When hair loss starts it can be traumatic for men or woman and the initial thought is to look for a permanent solution, or sometimes what seems to be the easiest solution; but the first step should be to deduce the cause of the hair loss and then find the correct treatment method
There are a variety of hair loss conditions from genetic, chemical, stress induced, traction to name a few; in some cases it may be possible to reverse the hair loss with the correct treatment programme but results will vary from person to person; the most common form of hair loss is androgenic alopecia, or male/female pattern baldness
Male or female pattern baldness MPB and FPB
Technically known as androgenic alopecia, a genetic condition that both men and woman can suffer from; the extent of the hair loss will vary from person to person.
Hair loss can start in the late teens and continue through life; MPB pattern normally starts with the hair line and recedes back over the top of the head and in advanced stages only leave a band of hair around the sides and back of the head; categorised on the Norwood Scale
FPB normally leaves a different pattern of loss, the hair line can remain intact but the hair behind thins out to leave a coverage but lower density exposing the scalp; this is categorised on a scale called the Ludwig Scale
A gene is triggered that causes each follicular unit to atrophy, over time each new hair becomes miniaturised, finer, thinner smaller until eventually the follicular unit ceases to reproduce new hairs
Genetic hair loss can be treated to a degree, hair loss treatments, surgical and non-surgical options are available to the right candidate
This is also a common form of hair loss that many will suffer from over some time in their life. The excessive shedding of hair generally over a relatively short period of time, weeks or months
This can be triggered for different reasons; stress, illness, child birth, a fever, even sudden weight loss. The growth phase of the hairs stops and the follicle goes into the resting phase, telogen phase
For some and dependent on the severity the hair loss can totally regrow over a period of time and back to the individuals normal head of hair
This can occur at almost any age, from being a child to later in life, the pattern of loss can be discriminate over any area of the scalp, the top, sides or back are not immune from alopecia areata
AA manifests itself with patches of hair loss, sometimes just the one but numerous patches can appear over the scalp, even the beard and eyebrows, arms and legs; the skin pigment is often left a pinkish colour, slightly different from normal
It is considered to be caused by an interruption in the autoimmune system; the body attacks the follicular units and shuts the reproduction of hairs down in a random pattern
The patches can regrow back on their own, but others can open in other areas of the head or body; there is no FDA approved treatment for this hair loss condition and the longer the condition is apparent the less likely the hair will regrow
Traction alopecia and Trichotillomania
Either condition revolves around tension or pressure but on the hair shaft that can pull the hair from the scalp; traction alopecia can be created by certain hair styles that keep the pressure on the hair shaft, tight braids, pony tails. The hair generally becomes finer and shorter before it stops regrowing
Trichotillomania is self-induced hair loss, deliberately pulling out the hair until it again becomes finer and eventually stops regrowing; this can also in some cases affect the skin quality in the area. It is a psychological disorder seen most frequently in children.
Hair loss can also occur due to pressure on hair because of particular hairstyles causing small, localized areas of hair loss. This type of hair loss is called Traction alopecia.
The most common is probably induced by cancer treatments, chemo therapy; the treatment can cause total hair loss in some individuals. Over time after the treatment has finalised it is common that the hair growth gradually returns; this can take time and often the hair grows back finer initially and slowly return to the normal calibre
As there are so many causes of hair loss and many hair loss treatments it is important to professionally diagnose the cause prior to any treatment programme. Not all treatment programmes will help certain hair loss conditions