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What are the different types of Alopecia?

Balding HeadMost 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

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.

Alopecia Areata

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.

Ciatricial Alopecia

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.

Male and female hair loss TreatmentTraction Alopecia

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.

To find out how we can help re-grow your hair, contact us for a consultation, or fill in our online consultation form for a home-use treatment programme that we can post anywhere in the world.

The Belgravia CentreThe 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.


2nd January, 2017 at 1:08 am

Imtiyaz siddiqui

I am suffering from alopecia aereta from last one month. Need to cure it

11th January, 2017 at 2:01 pm

Sarah Belgravia

Hi Imtiyaz, you can find information on our Alopecia Areata treatment here on our website. If this is of interest, please contact the clinic to make an appointment for a free consultation or if you cannot visit us in London, please complete an online consultation.

17th June, 2017 at 3:13 pm

daniel shalom

my wife has scar alopicia how can she cure it and can she recover and add hair

19th June, 2017 at 10:13 am

Sarah Belgravia

Hi Daniel, there is no cure for scarring alopecia at present. This is because whilst hair loss treatment concentrates on stimulating and nourishing the hair follicles, in cases of scarring alopecia the follicles have been destroyed. Sometimes a hair transplant can work but this is decided very much on a case by case basis.

20th January, 2018 at 8:27 pm


I was told by my dermatologist that i have traction alopecia. What are some things that i can do at home to try and get my hair growing back healthy and strong?

22nd January, 2018 at 4:43 pm

Sarah Belgravia

Hi T, firstly you need to identify the cause of your Traction Alopecia - usually this is frequently wearing tight hairstyles, hair extensions, weaves or a combination of these issues. Stop whatever it is that is causing the issue and wear your hair naturally or, if you absolutely need to, keep it out of your face by using an alice band or soft headband, or tie it back loosely. Traction Alopecia happens when too much strain is placed on the follicles, so the goal is to rest the follicles completely in order to allow them to recover. In cases where they do not get the chance to rest properly, it is possible for them to deteriorate leaving permanent bald patches, often located around the sites of tension and the hairline. If the hair loss is not too severe then the hair should regrow naturally. There is traction alopecia treatment available to help speed up this process and you can find out more via our Traction Alopecia page.

30th January, 2018 at 8:59 am

Jhon Markomt

What about this Hairegen device i have heard about? do you offer this? i have read in many hair forums that it works very well for androgenetic alopecia?

31st January, 2018 at 6:14 pm

Sarah Belgravia

Hi Jhon, this is not a device we have come across nor have we been able to find any clinical trial data on it; furthermore it does not appear to be FDA cleared so we could not recommend this product. We would advise you to contact the manufacturers for information. You may find our hair loss treatment and hair growth booster pages of interest for products we do recommend.

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