Alopecia Types

Alopecia Types

The presence of thinning or balding hair is something that is very common, and most people will have to deal with it at some point during their lives.  The biggest consumer of wigs are people, mainly women, that have hair loss.  Hair loss is caused by a number of things including cancer treatments.  Hair can grow back after patients complete treatment, but many people find that wearing wigs is an easier alternative to patiently waiting for hair that may or may not grow back!  Another common cause of hair loss is a disease called Alopecia.  


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There are multiple different classes of Alopecia, but most of them have at least one thing in common.  All forms of Alopecia, with the exception of Trichotillomania, are permanent and reliable cures have yet to be found.  Alopecia is an autoimmune disease that has a harmful effect on hair, causing hair loss.  The most common types of Alopecia include Androgenetic Alopecia, Alopecia Areata, Alopecia Totalis, Alopecia Universalis, and Traction Alopecia.  Androgenetic Alopecia is the most frequently seen form of Alopecia and is commonly referred to as Male Pattern Baldness.  This nickname is misleading because females can also experience Androgenetic Alopecia.  This common form of Alopecia begins after puberty and progresses with age.  While some people experiencing Androgenetic Alopecia use laser therapy, or drugs such as Propecia, to try and slow down the hair-loss process, unfortunately the majority of cases result in little to no hair.  


Patchy Hair Loss


Alopecia Areata is another common form of Alopecia that results in small bald patches on the scalp that do not produce any hair.  The bald spots are often round and around the size of a coin, but can get larger with time.  Totalis, another form of Alopecia, starts out as patchy hair loss, but results in complete hair loss on the entire scalp.  The hair loss is generally permanent, but in some cases can grow back... only to fall out again in a cycle throughout one's lifetime.  The next form of Alopecia, Universalis, has an end result where all body hair is lost, including eyebrows and pubic hair.  Many people with this type of Alopecia will use makeup to draw on eyebrows, or even get tattoos for a more permanent solution.  Traction Alopecia occurs when hair is pulled too tightly by braids and other hairstyles, causing the hair shaft to be destroyed over time leading to balding.  This type of Alopecia can be prevented, but most people are unaware of this until it is too late.  Trichotillomania is a form of Alopecia where people pull their own hair out because it makes them feel good.  This is a habit that is hard for many people to break.  Eventually, the hair stops growing back. While Alopecia is the disease that is most attributed to hair loss, genetics and aging also commonly cause thinning hair that leads to balding.


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Did you know there were this many different types of Alopecia?

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