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Hair Loss Types

Hair loss is a condition brought on by a disruption in the body's natural hair growth cycle.

On an average scalp, over 100,000 hairs undergo growth, rest, shedding, and regeneration cycles. Over 40 recognised hair loss types exist.

The specific type of hair fall experienced can indicate the type of baldness one may develop.

Various factors, including genetics, environment, lifestyle, and emotional or psychological issues, can influence certain types of hair loss.

Understanding these hair baldness types is essential for selecting the most suitable treatment options. Let's have a look at the most common kinds of hair loss include:

  1. Male Pattern Baldness: This is the most common type of balding in men. It commonly leads to baldness in men and usually starts after puberty. This type of hair loss develops over many years or decades. It exhibits a receding hairline and baldness on the crown.

It may even progress so much that the only hair remaining will resemble a horseshoe shape at the back of the head. It can often relate to family history. This is the most common type of hair loss disease seen in men.

  1. Female Pattern Baldness: This causes thinning hair gradually throughout the scalp, but commonly not at the hairline. Hair loss can begin any time after puberty; it's a normal part of ageing for many women. Although complete baldness can occasionally result from female pattern hair baldness, it rarely does. This is the most common type of hair loss in females.
  1. Alopecia Areata: Alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition and a common type of hair loss known as patchy baldness. The body's immune system mistakenly targets healthy hair follicles, leading to hair loss. As per the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), bald patches can appear anywhere on your body.

The scalp is the most common location for them to appear. The imbalance of the thyroid hormone or abrupt and severe stress may be the causes of alopecia areata. The patient may start noticing hair loss and thinning even at a young age. Alopecia Areata is a rare hair fall type, affecting around 1% of the population.

  1. Telogen Effluvium: This condition triggers numerous hair follicles on the scalp. They enter the hair growth cycle's telogen (falling) phase. We recognise this condition as telogen effluvium. It results in alarming hair loss of 300-500 strands per day. Triggers include illness, crash diets, medication side effects, and post-pregnancy. Hair loss becomes chronic when it persists for over six months.
  1. Anagen Effluvium: Medical procedures, such as chemotherapy, induce rapid hair loss, known as anagen effluvium. These powerful and fast-acting drugs stop the production of hair follicles in the scalp and other areas of the body and eradicate cancer cells. While telogen effluvium is usually a temporary ailment, anagen effluvium is a more chronic form of diffuse hair loss.
  1. Traction Alopecia: This usually occurs when hair is pulled in some way. Occupational hazards, such as wearing caps and helmets, can contribute to traction alopecia for nurses and police officers. Braiding of the hair, as seen in certain communities, is another factor that may lead to this condition. Additionally, voluntary hair pulling, as observed in trichotillomania, can cause traction alopecia.

How Do I Know My Hair Loss Type?

Determining the type of hair loss you're experiencing involves examining signs and symptoms. Here are some common types of alopecia hair loss and their characteristics:

Androgenetic Alopecia (Male/Female Pattern Baldness):

  1. Gradual thinning on the top of the head or at the temples.
  2. In men, the hairline recedes from the forehead.
  3. In women, thinning occurs on the crown of the scalp.

Alopecia Areata:

  1. Sudden onset of round, patchy hair loss.
  2. Hair loss may occur on the scalp, face, and other body areas.
  3. Nails might show pitting or ridges in some cases.

Telogen Effluvium:

  1. Sudden hair shedding after a significant stressor (e.g., childbirth, surgery, illness).
  2. Increased hair loss when brushing or washing hair.
  3. Loss of hair all over the scalp (without a pattern).

Traction Alopecia:

  1. Hair loss due to repeated pulling or tension on the hair.
  2. This is common in individuals who frequently wear tight hairstyles (braids, ponytails).

Scarring Alopecia:

  1. Hair loss is accompanied by scarring on the scalp.
  2. It may result from inflammation or autoimmune conditions.

Trichotillomania:

  1. Hair loss due to compulsive hair pulling.
  2. Often associated with psychological stress or anxiety.

Hormonal Changes (Hormonal Alopecia):

  1. Hair loss is related to hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy or menopause.
  2. Thinning hair rather than complete baldness.

