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Hair Loss – How to Know Which Type You Have

Hair loss is a very sensitive subject for most people who suffer from it. Losing your hair can be extremely devastating; it can affect a person’s self-image, confidence, and even their emotional well-being.

While much emphasis has been placed upon male patterned baldness, women comprise forty (40) percent of Americans who suffer from the loss of their hair.

Psychologically, it can take a toll on sufferers because all that they see is hair fall but cannot pinpoint exactly why they are losing hair, they do not know if it is temporary or a permanent malady.

In order to get an accurate diagnosis, women suffering from losing their hair should visit a dermatologist but in order to get a clearer snapshot, listed are some common types of loss of hair.

What Does Alopecia Mean?

Alopecia is a common enough term used frequently in the context of the loss of one’s hair but what does it mean exactly? Actually, it means just that, it is the medical term for loss of hair, either from a person’s head or their body. However, there are more than a dozen types of alopecia in existence.

Two broad categories of alopecia are recognized: non-scarring (or non-cicatricial) alopecia and scarring (or cicatricial) alopecia.

The main difference between the two categories is that scarring alopecia causes severe damage to hair follicles so that scar tissue develops which can cause the hair loss to be permanent.

Alopecia typically includes patterned baldness, generally referred to as androgenetic alopecia. This is what is meant when you lose your hair due to genetics.

It is the most common type of loss of hair in humans and in men it is commonly referred to as male pattern baldness. This is where you notice significant balding either on the crown of the head or the temples.

Women can experience androgenetic alopecia as well, but rather than balding like men, their hair generally gets progressively thinner in the middle third of the scalp.

If a woman is experiencing patchy baldness with areas of dry, brittle hair in certain areas it is probably brought on by styling techniques or chemical damage. These styling methods include but are not limited to:

* ponytails

* tight braids that are essentially pulling the hair out from the root; damaging the follicles

* hair relaxers or other chemical processes

* excessively hot hair tools used frequently

It is important to note here that if a woman does not treat her hair and scalp once she notices the onset of thinning then the problem could be exacerbated and progress to the point that scarring alopecia can occur, which refers to hair loss with damage to the hair follicles that wipes them out and leaves scar tissue behind..

Infectious problems due to fungal infection that develop on the scalp can cause individuals to lose patches of hair because the fungus gets into the hair shaft causing it to become brittle and break off.

While more common in children, adults can also develop fungal infections of the scalp and have to be checked for this condition when appropriate.

Bacterial folliculitis is an infection and is of hair follicles associated with painful pustules and sometimes bleeding that can eventually causes a loss of hair.

Early treatment with antibiotics can stop the condition. If it is not treated early, severe cases can lead to permanent baldness.

These are only a few of the many types of hair loss possible including hair loss due to lupus, alopecia areata, thyroid disease, anemia, and other medical diseases of the scalp such as lichen planopilaris.

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