hair by repeated pulling or stretching may cause traction alopecia. The consistent pulling may damage your hair follicles and cause permanent hair loss. Hair transplantation is an effective medical treatment for chronic cases. You should modify hairstyles to prevent the intensification of traction alopecia.

  • Cicatricial Alopecia

It is a “scarring” type of alopecia and involves inflammation, which damages hair follicles. The scar tissue replaces destroyed follicles which causes permanent hair loss in that part. The condition may cause symptoms, such as itching, heat sensation, and pain.

Pathophysiology:

Hair loss is the outcome of an erupting hair growth cycle. Hair grows in the phases below:

 

  • Anagen or active growth (2 to 7 weeks)

  • Catagen or transition (1 to 2 weeks)

  • Telogen or resting (5 to 12 weeks)

9 to 10% of the hair on average is in the telogen phase on a healthy hair scalp. Androgenetic alopecia involves progressive miniaturization or thinning of the hair, which increases scalp visibility. The anagen phase reduces, and the telogen phase increases. Then, the hair sheds and causes hair loss.

Causes of Alopecia:

Many factors can cause alopecia or hair loss. Find them below: 

  • High-Tension Hairstyles and Chemical Treatments: Tight ponytails and other high-tension hairstyles can cause traction of hair follicles and hair loss. Chemical treatments involving the use of dye, color, and bleach may cause temporary hair loss. 

  • Medication: The chemotherapy used to cure cancer causes hair loss as a side effect. 

  • Improper Lifestyle: Poor lifestyle habits, unhealthy diet, nutritional deficiencies, and stress can cause hair loss. 

  • Heredity : A positive family history can increase your chances of having androgenetic alopecia. Men may see bald patches or a degrading hairline. Women may notice thinning of hair at the parting and more scalp visibility.

  • Hormonal Imbalance: Hormonal changes during menopause or pregnancy cause hair loss in women. Plus, hormonal changes because of the consumption of birth control pills, childbirth and hysterectomy can cause hair loss due to the decrease in the anagen phase. Insulin resistance can also result in hair loss. Men may also lose their hair because of hormonal imbalance.

  • Other Causes: Alopecia has some other less-known causes, such as chronic illnesses related to thyroid disorders, lupus, and Polycystic Ovarian Disease (PCOD). Crash diets, rapid weight loss, hair pulling, scalp pulling, infections, hair cosmetics, allergies to hair dyes, hair cosmetics, and disorders like Psoriasis or Seborrheic Dermatitis of the scalp may cause acute hair loss.

Signs And Symptoms:

  • Consistent and excessive hair loss
  • Hair thinning in the crown area
  • The appearance of mostly circular bald patches
  • Hair loss because of fungal scalp infection with itching or pain 
  • Patchy hair growth.
  • M letter type receding hairline

Diagnosis:

At Clinic Next Face, our trichologists diagnose your hair loss depending on medical history, trichoscopy, and a thorough physical examination. We may suggest a biopsy to determine the cause of excessive hair loss and find the perfect treatment option.

Are You At Risk?

Men with a family history of hair loss tend to suffer from alopecia. Women suffering from hormonal imbalances because of menopause, pregnancy, PCOD, and taking birth control pills may have acute hair loss.

Prevention And Management:

Here are some of the tips to prevent and manage hair loss:

  • Follow a healthy hair care routine and apply a mild shampoo two to three times a week to clean your hair. Choose the frequency of shampooing depending on your hair type and its exposure to dust and pollution. 
  • Eat healthy food rich in vital nutrients and vitamins such as iron, protein, vitamin B12, Vitamin D, and Vitamin E.
  • Exercise, meditate, and practice yoga every day to start stress-free.
  • Don’t try tight hairstyles and use harsh chemical hair products and heat styling tools, like straighteners.
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Self-care may help in controlling the hair loss issue temporarily, but it can’t be an effective long-term solution.

 

Treatment Options Available At Clinic Next Face:

Once you reach out to Clinic Next Face to cure alopecia, you can get the most advanced treatment. Here are the best alopecia treatment options:

    • Hair Transplantation
    • Hair Regrowth Treatment
    • Oral medication
    • Topical medication
    • Foliboost Treatment

Prognosis:

One may reverse hair loss when caused by an underlying medical condition. On the other hand, hereditary hair loss is challenging to treat and requires advanced aesthetic procedures. The earlier the treatment starts, the better are the chances to revive the lost hair. The safest approach is to consult a dermatologist and explore your options. Diagnosing the cause of hair loss plays a critical role in determining the treatment plan.

Our specialists will revert to answer all your queries.

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