Male Hair Loss in Sydney

What are the different types of hair loss?

Types of hair loss

Hair loss, also known as alopecia, is a common disorder amongst men and women pertaining to a dysfunction in the usual hair cycle. This can occur on any surface of the body that grows hair however this condition is usually experienced on the scalp.

There are three stages to every one hair cycle, the first of which is known as the anagen phase. This phase is the longest and involves hair growth from the follicle over the course of many years. Following this is the catagen phase in which the outer sheath of the root shrinks and binds to the hair, and actively separates from the follicle itself. Approximately 3% of total hairs are in this phase at any time, and it can last for around two weeks. Next is the telogen phase, where hair ‘rests’ for two or three weeks and a new hair begins to grow within the same follicle underneath. Around 10-15% of total hairs are in this phase, before shedding during the exogen phase which can last several months. The cycle then repeats with the new hair grown in the telogen phase. 
In general, the scalp has around 100,000 hairs that are simultaneously transitioning through different phases of the hair cycle. It is thus considered normal to naturally lose around 100 hairs a day. Alopecia arises when there is some kind of interference within the stages of the hair cycle, and the exogen phase is accelerated faster than the new hair can be reproduced. This causes hair to appear thinner, fall out in clumps, and/or recede in certain areas.
 
With respect to the many various kinds of hair loss, the most common types of hair loss are as follows.

Androgenic Alopecia

This is by far the most common type of hair loss, affecting most men over 50 through male pattern hair loss/baldness. In men this causes them to recede at the hairline, particularly along the lateral aspects of the head. This sometimes gives the pronounced look known as a widow’s peak. Male pattern hair loss also typically causes a bald patch on the crown of the head that expands with time. The hair around the lower aspect of the head and beside the ears is often unaffected.
A common misconception with androgenic alopecia is that women do not experience it, however many women throughout their lifetime will experience female pattern hair loss/baldness, particularly after menopause. In women it appears as general hair thinning across the top and crown of the head, often at the hairline. Similarly to men, women may also recede at the temples.

Telogen Effluvium

This type of hair loss occurs when a large proportion of the hair follicles stop at the telogen (i.e. resting) phase of the hair cycle, causing the hairs to shed without insufficient or diminished growth of the new hair underneath. Telogen effluvium is usually caused by a medical condition or is related to medication use. Examples of such include being low in iron, thyroid imbalances, coming off of contraceptives, using anticoagulants such as warfarin, and so on. It is also possible to lose hair when one is unwell or febrile. 
Telogen effluvium often starts three months after its precipitating cause. It typically causes thinning and the crown and temples, and rarely causes complete baldness. It usually resolves itself when the underlying cause is treated, however if it lasts longer than six months it is considered chronic. Once the root cause is treated, hair should begin to grow back approximately six months after.

Anagen Effluvium

Medical treatments are the cause of this type of hair loss, shutting down hair follicle production all over the body. The most well-known medical treatment that almost always causes hair loss is chemotherapy. Hair loss is very likely to resolve itself once treatment is completed.

Alopecia Areata

Alopecia areata is an auto-immune condition caused by factors relatively unknown. The immune system attacks its own host tissue, thereby damaging the hair follicles and preventing future hair production. It is thought to be caused by significant stress and may be genetically inherited.

Traction Alopecia
This type of hair loss is fairly common among women; whereby certain hairstyles that involve constant, tight tension of the hair cause bald spots and thinning. This constant stress on the hair pulls the hair from the follicle before it is ready to shed, making the hair appear thinner or even recede. Examples of such include tight ponytails, braids that are close to the skin, many different kinds of hair extensions, and so on.
 
Of all the many different types of hair loss, the above five are the most commonly experienced forms. BioCell Cosmetic Clinic specialises in hair loss treatment for the discussed conditions and provides patients with evidence-based treatment for effective hair regrowth. Call today for a free consultation!

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