Different Types of Hair Loss: What You Should Know
Let’s face it; Hair is pretty important. It is one of the first aesthetics people see when they look at us. If you’ve been noticing that your hair is starting to thin over time, it might be shocking or scary. Don’t allow yourself to worry too fast. Hair loss is actually reasonably common in women.
Different types of hair loss may occur at various times for a variety
of reasons. Although some forms of hair loss are within our control, some triggers for baldness or alopecia may require some form of clinical or professional intervention. Whatever the cause, understanding the different types of hair loss can help you to identify the best path for treatment.
Types of Hair Loss
Hair loss in women may occur due to a medical condition, hereditary, or hairstyling practices. The statistics indicate that an estimated 49% of women may experience hair loss in their lifetime. Three types of hair loss include FPHL, anagen effluvium, and telogen effluvium.
Female Pattern Hair Loss
Female pattern hair loss (FPHL) can emerge for multiple reasons, including medical treatments or illness. It is most visible along the sides of your head and the top of your head. Common risk factors for FPHL include family history, menopause, age, and excessive exposure to UV rays for 16 hours or more each week. It can be a psychologically devastating experience for women. In an Australian survey, 40% of women with FPHL experienced problems with their marriage. 64% of these women stated they had problems within their careers.
Anagen effluvium hair loss may emerge due to the follicle experiencing a significant disruption in the hair growth cycle, as is seen in chemotherapy patients. This event may occur within a few days to weeks after being exposed to chemotherapy.
Telogen effluvium is correlated with physiological or psychological stressors. A specific event may trigger your hair loss, such as a chronic illness, thyroid imbalances, pregnancy, extreme dieting, or a significant life event. Telogen effluvium will not necessarily translate to baldness. However, you can expect to see incredible thinning as you lose 300 to 500 strands of hair each day.
Other Types of Hair Loss
Hair loss may occur as a by-product of our hairstyling choices. Traction alopecia is a type of hair loss that occurs due to a repetitive pulling or stretching force on our hair roots. Hair twists, braids, ponytails, sister locks, dreadlocks, weaves, and other styles that create tension on our hair follicles are common culprits. Hair loss typically occurs along your hairline. Also, traction alopecia can sometimes affect areas of the scalp where repetitive corn row installation takes place.
Alopecia areata, an autoimmune skin disease, may appear in the form of patchy hair loss that can suddenly develop without warning. This condition impacts an estimated 6.8 million people in the United States. White blood cells destroy hair follicles, leading them to dramatically decrease hair production due to shrinkage. It is not clear what generates this drastic immune response in our bodies. However, scientists believe genetics may play a role. Thankfully, the condition is not permanent. Studies show that 70% of patients regain their hair within two years.
Treatment for Hair Loss
Your hair loss treatment will be driven by the type of hair loss you are experiencing. For example, experts agree that the best treatment for traction alopecia is to take preventative measures. Minimize wear of hairstyles that create tightness on your hairline. Additionally, if you elect to wear these styles, reduce the tightness of the style. If damage is severe enough, you may need intralesional corticosteroids to treat inflammation or scalp tenderness.
The same approach is valid for telogen effluvium. Your ultimate goal is to rid yourself of the underlying cause of this hair loss. You can generally expect to see improvements within six months.
Treatment for Female Pattern Hair Loss
For women with female pattern baldness, Minoxidil or combination therapy of Minoxidil and Spironolactone may prove beneficial in managing hair loss in FPHL. It may also prove effective in women during their regrowth cycle post-chemotherapy treatment.
Several practices and health spas use low light laser therapy, low light laser helmets, and caps to treat their FPHL. Studies show that low laser light therapy can yield rapid results for hair regrowth.
Hormonal and Nutritional Deficit Hair Loss Treatments
For hair loss resulting from hormonal changes as seen with pregnancy, your physician may recommend a “wait and see” approach as hair loss will stop with time. Additionally, if you are experiencing hair loss due to your dietary choices, you might receive some encouragement to adopt a healthier eating pattern and add supplements to your diet. Your goal is to increase iron, vitamin D, zinc, and selenium.
Natural Remedies for Hair Loss
Some forms of hair loss may respond to natural treatments, including essential oils such as almond, lavender, and rosemary oil. Other natural remedies for hair loss may include the use of aloe vera, coconut milk, and honey on your hair and scalp. Invest in products that contain these natural oils and others that can help to not only restore growth but strengthen your existing hair strands.
Get Help for Hair Loss
If you sense that your hair loss is legit, talk with a professional. You can try some products or natural remedies at home to determine if they provide results, but take care not to neglect your health. Hair loss can be a sign of an underlying condition not yet diagnosed.