Guide to Hair Loss Conditions – Diagnose Yourself

If you are experiencing hair loss and are not sure what is causing it, browse our hair loss conditions section below, in order to identify your problem. We provide you with descriptions of most hair loss conditions and photos so that you are able to have an idea of your diagnosis in order to understand the cause of your problem and determine the best solution. Click on the links for more details of your hair loss condition, including whether or not it can be treated and how successful treatment is likely to be.

Male Pattern Baldness

Male Pattern Baldness is the most common form of hair loss in men, and one of the most successfully treatable hair loss conditions. Male hair loss only affects areas at the top of the head, and the classic signs of Male Pattern Baldness can include some or all of the following:

  • vertex thinning (losing hair from the top of the head)
  • a thinning crown
  • a receding hairline including around the temples (this can make the hairline take on an ‘M’ shape)

Male Pattern Hair Loss

male pattern baldness

Female Pattern Hair Loss

Female Pattern Hair Loss is a common form of hair loss in women, causing thinning on the top of the scalp. There are a number of signs of female pattern hair loss and sufferers may display any or all of the following symptoms:

  • vertex thinning (general thinning of the hair on the top of the head)
  • a receding hairline (thinning of the hair around the temples)
  • a thinning crown

Female Hair Loss


Alopecia Areata

Alopecia Areata hair loss characterised by sudden bald patches. In extreme cases the condition can spread to total hair loss of the scalp or body. Signs to look for when diagnosing Alopecia Areata include patchy hair loss that:

  • is often circular in shape
  • can appear anywhere on the head
  • may also affect areas of the body, in addition to the head

Alopecia Areata

Alopecia areata

Alopecia Totalis

Alopecia Totalis is an autoimmune condition which causes hairloss by turning your immune system against your hair follicles. Signs of Alopecia Totalis include:

  • total hair loss from all over the scalp
  • other facial hair, such as eyebrows and eyelashes falling out
  • nails becoming brittle, thin and ridged

Alopecia Totalis


Alopecia Universalis

Alopecia Universalis is the rarest and most extreme type of Alopecia. It differs from Alopecia Areata and Alopecia Totalis in the following ways:

  • causes a total loss of hair on the head and the body
  • damages and distorts the nails
  • those affected have a genetic mutation that is present from birth but the condition may not display until later in life

Alopecia Universalis


Telogen Effluvium

Telogen Effluvium is hair loss that is usually caused by stress or shock. Hair loss will take place around three months after the event that caused it. Signs of Telogen Effluvium include:

  • increased shedding following severe stress or shock
  • thinning hair
  • patches of affected hair (the condition may not necessarily affect the whole scalp)

Telogen Effluvium


Diffuse Hair Loss | Chronic Telogen Effluvium

Diffuse Hair Loss, also known as Chronic Telogen Effluvium, causes evenly spread thinning over the top and sides of the scalp. In most cases the condition affects women, and signs include:

  • excessive shedding
  • general, overall hair thinning
  • thinning hair that affects the whole head equally

Diffuse Thinning


Traction Alopecia

Traction Alopecia is a hair loss condition caused by excessive strain on the hair shafts causing damage to the hair follicles. The condition can be caused by tight cornrows or hair extensions, and often displays as:

  • hair loss concentrated around the hairline and temples
  • patchy hair loss in other areas affected by weighty hair extensions, tight braids or buns
  • ‘fluffy’ hair in the receding areas

Traction Alopecia



Trichotillomania is a self-inflicted hair loss condition which sees those affected demonstrate the following behaviours in an obsessive manner:

  • tug on their hair
  • twist their hair
  • pull their hair out

Trichotillomania Hair Loss


Follicular Degeneration Syndrome

Follicular Degeneration Syndrome (FDG) is a form of scarring alopecia which is also known as Central Progressive Alopecia and Hot Comb Alopecia. The signs of FDG include:

  • firstly displaying as a well-defined patch of diffuse hair loss
  • the original patch of hair loss extending centrifugally from the scalp vertex
  • the areas affected by this diffuse hair loss may gradually expand over time

Follicular Degeneration Sydrome



Pseudopelade is an extremely rare hair loss condition, also known as Alopecia Cicatrisata, which is mostly prevalent in women and sometimes children, although it can also develop in men. It is characterised by:

  • the development of well-defined patches of hair loss
  • patchy hair loss may deteriorate to near total scalp hair loss with individual surviving hairs
  • its longevity – Pseudopelade is a long-lasting condition




Lupus is a rare chronic disease manifested by inflammation of multiple organ systems including the joints, skin, kidneys, heart, lungs, blood vessels and brain. The condition can also cause hair loss. Signs of Lupus include:

  • facial rashes, often in a ‘butterfly’ shape across the nose and cheeks
  • rashes, bruising, hives, blisters or ulcers in other parts of the body
  • diffuse hair loss

Hair Loss Caused By Lupus