Losing your hair can be devastating. Even though we preach that beauty is only skin deep, most cultures still associate beauty with a full head of hair. If you’re suffering from or showing signs of losing your hair, a dermatologist is the one that you should see!
Dermatologists specialize in hair loss and they can help you preserve the hair you have and even possibly regrow the hair you've lost. Read on to learn about the different types of hair loss are there and what are the symptoms!
How many types of hair loss?
There are about almost 20 types of hair loss. But one of the most common reasons someone might experience hair loss is because of a stress or a major life event. And in this post, we will discuss the two most common types of hair loss called Female Pattern Baldness and Male Pattern Baldness.
What is Female Pattern Baldness?
Female pattern baldness, also called androgenetic alopecia, is hair loss that affects women. Hair loss in women is normal, especially as you age, so hormones are likely responsible. In female pattern baldness, the hair’s growing phase slows down. It also takes longer for new hair to begin growing. Hair follicles shrink, leaving the hair that does grow to be thinner and finer. This can result in hair that easily breaks. It’s normal for women to lose 50 to 100 hairs each day, but those with female pattern baldness can lose many more.
In men, hair loss starts in the front of the head and recedes to the back until they go bald. Women lose hair from all parts of their heads, starting at their parting line. Hair at the temples may also recede. Women are less likely to go completely bald. However, you may have a lot of thinning throughout your hair. Doctors divide female pattern baldness into three types:
- Type I: Which is a small amount of thinning that starts around your parting.
- Type II: Which involves widening of the parting, and increased thinning around it.
- Type III: Which is thinning throughout, with a see-through area at the top of your scalp.
Treatment for Female Pattern Baldness
If you have female pattern baldness, you may be able to camouflage the hair loss at first by adopting a new hairstyle. Eventually, you might have too much thinning at the top of your scalp to hide. Early diagnosis is encouraged, as it can enable you to get on a treatment plan and potentially minimize future hair loss. A dermatologist will usually prescribe you with a tonic instead of oral medication.
What is Male Pattern Baldness?
If your hair loss begins at the temples or the crown of the head, you may have male pattern baldness. Some men will get a single bald spot. Others experience their hairlines receding to form an “M” shape. In some men, the hairline will continue to recede until all or most of the hair is gone.
Male pattern baldness, also called androgenic alopecia, is the most common type of hair loss in men. Male pattern baldness can begin in your teenage years, but it more commonly occurs in adult men, with the likelihood increasing with age. Genetics plays a big role. Men who have close relatives with male pattern baldness are at a higher risk. This is particularly true when their relatives are on the maternal side of the family.
Apart from genetics, research has found that male pattern baldness is also associated with male sex hormones called androgens. The androgens have many functions, including regulating hair growth. Each hair on your head has a growth cycle. With male pattern baldness, this growth cycle begins to weaken and the hair follicle shrinks, producing shorter and finer strands of hair. Eventually, the growth cycle for each hair ends and no new hair grows in its place.
Treatment for Male Pattern Baldness
Doctors use the pattern of hair loss to diagnose male pattern baldness. They may perform a medical history and exam to rule out certain health conditions as the cause, such as fungal conditions of the scalp or nutritional disorders. Health conditions may be a cause of baldness when a rash, redness, pain, peeling of the scalp, hair breakage, patchy hair loss, or an unusual pattern of hair loss accompanies the hair loss. A skin biopsy and blood tests also may be necessary to diagnose disorders responsible for the hair loss. While prescribing topical tonic for female pattern baldness, dermatologists instead prescribe oral medication for male pattern baldness.
If you notice that you are losing hair..
Seeing a dermatologist is the right decision. They will be able to determine if you’re experiencing female pattern baldness, male pattern baldness or another type of hair loss. The sooner you get treated, the faster you’ll be able to stop the loss and possibly even regrow hair.