Most common cause of men’s hair loss is male pattern baldness or “androgenetic alopecia”. In those men who develop male pattern baldness, the hair loss may begin any time after puberty when blood levels of androgens (Testosterone, Dihydrotestosterone) rise. Androgens (testosterone, dihydrotestosterone) are significant factor for one to development male pattern baldness. The hair loss usually starts above the temples and at the crown of the head and moves further.
Female hair loss is different from male pattern hair loss. The recession of the hair in women might starts at the age of 25-30 years; hair begins to get thinner, having hair fall when comb or finding hair fall on the pillow after wake up in the morning. The most common hair loss is diffuse thinning over the top of the scalp. Causes of hair loss in female are similar to male hair loss which can be vary. But the heredity, hormones or personal behaviors may differ.
Androgenetic alopecia in female may not have any obvious hereditary association, and may not occur in a recognizable "female-pattern alopecia" of diffuse thinning over the top of the scalp and maybe unable to notice. Compared to male hair loss, female androgenetic alopecia is associated with Androgens.
However, hair loss problem in women can be temporary or permanent effecting by other factors besides heredity such as pregnancy, illness or some prescriptions that may cause temporary hair thinning.
Telogen effluvium is a form of nonscarring alopecia characterized by diffuse hair shedding, often with an acute onset. A chronic form of Telogen effluvium with a more insidious onset and a longer duration also exists. Telogen effluvium is a reactive process caused by a metabolic or hormonal stress or by medications. Generally, recovery is spontaneous and occurs within 6 months.
Patients present with diffuse hair loss after an exposure to drugs or toxic chemicals. Chemotherapeutic agents are most commonly causes for hair loss. Hair loss usually begins 1-2 weeks after a single pulse of chemotherapy. The hair loss is clinically most apparent after 1-2 months.
Traction alopecia is caused by chronic traction (pulling) on the hair follicle and is seen most in those females associated with tight braiding or cornrow hair styles, pony tail. It is generally present along the hairline. Also for those people who attach hairpieces to their existing hair can experience this type of permanent hair loss if the hairpiece is attached in the same location over a long period of time. This type of hair loss can be treated well as soon as we know its true cause.
The cause of alopecia areata is commonly thought to be an autoimmune disorder which means the body does not recognize the hair follicles and attacks them. Cases normally found in patients aged under 20 years old. It is a recurrent disease which can cause hair loss in any hair-bearing area. The most common type of alopecia areata presents as round or oval shape most noticeably on the scalp or in the eyebrows. The hair usually grows back within 6 months to one year. But most patients find opportunity to have episodes of hair loss in the same area in the future. Those who develop round or oval areas of hair loss can progress to loss of all scalp hair (alopecia totalis) or all over body hair (Alopecia Universalis).
Hair loss due to scarring of the scalp is called scarring alopecia. Scarring can be due to a variety of causes. Injury to the scalp may be caused by physical trauma or burn, some diseases, bacterial infections, fungal infections, or viral infections. Traction alopecia over a period of time and Trichotillomania (compulsive hair-plucking) may also lead to scarring and permanent hair loss.
Trichotillomania is the name given to habitual, compulsive plucking of hair from the scalp or other hair-bearing areas of the body. Over time, continual plucking of scalp hair will result in a hairless area-a bald spot. Long-term trichotillomania can result in permanent damage to scalp skin and to scarring alopecia. In some cases, patients with Trichotillomania may find association with mental disorder.