Thinning Hair and Hair Loss

Types and Causes

This page will help identify what is causing your thinning hair. Understanding what's at the root of your individual case of hair loss is paramount to stopping, perhaps even reversing it.

Man looking distraught. Woman holding her hair. Man holding his hair.

Types and Causes
of Thinning Hair

Androgenetic Alopecia - hair loss due to sensitivity to male hormones (testosterone), present in both men and women. Heredity plays a role here, so if you're pre-disposed to hair loss, take action as early as possible to preserve what you have.

Male Pattern Baldness (MPB) is caused by testosterone coming into contact with the oil in the sebaceous glands on the scalp. When mixed they create dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This nasty little fella shrinks follicles, and restricts blood flow to the scalp. It also creates a coating on the scalp which impedes the few maverick hairs that do manage to grow from amounting to anything.

Women's hair loss, or Female Pattern Baldness shows up as an over-all thinning, particularly in the top and crown. "The Ludwig Scale" is commonly used to diagnose women's hair loss stages.

Telogen Effluvium - hair goes into a "resting period" and sheds excessively while growth is reduced to a minimum. Usually a result of trauma, acute illness, or post-pregnancy. Hair regrows in most cases within 6-9 months.

Alopecia Areata - effects a small area where the hair completely falls out due to immunological imbalances where the body's immune system attacks the hair follicles, mistaking them for foreign bodies. Usually remedies itself, although it can escalate into Alopecia Totalis (loss of all scalp hair), or Alopecia Universalis (loss of all scalp hair and all body hair).

More Info from the American Academy of Dermatology
National Alopecia Areata Foundation

Other Possible Causes of Thinning Hair

If you are concerned about thinning hair or hair loss, see a dermatologist. They're trained in medical and (sometimes) surgical treatment of hair loss.

Back to Hair Loss Page Index

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