Medication-induced hair Loss:

  1. Hair loss as a side effect of certain medications (e.g., chemotherapy, antidepressants).
  2. Usually diffuse and not in a specific pattern.

If you're unsure about your hair loss type, it's advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or a dermatologist. They will thoroughly examine you, review your medical history, and determine the exact type of alopecia hair loss from the list of hair loss categories. If necessary, they will conduct additional tests to determine the root cause of hair loss. Remember that early detection and intervention can often improve outcomes for various types of hair loss.

Reasons For Different Types of Hair Loss

Disruptions in the hair growth cycle can lead to various types of hair loss, affecting the density, texture, and overall health of your hair. Different types of hair loss can occur for many reasons, including genetic predisposition, environmental factors, lifestyle choices, and underlying medical conditions. Let's take a closer look at these reasons and how they contribute to hair baldness types or types of hair loss:

Stress and Emotional Factors

Stress is one of the most common triggers for hair loss. Both physical and emotional stress can prematurely push many hair follicles into the Telogen (resting) phase. Telogen Effluvium condition leads to increased shedding and noticeable hair thinning. Major life events such as surgery, childbirth, or severe illness can also cause this type of hair loss.

Hormonal Changes

Hormonal fluctuations play a significant role in hair growth and loss. Conditions such as pregnancy, menopause, thyroid disorders, and hormonal imbalances due to polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) can disrupt the hair growth cycle.

For instance, elevated estrogen levels prolong the Anagen phase during pregnancy, resulting in thicker hair. However, post-pregnancy, the sudden drop in estrogen can cause many hairs to enter the Telogen phase, leading to postpartum hair shedding.

Nutritional Deficiencies

A balanced diet is crucial for maintaining healthy hair. Deficiencies in essential vitamins and minerals such as iron, zinc, vitamin D, and biotin can weaken hair follicles and disrupt the growth cycle. For example, iron deficiency anaemia can reduce the supply of oxygen and nutrients to hair follicles, forcing them into the Telogen phase and causing hair loss.

Medical Conditions and Medications

Certain medical conditions and treatments can adversely affect the hair growth cycle. Autoimmune diseases such as lupus and alopecia areata cause the immune system to attack hair follicles, leading to hair loss. Additionally, medications used to treat cancer (chemotherapy), high blood pressure, depression, and other conditions can trigger Anagen Effluvium, where hair falls out rapidly during the growth phase.

Environmental Factors

Exposure to environmental pollutants, harsh weather conditions, and harmful chemicals can also disrupt the hair growth cycle. Pollution can cause scalp inflammation and damage hair follicles, leading to hair loss. Additionally, excessive use of chemical-laden hair products and heat styling tools can weaken hair strands and follicles, causing breakage and shedding.

Genetic Factors

Genetics are crucial in hair growth patterns and susceptibility to hair loss. Androgenetic alopecia, commonly known as male or female pattern baldness, is a hereditary condition where hair follicles shrink over time, resulting in thinner hair and hair loss. This type of hair loss typically follows a predictable pattern and is influenced by genetic predisposition.

Common Myths and Misconceptions About Hair Loss

Numerous myths and misconceptions surround hair loss. These myths can cause unnecessary worry and lead people to make poor decisions about hair care. Let's debunk some of the most common myths and provide the factual information you need to understand hair loss properly.

Myth 1: Wearing Hats Causes Hair Loss

One of the most pervasive myths is that wearing hats can cause hair loss. The truth is that wearing hats does not cause hair loss. Hair follicles receive nutrients and oxygen from the blood supply, not the air. Unless the hat is excessively tight and causes friction, it won't affect your hair growth.

Fact: Hats do not cause hair loss unless they cause constant friction or pulling.

Myth 2: Frequent Washing Leads to Hair Loss

Many believe that washing hair too often can lead to hair loss. While it's true that you might see more hair in the drain on wash days, this hair was already going to fall out as part of the natural shedding process. Washing your hair keeps your scalp clean and can promote a healthier environment for hair growth.

Fact: Washing hair frequently does not cause hair loss; it helps maintain scalp health.

Myth 3: Hair Loss Only Affects Older People

Another common misconception is that hair loss only affects older individuals. Hair loss can occur at any age, and various factors can contribute to it, such as genetics, hormonal changes, stress, and medical conditions. For instance, androgenetic alopecia can start as early as a person's late teens or early twenties.

