Hair loss – Types, Causes, Prevention, Treatment and Prognosis

Hair loss is one of the most common causes of dermatology visits. It can affect any age, gender, and race. There are a lot of types of hair fall. That’s why we have to meticulously examine before reaching a cause. It is a big psychological burden for young people to go bald. So in this article, we are going to discuss various types of hair loss, causes, prevention, and treatment for it.

hair loss causes prevention

Type of Hair:

  1. Anagen: This is the most stable form of hair. It usually lasts for 3 years and the normal rate of Anagen hair shedding is 1 hair/ Day.
  2. Catagen: This is the transitional type of hair that bonds between anagen and telogen types. It usually lasts for 2-3 weeks.
  3. Telogen: It is a resting type of hair that usually sheds after 3 months. The normal shedding rate of Telogen is 100 hairs/day.

Types of Hair loss:

  1. Androgenic alopecia: This is the most common type of hair loss. It can affect both men and women and it is genetically determined. It is of two types, Male pattern androgenic alopecia, Female pattern androgenic alopecia. The male pattern generally appears in the early 20s with a feature of receding frontal hairline and gradual disappearance of hair. On the other hand, the Female pattern appears around the 40s with a general thinning of hair in the entire scalp.
  2. Telogen effluvium: This type of hair loss is usually we can see after the acute phase of stress. Due to stress, a large number of the growing phases of hair (Anagen ) convert into the resting phase ( Telogen). After 3 months this bunch of hair sheds, this is called Telogen effluvium.
  3. Anagen effluvium: This type of hair loss occurs when anagen hair starts to shed at a rate of more than 1 hair/ day. Cancer and chemotherapy cause this type of alopecia.
  4. Alopecia areata: When hair starts to shed from a patchy area of the scalp. This usually affects children and adolescent age groups.
  5. Alopecia totalis: When the hair of the entire scalp sheds, that is called alopecia totalis.
  6. Alopecia Universalis: Hair of entire body shed in this type of alopecia.
  7. Involutional alopecia: This is the natural way of thinning hair with age. More hair follicles go into the resting phase and the remaining become shorter and fewer in no.
  8. Trichotillomania: It is a type of psychological disorder where a person feels a compulsion to remove hair by pulling. It diagnoses with careful observation.
  9.  Scarring alopecia: It is an inflammatory condition where hair loss is permanent. It can be caused by various causes, i.e, acne, syphilis, fungal infection, lupus, lichen planus, cellulitis, folliculitis

Causes of hair loss:

  1. Stress and acute illness: As we have discussed above, stress and any kind of acute illness is very common cause of hair loss. It can cause telogen effluvium but it is reversible and normal hair restores after stress goes off.
  2. Hormone: Androgen hormone is responsible for androgenic alopecia for both males and females. So, to treat androgenic alopecia we use some drugs which lower the action of this hormone.
  3. Genetic predisposition: From any one of the parents, one can be genetically predisposed to male or female pattern hair loss.
  4. Drugs: Most commonly we found that after chemotherapy hair sheds off. This is because of the property of anticancer drugs to kill any cell which has rapid growth. That’s why after chemotherapy anagen effluvium is seen. Apart from chemotherapy beta-blockers, some antibiotics and birth control pills can cause hair fall.
  5. Diet: Healthy diet is a very important preventive factor for all kinds of hair loss. Starvation and a low protein diet can cause hair loss for the age group.
  6. Autoimmune disease: When antibodies of our body attack our healthy cells, it is called autoimmune disease. In some autoimmune disease, hair follicles are targeted, and that cause hair fall. Diseases like SLE, RA, Sjogren syndrome can cause hair fall.

Prevention of hair loss:

“Prevention is better than cure.” Here is the list by which we can prevent  hair loss causes prevention.

  1. Healthy diet: Eating healthy is a very good habit and that helps us to be healthy in every possible way. So, hair is no exception. With a proper diet, we can prevent hair loss to a larger extent.
  2. Go natural: Leave your hair in its natural color and texture. Give it time to recover from chemical treatment and blowouts. Do not style hair with tight bands.
  3. Choose your product wisely: If you want to use something for your hair, choose it wisely. You may take help from an expert or your dermatologist.

Treatment:

Hair fall treatment is one of the most difficult jobs for dermatologists. But with the advancement of technology and medical science, we have a lot of options for hair fall treatment. Some areas followings

  1. Minoxidil: Under certain circumstances, local application of minoxidil helps to regrow hair moderately. For male pattern androgenic alopecia local use of 5% minoxidil has maximum benefit.
  2. Finasteride: It is a drug that lowers the action of the androgen hormone and helps to slow down androgenic alopecia. But it has few side effects as this hormone helps to maintain libido and other sexual health.
  3. Spironolactone: This drug also blocks the action of the androgen hormone and thus helps in hair loss issues.
  4. Hair transplantation: This is a very popular method to restore hair. In this process, hair follicles relocated from other parts of the scalp in the bald area.

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This Article Written By Dr. Manaj Mondal (M.B.B.S)

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