Close up of a man with a receding hair line caused by androgenic alopecia

Understanding The Different Kinds of Alopecia

Alopecia can affect people at any age in both men and women, although it’s known to be more common among males. An excessive loss of hair can be caused by many different factors and each has its own treatment plans that are advised. Learn about the various types of alopecia and how to effectively tackle them.

Summary

  1. What Is Androgenetic Alopecia?
  2. What Is Alopecia Areata?
  3. Sudden Hair Loss
  4. Traction Alopecia
  5. How Does Elithair Help with Alopecia?

What is Androgenetic Alopecia?


This genetic cause of alopecia is also known as female pattern baldness/male pattern baldness. The most common cause of hair loss, hereditary alopecia presents itself over time gradually and the pattern can be spotted easily. In female pattern hair loss the hair will thin along the top of the scalp while hair loss in men is indicated by a receding hairline along with bald spots. 

As it is inherited it is important to be aware of any family history of androgenic alopecia to prepare for any treatments that may be needed in the future. The pattern baldness begins to develop after puberty and can continue long into adulthood with up to 50% of men and women experiencing progressive hair loss at some point in their lives. 

Treatments include:

  • Topical Solutions: these include products like minoxidil and finasteride which need to be used consistently to see results 
  • Laser Therapy: helps to promote hair growth at specific wavelengths
  • Hair Transplantation: it is the only permanent solution for androgenetic alopecia.

What Is Alopecia Areata?


Man with alopecia areata on head, Spot Baldness, Hair fall problem

Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease which causes unpredictable hair loss. White blood cells in the body attack hair follicles causing them to diminish and halt hair production. Symptoms of alopecia areata include hair falling out in patches which can happen very suddenly. The hair follicles can become inflamed causing an itching or burning sensation but this usually resolves on its own. 

Studies have shown that genetics can play a part in who has alopecia areata with one in every five people who had the condition also having a family member who suffered from it. Its prevalence can also be connected to other autoimmune disorders within the family including thyroiditis and vitiligo. 

Treating alopecia areata:

  • Corticosteroids: anti-inflammatory medication which can suppress the white blood cells from attacking the hair follicles
  • Topical Treatments: helps to regrow hair but is unable to stop the creation of new bald spots
  • Hair Transplant: depending on the severity of the hair loss a hair transplantation can provide effective and long-lasting results

Alopecia Totalis

This is a more rare form of alopecia areata where all the hair from the scalp is lost. The advanced variant usually presents between the ages of 15 and 30 often affecting those with other autoimmune conditions like diabetes or an overactive thyroid. If the alopecia totalis persists for over 2 years it is less likely that their hair will grow back. 

Treatments for alopecia totalis:

  • Those that work for alopecia areata are not as effective here
  • Pulse Steroid Therapy: has shown positive results as it causes an allergic reaction to promote hair growth.

Alopecia Universalis

Here a complete loss of hair all over the body is experienced. This includes eyebrows, eyelashes, facial and body hair. The immune system disorder can begin as alopecia areata and develop further from there. If the inflammation of the hair follicles persists for too long it can result in scarring which completely prevents any future hair growth. 

Treatments for people with alopecia universalis: 

  • Those that work for alopecia areata are not as effective here, must be detected earlier for effective treatment
  • Ultraviolet Light Therapy: can aid in hair growth by aiding blood circulation and activating hair follicles

The Sudden Hair Loss explained


Telogen Effluvium

The first type of sudden hair loss is known as telogen effluvium. Hair can temporarily fall out for several reasons including stress, a traumatic incident, nutrient deficiencies or following childbirth. With this hair loss where there would usually be a majority of anagen or growth hairs on the scalp, the follicles are pushed into the telogen (resting) phase causing hair fall. 

Hair begins to fall out usually 2-4 months after the inciting event that caused the loss. The hair often grows back on its own but some treatments can be used to aid in hair growth:

  • Topical Solutions: can help to bridge the gap between hair loss and regrowth
  • Nutrient deficiencies: can be detected by seeking medical advice with a blood test
  • Reducing stress: can help with regrowing hair if it is the cause.

Anagen Effluvium

The second type of sudden hair loss is known as anagen effluvium. This is most often seen in cancer patients who are undergoing rigorous treatments and lose their hair as one of the side effects of the medication. The hair loss here happens much quicker and can cause a complete loss of hair. 

The fallen hair can be differentiated from telogen effluvium as the follicles here have a different root end that does not have a bulb of keratin attached to it. 

Treatment options:

  • Topical Solutions: can help with hair regrowth
  • Scalp Cooling: used during chemotherapy it can help to reduce or prevent dramatic hair loss.

What Is Traction Alopecia


a black woman with braids suffering from traction alopecia

This type of alopecia is caused by tension in the hair as seen with people who wear tight hairstyles. As the hair is pulled or stretched through repeated wearing of tight buns, dreadlocks or hair extensions it becomes loosened and more prone to falling out. 

Treatments:

  • Changing Hairstyle: can help to reverse this type of hair loss.
  • Supplements containing biotin: can help with hair health and growth
  • Hair Transplant Surgery: may be necessary in severe cases to replace the lost hairs.

Cicatricial Alopecia

Another type of hair loss resulting from tight hairstyles is cicatricial alopecia. Here scarring results from inflammation prevents future hair growth in the affected areas. There can be a warm sensation as a result of this along with itching. It can often appear in people who have a history of wearing tight hairstyles. 

Treatments: 

  • Oral or Topical Medications: can help but it needs to be diagnosed early on for them to be effective before any long term damage is done.
  • Hair Transplant: can help to cover bald patches as a result of cicatricial alopecia but again needs to be caught early.

How Does Elithair Help with Alopecia?


At Elithair our specialists are on hand to provide a free consultation in order to see what the best treatment is for your specific hair loss.

By using the innovative Elit Skala Scale we can determine the level of hair loss and suggest the optimal hair transplantation procedure.

At our clinic you’ll experience the most cutting-edge techniques performed by leading experts to achieve a result that you can enjoy for years to come.

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