Fact: Hair loss can affect individuals of all ages, not just older people.

Myth 4: Cutting Hair Makes It Grow Back Thicker

Many people believe that cutting their hair will make it grow back thicker. While trimming can make hair appear healthier by removing split ends, it does not change the hair's thickness or the rate at which it grows. Hair growth is determined by the hair follicles beneath the scalp, not by the ends of the hair.

Fact: Cutting hair does not affect its thickness or growth rate.

Myth 5: Hair Loss Is Only Inherited from the Mother's Side

There is a widespread belief that hair loss is inherited solely from the mother's side of the family. Hair loss genetics can come from both sides of the family. The hereditary pattern of hair loss involves multiple genes, which can be inherited from either parent.

Fact: Hair loss can be inherited from both maternal and paternal sides.

Myth 6: Stress Causes Immediate Hair Loss

While severe stress can contribute to hair loss, it doesn't usually cause hair to fall out immediately. Conditions like Telogen Effluvium occur when stress pushes hair follicles into the resting phase prematurely, but this hair loss often becomes noticeable a few months after the stressful event.

Fact: Stress-induced hair loss usually appears a few months after a stressful event.

Myth 7: Brushing Hair 100 Times a Day Promotes Growth

The idea that brushing your hair 100 times a day will make it grow faster is a myth. Excessive brushing can lead to hair breakage and scalp irritation. Gentle brushing is sufficient to distribute natural oils and keep your hair untangled.

Fact: Excessive brushing can damage hair rather than promote growth.

Myth 8: Hair Loss Is Caused by Poor Blood Circulation to the Scalp

Poor blood circulation is often blamed for hair loss. However, normal blood circulation is typically adequate to nourish hair follicles. Conditions that significantly impair blood flow, like severe scalp injuries, are not common causes of typical hair loss patterns like androgenetic alopecia.

Fact: Normal blood circulation is usually sufficient to nourish hair follicles

Why Homeopathy Medicine For Hair Fall is Better

Homeopathy is an alternative medical system that stimulates the body's natural healing processes. When diagnosing hair loss, homeopathy takes a holistic approach, considering the patient's physical, emotional, and psychological well-being. Here's a comprehensive look at how hair loss is diagnosed in homeopathy.

Initial Consultation and Case History

The first step in homeopathic diagnosis involves an extensive initial consultation. The homeopath will take a detailed case history, including the specific hair loss symptoms and the patient's overall health, lifestyle, emotional state, and family history. This thorough understanding helps identify the underlying causes of hair loss. The comprehensive case history involves a detailed discussion about the patient's symptoms, lifestyle, diet, stress levels, and family history, enabling the homeopath to consider the patient's physical, emotional, and psychological health and provide an individualised assessment.

Physical Examination

A physical examination is conducted to observe the condition of the hair and scalp. The homeopath will check for signs of scalp inflammation, dandruff, and other scalp conditions. They will also look at the pattern and extent of hair loss to gain insights into potential causes. During the scalp and hair examination, the homeopath will check for visible signs of scalp conditions and hair loss patterns while noting the quality and texture of the hair.

Constitutional Analysis

Homeopathy emphasises a constitutional analysis, which involves evaluating the patient's overall constitution or makeup. This includes factors like body type, temperament, and predisposition to certain conditions. The homeopath will consider how these constitutional factors might contribute to hair loss. Understanding the constitutional factors—such as body type, temperament, and predisposition—provides a holistic view of how these factors influence hair health.

Psychological and Emotional Assessment

The homeopath will assess the patient's psychological and emotional state. Stress, anxiety, and emotional disturbances can significantly impact hair health. By understanding the patient's mental and emotional well-being, the homeopath can identify stressors contributing to hair loss. Evaluating emotional health involves understanding the impact of stress, anxiety, and emotional issues on hair loss.

Homeopathic Repertorization

Repertorization is using a homeopathic repertory—a comprehensive index of symptoms and associated remedies—to find the most suitable remedy for the patient. The homeopath will match the symptoms of hair loss and other health issues with potential medication for hair loss.

