Types of Hair Loss

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 17,617
    Ken Washenik with the Hair Foundation discusses the different types of hair loss.

    Kenneth J. Washenik: Hi! I am Ken Washenik and I am with the Hair Foundation. Today, I want to discuss different types of hair loss. Hair loss comes in different forms, affects different people, children, men, women of all ages, and I want to help you understand how you might go about finding out why you are losing your hair. When you lose your hair, it starts falling up, and it's really challenging to get to the root of the cause. The most common cause in adults is the hair loss that comes from androgenetic alopecia or male pattern or female pattern hair loss. It's a genetically dictated hair loss.

    Hair loss can be temporary. Some of the causes are temporary. It can be permanent. It can be scarring or non-scarring. When it's scarring, your scalp is inflamed as inflammation, some autoimmunity where the hair is being attacked. In non-scarring causes, your skin, your scalp is relatively normal, but the hair follicles are miniaturizing or falling out without destruction. Those non-scarring types can come back. Scarring causes on the other hand come about from injury to the hair follicles, destruction of the hair follicle, and the problem there is that it cannot come back. So you want to treat a scarring alopecia as quickly as timely as possible, because it's a permanent type of hair loss.

    Sometimes hair loss can be related to skin conditions, sometimes it can be related to internal medical conditions, the important thing there is you want to go and see a physician as soon as possible when you notice hair loss so that you can find out why. Unexplained hair loss really, really wants an explanation. The best place to do that is with a medical professional, a doctor who specializes in or really knowledgeable in the causes of hair loss and their treatments, or a dermatologist, again dermatologist specialized in hair, skin, and nails, so they're a good place to start.

    The disease problems that can cause hair loss are any number of different areas; endocrine problems, hormonal problems, inflammatory problems, autoimmune problems, or things that are intrinsic to the hair follicle itself. Similarly, you maybe taking a medication that can lead to hair loss and so just finding out if a simple switch in medication that you are taking for a different problem can affect your hair and allow your hair to grow back.

    So I think if you want to really find out about your hair loss and who wouldn't, right? I mean, if you want to know why this is happening, one such area would be the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery. You can go to their website and find a doctor on their website. Also, the American Academy of Dermatology has a website that you can go to, to locate a dermatologist in your area.

    Before you go, get your facts together, review what's been happening with your hair loss, have you changed medications, has there been a big change in your life, have you noticed anything on your scalp? Itching, pain or is that hair loss not associated with anything else? Do you have dandruff, do you not have dandruff, do you have pimples, do you not have pimples on your scalp? These are the sort of things you want to review and take that knowledge in with your doctor, so your doctor can go through your history, your doctor can do a physical examination and determine whether any laboratory tests or other diagnostic tests would be necessary or helpful to diagnose for your hair loss.

    When you think of this process of hair loss, you might be tempted to panic, but don't panic. Hair loss is very common. It can come from the variety of causes. Go to your doctor. Find out what is causing your hair loss. Also, for further information, go to the Hair Foundation, hairfoundation.

    org is a website that has a lot of information that can help you before you even get into your doctor and help you after you come home from your physician to get more information.