Most people are aware of the term alopecia which is a generic label for any form of hair loss. But do you know all the different forms that alopecia can take? Below is a summary of some well-known and less well-known conditions.
More commonly known as male pattern baldness, this condition is caused by a genetic sensitivity to the hormone Dihydrotestosterone (DHT). It will affect most men at some point during their lives and can start as early as the teens or 20s. By the age of 35, 2 in 5 men will have the condition, rising to two-thirds by the age of 60. Androgenetic Alopecia can affect women too, and is called Female Pattern Hair Loss. In women, it tends to appear as an all-over thinning rather than baldness, though some women can go bald. If spotted early enough it can be successfully managed using proven hair loss treatments.
This condition is caused by an autoimmune disorder and is characterised by a small bald patches on the scalp which often grow into larger patches. The hair loss can occur suddenly and this can be highly distressing for sufferers. For some people the hair will re-grow, and for others it will not. At present there is no way to tell if or when the hair will re-grow. For about 20% of sufferers there is a genetic link however the condition is not fully understood. At Belgravia, we have had success treating people with mild Alopecia Areata.
A severe form of Alopecia Areata which leads to total loss of hair on the head and face – the person will lose hair on the scalp as well as the eyebrows and eyelashes and men will lose their beard hair. Re-growth is very rare.
The most severe form of Alopecia Areata which causes total loss of scalp and body hair – again re-growth is very rare. It is believed that this condition might be caused by a severe shock or accident.
This is hair loss caused by excessive tension being placed on the hair. Factors that cause that tension include the wearing of wigs, extensions, tight ponytails and weaving. Once diagnosed, if the hair is allowed to recover and given a break from styling aids, it often re-grows on its own. In some cases, hair loss treatments can help to boost the growth cycle.
Diffuse Hair Loss
This is a condition that affects women. It usually presents as hair loss from the centre of the crown and gradually spreads across the whole of the scalp. There is usually no itching or scaling present and it has a number of possible causes that include hormonal, haemoglobin or thyroid problems. It is important to seek medical help to treat the underlying causes. A hair loss treatment programme can help restore the hair while the underlying cause is being resolved.
A sudden ‘shock to the sytem’ can lead to the onset of Telogen Effluvium. Childbirth, certain medications, rapid weight loss and severe emotional stress can cause certain hair follicles to prematurely stop growing and enter the telogen (resting) phase. The follicles stay in this phase for 3 months after which time they will shed. Often the person will have recovered from the event before the hair loss occurs. This is usually a temporary condition however in some cases, a hair loss treatment may promote hair growth while the body is returning to a healthy equilibrium.
This is baldness due to scarring which could be a result of wounds, burns or infection. Some chemicals used by hairstylists can be highly alkaline and burn the skin. As hair follicles are not present in scar tissue, once the skin has been damaged, the hair cannot re-grow in that area.
Congenital baldness or baldness at birth.
Hair loss due to inflammation of hair follicles.
Baldness following a nervous disorder or injury to the nervous system.
Hair loss that is a result of pulling out one’s own hair. As this is a psychological issue – the hair loss can only be stabilized if the person seeks to resolve the issue causing them to pull their hair out. A hair loss treatment can support the hair growth cycle while the underlying issue is being resolved. In young children it often occurs after the birth of a new child, to get the attention of the parents. In adults, if the issue is not addressed, it can lead to large areas of baldness. In some cases psychiatric care may be required.
All types of hair loss can be distressing but the good news is that some conditions are temporary and the hair will re-grow on its own, and for those conditions that are permanent, there are proven hair loss treatments that can help. If you notice any hair loss or thinning, it is important to get an accurate diagnosis. A hair loss specialist is the best informed person you could see. At Belgravia we offer a free consultation for clients. To book an appointment, please call 020 77300 6666 or message the centre. If you are unable to visit the clinic, please complete the online diagnostic form. This will be received by the clinic instantly and a treatment advisor will contact you to discuss treatment options.