The 4 Most Common Hair Loss Conditions

Ludwig ClassificationHair loss conditions do not discriminate. Despite how often we hear about male pattern baldness, women account for 40 percent of cases. Overall, 3 million Americans suffer from androgenetic alopecia, or hereditary hair loss, annually.

According to the American Hair Loss Association, approximately 95 percent of men’s hair loss is due to male pattern baldness, and 25 percent see symptoms before they reach 21-years-old.¹ Two-thirds of men experience some degree of loss by the age of 35. And by the time they hit 50, 85 percent of men see significant thinning related to androgenetic alopecia.

Meanwhile, half of all women experience thinning or shedding by the time they reach 50-years-old, per the North American Hair Research Society.² While female pattern hair loss (FHPL) can begin any time after puberty, most women either see thinning in their teens and 20s or in their 40s and 50s.

The medical community continues to work toward cutting edge treatments that satisfy each of the leading hair loss conditions, but it’s important to remember how much these disorders vary. Not only are men and women affected differently, but another three major hair loss conditions exist beyond androgenetic alopecia.

Alopecia Areata

Around 200,000 cases of alopecia areata are diagnosed per year. Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder characterized as sudden bald patches that appear almost overnight, sometimes resulting in complete bodily hair loss. Although there is no cure for alopecia areata, patients are wise to address any underlying conditions related to their immune systems. Topical treatments can also help alleviate some of the hair loss associated with alopecia.

Telogen Effluvium

Another leading hair loss type is telogen effluvium (TE), or stress-induced hair loss, which affects around 200,000 people in the United States per year alone. After a strenuous life event, hair follicles react to external strain by going into shock. While normal hairs enter their active and resting phase on a continuous cycle, patients with telogen effluvium have follicles pushed into their resting state prematurely. A few weeks or months later, patients may notice their hair falling out in clumps because the follicles aren’t active to reproduce recurrently lost hairs. Fortunately, telogen effluvium is a reversible condition that rarely requires aggressive medical intervention. However, TE can become a chronic ailment if the underlying causes of stress aren’t addressed properly. Chronic telogen effluvium most often affects women between 30- and 60-years old, per the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology.³ However, patients rarely see total hair loss during these fluctuating periods of on-and-off symptoms.

Traction Alopecia

Traction alopecia occurs when hairs are externally pulled out of the follicle from tight hairstyles or as an active response to anxiety or depression. Cornrows, tight braids and hair pieces can trigger traction alopecia symptoms, which then subside when hair is loosened and follicles begin to heal. For individuals suffering with mental disorders such as depression, a combination of therapy and counseling can provide a new outlet to minimize purposeful traction alopecia and other self-harm behaviors.

If you are experiencing symptoms of hair loss beyond the normal 50 to 100 strands per day, it’s time to contact a hair restoration specialist. At your consultation, Dr. Paul Rose and Dr. Bernard Nusbaum of the renowned Hair Transplant Institute of Miami will examine you for the common hair loss conditions. From there, we discuss possible underlying causes and recommend treatment, if necessary. As a leading hair loss clinic, we pride ourselves on active listening, open communication and optimal treatment plans. Call us today at 305-925-0222 to schedule your appointment.

¹ http://www.americanhairloss.org/men_hair_loss/

² http://www.nahrs.org/PatientInformation(FAQs)/FemalePatternHairLoss(FAQ).aspx

³ http://www.aocd.org/?page=TelogenEffluviumHA