The efficiency of Homeopathy medication for hair loss is evident in its holistic approach, which targets underlying causes for sustained healing and emphasises personalised treatments tailored to individual needs and conditions, ensuring comprehensive and effective care for patients. It helps identify a customised treatment plan. The repertorisation process involves using a repertory to match symptoms with remedies, ensuring a personalised treatment approach.

Dr Batra's® Clinic distinguishes itself with a team of experienced homeopathic practitioners who offer personalised treatment plans and medication for hair loss, focusing on patient-centric care. Their commitment to individual needs ensures effective treatment outcomes.

Medically Reviewed

Dr. Kshiti Rajmohan Shetty
Experience: 23 years

Qualification

  • B.H.M.S (Maharashtra University of Health Sciences)

  • FCHD (Fellowship in Homeopathic Dermatologist - Mumbai)

FAQs

How many stages of hair growth are there?

Three: Anagen, Catagen, and Telogen are human hair's natural growth stages. The active or growing phase is the anagen stage. This is the longest and the most important phase of hair loss. This phase usually lasts for 3 to 7 years. In certain types of hair loss, the growth phase shortens. A relatively brief stage of the natural hair cycle when hair rests is catagen. This usually lasts for around 3 months. The dormant stage is the telogen stage. Daily lost hairs are frequently at the late or resting phases of the hair cycle. Once the hair has fallen out, the hair root starts growing new hair again. These hairs are in the anagen phase. The cycle of hair thus continues.

How does trichotillomania affect hair loss?

The medical word for persistent hair pulling or twisting is trichotillomania. It is a condition characterised by the persistent need to pluck out body hair such as eyebrows, eyelashes, or scalp hair. It is thought to have something to do with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Cognitive behavioural therapy and pharmaceutical drugs are possible treatments. It is most commonly seen in teenagers. It is 7 times more common in females than in males. In rare cases, pulling out the hair over time can cause long-term damage to the hair follicles. If caught early, this condition is fully treatable.

What causes traction alopecia?

Traction alopecia is a type of alopecia hair loss that refers to a small patch of hair loss. It is caused by frequent pulling or pushing on the hair roots, often because of tight braids and ponytails. Tight hairstyles or tight hair covering are usually the cause for this. If this happens, it is advisable to choose gentler haircuts on the hair roots. Taking action sooner is better to prevent irreversible damage.

What is the medical name for Pattern Hair Loss?

The medical name for pattern baldness is androgenic alopecia. This type of hair loss is frequently related to family history and genetic predisposition. Though traditionally only men were believed to exhibit this, both men and women exhibit it. There are times when Pattern Hair Loss occurs without a genetic predisposition. When this happens, it is called Androgenic Alopecia.

What is the medical name for androgenic alopecia?

The medical name for pattern baldness is androgenic alopecia. This type of hair loss is frequently related to family history and genetic predisposition. Though traditionally only men were believed to exhibit this, both men and women exhibit it.

Is a daily hair loss of 100 to 150 normal?

Yes, it's normal to lose up to 100 hairs every day. This does not indicate that you are balding. Around 100,000 hair follicles are actively growing on the scalp. When the hair loss becomes extensive or the rate of hair growth slows down and doesn't match the amount of hair loss, baldness becomes apparent.

How do I identify my hair loss type?

Consult a dermatologist for a thorough examination. They assess your hair loss pattern, conduct tests, and review your medical history to determine the specific type of hair loss you're experiencing, providing personalised treatment options.

Can stage 2 baldness be cured?

While there's no cure, treatments like Minoxidil, Finasteride, and hair transplants can effectively help manage and improve stage 2 baldness.

When to worry about hair loss?

Worry when noticing sudden, excessive shedding, patchy bald spots, or thinning. Consult a dermatologist promptly to identify the cause and explore treatment options.

Which vitamins and nutrients can stop hair fall?

Essential nutrients like vitamins A, C, D, E, iron, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids support hair health and, when consumed adequately, can potentially prevent hair loss.

What is considered excessive hair loss?

Excessive hair loss involves shedding more than 100 hairs daily, indicating a potential underlying issue requiring medical attention and evaluation by a dermatologist.

How much hair loss is normal after washing?

Losing 50-100 hairs after washing is typically normal. If experiencing significantly more hair loss, it may signify an underlying problem requiring evaluation by a dermatologist.


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