Common Scalp + Hair Loss Conditions
Trichology treats a variety of hair and scalp conditions. Identifying your exact condition is the first step in creating a treatment plan that will help you regrow your hair, halt hair loss or slow its progression.
FEMALE HAIR LOSS
The most common cause of hair loss, the development of genetic hair loss is associated with the shortening of growing phase of the hair cycle and consequently with an increase in the proportion of resting hairs. The size of the affected follicles is reduced, reducing the size of the hairs they produce. This attributes to the thinning of the hair and widening of the partings. This type of hair loss is generally spread evenly over the scalp, but often a band of denser hair will remain along the front hairline. This is indicative of a genetic condition.
MALE PATTERN HAIR LOSS
The most common cause of hair loss, the development of genetic hair loss is associated with the shortening of the growing phase of the hair cycle and consequently with an increase in the proportion of resting hairs. The size of the affected follicles is reduced, reducing the size of the hairs they produce. This attributes to the thinning of the hair and widening of the partings. The onset of male genetic hair loss is related to age with 20% of men experiencing some hair loss by the age of 20, 30% of men by the age of thirty and so on. The hair begins to recede at the temples and thin in the crown area. Eventually, the entire hairline and crown area of the scalp may be involved.
Alopecia Areata is characterized by patchy scalp hair loss which occasionally affects every hair follicle on the scalp (alopecia totalis), or body (alopecia universalis). The disease usually occurs between the the ages of adolescence and 30 years, but can appear at any age, affecting both sexes equally. Alopecia Areata has a rapid onset but tends to spontaneously reverse. The cause of Alopecia Areata is unclear, however, genetic factors, auto-immune mechanisms, and the occurrence of stressful and/or emotional problems shortly before the hair loss are all thought to influence the condition.
Trichotillomania is the loss or damage of scalp hair through repeated pulling or twisting of the hair from compulsive impulses. It is more common with children and women, and often occurs alongside eating disorders in teenage girls. Trichotillomania often appears as plucked hair from the side of the scalp on the person’s dominant hand side. Occasionally, the whole scalp or other body areas are affected. In some cases Trichophagia can occur wherein the hair is chewed, eaten and/or swallowed. This condition is likened to “comforting” habits such as thumb sucking, nail biting and can sometimes be helped through behavioral modifications alongside therapy.
Occurring primarily in women, this hair loss condition can be caused by a temporary disturbance to the hair growing cycle. Stress, illness, medication, anemia, and weight loss are the most common causes, however, many other factors can also influence this condition. The treatment for telogen effluvium will depend upon the individual reasons for hair loss determined through consultation.
Caused by the destruction of the hair follicles, cicatricial alopecia can be caused by a disease affecting the follicles themselves, or by some outside process or factor such as a burn, blow to the head, a laceration or an infection. The hair loss can be patchy or evenly spaced. A biopsy is usually performed to identify the exact cause of this type of alopecia.
Traction Alopecia happens when the hair is broken by friction or tension due to vigorous brushing, blow drying, and/or chemical over processing. This generally happens around the hairline, but hair will usually regrow fully with the use of strengthening therapy and hair styling changes.