What Types of Hair Loss Exist?

You’ve probably heard of male-pattern baldness, but do you know the full scope of hair loss conditions that millions of Americans deal with daily? Contrary to popular belief, all types of hair loss are different. Causes, symptoms and treatments vary widely depending on particular conditions, although a diminished sense of confidence and self-esteem are typical among every hair loss sufferer. Consider the four major types of hair loss and the associated medical classification:

Patterned Baldness

Both men and women are subject to pattern baldness. Both cases fall under the umbrella condition of androgenic alopecia. These conditions are highly common, affecting millions of Americans per year. Both male and female pattern baldness are linked to genetics, but the signs vary between genders. Male pattern baldness most often occurs on the top and front of the head. For women, pattern baldness starts as a widening part and ultimately results in thinning at the crown of the head. Men may see a receding hair line while women experience larger loss further up the scalp. In either case, dihydrotestosterone (DHT) shrinks hair follicles, making it difficult for healthy hair to last. Both men and women have DHT in their bodies, although males have significantly higher levels of the hormone which is why male-patterned baldness is more common.

Diffuse Thinning

Telogen effluvium is (TE) is the second most frequent form of hair loss, according to the American Hair Loss Association. TE is not as researched or understood as other hair loss conditions, but experts have found that TE develops from internal shock. Essentially, outside factors – frequently stress – shock the follicle into a resting state. From there, hair cannot continue its normal growth pattern. Typically, TE occurs fast. Symptoms showcase a few months after the emotional or physical shock occurs. When shock is short-lived, growth usually returns to its normal state within six months to a year. However, TE can also manifest slowly as a long-term condition. With consistent shock, more follicles enter the telogen state which leads to progressive, continued thinning and baldness. TE is strongly associated with chronic illness, childbirth (postpartum alopecia), vaccinations, extreme caloric restrictions and physical injury.

Physical Trauma

Traction alopecia is hair loss caused by traction to the scalp. Excessive and continued pulling from tight hairstyles are frequently the culprit behind traction alopecia conditions. Trichotillomania is similar to traction alopecia, but is caused by the individual actively pulling hairs from the body. Trichotillomania is considered a mental health condition related to stress, anxiety and depression, while traction alopecia is an unintended side effect of damaging haircare.

Sudden, Prominent Balding

Alopecia areata is commonly referred to as “alopecia.” According to the American Hair Loss Association, alopecia areata is likely the third most common form of hair loss, affecting nearly 2 percent of individuals. Alopecia areata is considered an autoimmune disease where an individual’s immune system mistakenly targets the hair follicles, assuming they are a threat to health. Alopecia areata often forms in patches with sudden onset in sometimes just a few days. Alopecia totalis is an entire loss of hair, affecting the scalp, eyebrows, eyelashes, facial hair and body. Unlike other hair loss remedies, low-level laser therapy is suitable for all adults. In fact, Capillus caps have been cleared by the FDA for the promotion of hair growth in both men and women. No matter your condition, LLLT actively targets and nourishes follicles to aid with growth. Visit our product page to learn about specific Capillus products, and find an LLLT cap that best suits your personal needs.

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