Most people are by now familiar with the term Alopecia, after numerous reports in the press about celebrities who are suffering from hair loss.
Alopecia is the Latin word for hair loss, and the term encompasses a range of conditions. Here we take a look at the most common types of Alopecia.
Androgenic Alopecia is the scientific name for the genetic hair loss conditions Male Pattern Baldness and Female Pattern Hair Loss. It is the most common form of hair loss, and affects many individuals at some point in their lives, sometimes as early as the late teens or early twenties.
The condition is caused when enzymes in the body begin turning the hormone testosterone into its derivative, dihydrotestosterone, which has the effect of shrinking the hair follicles. A tendency for Androgenetic Alopecia can be passed down through the genes on either the paternal or maternal side.
This is the type of hair loss most commonly associated with the term ‘Alopecia’ in media reports. Alopecia Areata usually presents itself as patchy hair loss on the scalp, and is an autoimmune disorder which causes the body’s own immune system to attack healthy hair follicles. The exact causes of the condition remain unknown, but it is widely thought to be triggered by stress and traumatic events.
Alopecia Totalis and Alopecia Universalis
In some cases, Alopecia Areata can progress to the entire scalp. This is known as Alopecia Totalis. At its most extreme the hair loss can occur across the entire body, including eyebrows. Little Britain co-creator Matt Lucas suffers from this type of hair loss, which is known as Alopecia Universalis.
Also known as Scarring Alopecia, the condition Cicatricial Alopecia is a type of hair loss in which hair follicles are destroyed and replaced by scar tissue. There are two types of Cicatricial Alopecia- primary and secondary. In the case of Primary Cicatricial Alopecia, the hair loss is caused directly by inflammation of the hair follicles, the causes of which are little understood. Secondary Cicatricial Alopecia, meanwhile, refers to scarring hair loss which occurs as a result of an event or process unrelated to the follicles, such as burns or infections.
Traction Alopecia differs from other types of Alopecia in that it is usually caused directly by the actions of the individual which result in excessive tension on the hair and breakage. Certain hair styles, such as braiding and tight ponytails are common causes of Traction Alopecia. It can also be caused by repeated treatments with chemicals, such as hair colouring and bleaching.
Treatment for Alopecia and other hair loss conditions
Identifying the type of hair loss you are suffering from is the first step to seeking treatment. Many of the conditions discussed here can be treated, and the hair loss experts at The Belgravia Centre have successfully treated many cases.
For more information about hair loss conditions and the treatments we offer, please have a look at the before and during treatment photos featured in our Success Stories.
The Belgravia Centre
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.