Most people associate hair disease with hair loss; however, there are a number of other hair diseases that do not result in hair loss. Hair diseases may affect the scalp or follicles. One such category of diseases are those associated with hair shaft abnormalities. Some of these conditions are congenital, meaning you inherit them, in this case they are evident at birth. Some may be acquired and caused by chemicals, products, as the result of other medical condition or from dietary deficiencies. If there is any good news associated with hair shaft diseases, it would be that the defects are not common and only account for approximately 1% of all hair disorders, according to the North American Hair Research Society(NAHRS).

The Difference between Hair Follicle and Hair Shaft

The hair follicle is the point at which your hair grows. The hair shaft is the part of the hair seen above the skin (your scalp). The hair shaft is the only part of the hair follicle to exit the surface of the skin. There are three layers that make up a hair shaft. The cuticle, which is the outer layer. It forms the surface of the hair and is what you see as the hair that emerges from your head. The middle layer called the cortex. This is what gives your hair its strength and accounts for most of the pigment, i.e. color of your natural hair. The inner most layer is called the medulla. Other names associate with this section are pith or marrow. In fine or very fine hair, this section may be missing.

The Different Types of Hair Fiber Diseases

Sometimes the damage to your hair fiber is the result of the hair being improperly formed by the hair follicles. Other times the condition is caused by physical damage to the hair fiber. Here are a few of the more common types of the hair shaft defects. Loose anagen syndrome: Consider to be a benign condition that typically affects children. Commonly found in fair-haired children, it is thought to be a genetic disorder. Loose anagen syndrome usually appears between the ages of 2 and 5. Symptoms include very fine, short hair that falls out or can be pulled out easily. Monilethrix: This is caused by a genetic mutation in one of several genes. This condition affects hair growth and is characterized by its beaded appearance on the individual hair strands. Some people with monilethrix will inherit the condition, while for others will get it as the result of a gene mutation. Over-processed hair: This condition is the result of damage to the hair follicles through coloring, chemicals (permanent waves, relaxers, etc.) or excessive heating. Symptoms involve split ends, and hair that is dry, brittle and breaks easily. Trichorrhexisnodosa(also called trichonodosis): A condition in which points along the hair shaft are weakened causing the hair to break off. The cause can be genetic (you inherit it), environmental (over processed hair) or from medical disorders (such as hypothyroidism, Menke’s disease, argininosuccinicaciduria, ectodermal dyspalsia, Netherton syndrome, or trichothiodystrophy.

Finding Answers

We encourage you to find out more about the variety of options available to treat hair loss in men and women. If you're concerned about your thinning hair or hair loss, it's important to consult with an experienced hair restoration professional. To learn more about treating hair loss and regrowth treatment options or to consult with a Capillus specialist in your area click here or call Capillus for more information at (786) 888 6249 or Toll-Free at 1 (888) 272-9599.