Alopecia (hair loss) affects just the scalp or the entire body. Heredity, hormonal changes, regular part of ageing, and medical conditions can cause this disease. It is more common in men, but this doesn't mean that it cannot affect anyone else.
Excessive hair loss from the scalp is referred to as baldness. The most known cause of baldness, especially in men, is hereditary hair loss with increasing age. People can choose to let the baldness run its course without seeking any treatment or other ways to cover it. The different methods include hairstyles, makeup, wearing hats or scarves etc. There are also treatments to avoid any excessive hair loss and restore growth. Going to the root cause that has led to hair loss is vital before choosing a treatment approach. You can approach your doctor for suggestions.
Following are the six common types of hair loss condition that are found-
- Alopecia Areata
It is the most common hair disease. Hair fall can cause a bald spot, and the condition is known as alopecia areata. The scalp is affected majorly but can also affect other body parts. The suddenly appeared patches can spread rapidly in a short time.
- Female Pattern Hair Loss
Women are commonly prone to this type of hair loss. It is a form of androgenic alopecia found in women. It can cause hair thinning, widening of the hair parting, reduction of density, and hair volume.
- Male Pattern Hair Loss
It is a form of androgenic alopecia found in men. It typically starts with receding hairline from the front and then thinning of hair at the crown. It may or may not result in partial or total baldness.
- Scalp Psoriasis
As in psoriasis, red patches on the skin can get covered with thick, itchy and whitish-silver scales.
- Seborrhoeic Dermatitis
Generally known as dandruff, that is the scaly disorder of the scalp. Did you know that this is a prevalent condition, and almost 40% of the worldwide population has it? The condition is relatively harmless but can cause excessive hair fall as it alters the hair cycles.
Emotional stress can drive people to pull their hair. Excessive pulling of hair results in a condition which is known as trichotillomania. It can cause visible hair loss and bald spots.
The occurrence of hair fall, sudden or gradual, is characterized by the causes of hair loss. The area of impact, just the scalp or entire body, also depends on it.
Common signs include-
- Patchy or circular spots of baldness
Hair loss can be experienced in a circular or patchy baldness pattern on the scalp, eyebrows or beard. It can also cause itchiness and pain before the hair falls out.
- Full-Body hair loss
Other diseases or medical treatments can cause total body hair loss. For example, in chemotherapy given as a cancer treatment, hair loss is seen on the entire body. But over time, the hair grows back.
- Gradual thinning on the head
It is a common type of age-related hair fall. Men tend to start experiencing a receding hairline, while women experience broadening of partitions of hair. Older women can also have receding hairlines known as frontal fibrosing alopecia.
- Patches spread on the scalp (scales)
It is a symptom of ringworm. It can also cause broken hair, redness, swelling and oozing.
- Sudden loosening of hair
Some physical and emotional shocks/conditions can cause sudden loosening of hair. While combing or washing hair, you may notice that a handful of hair falls out. You can also see temporary thinning of hair.
Hair loss can be an indication of other medical conditions that may require medical attention. So you should carefully look for sudden patchy hair fall or excessive hair loss while combing or washing your child's hair.
Interestingly, most people lose 50-100 hair a day, but it is often not noticed since new hair grows simultaneously. Hair loss becomes a problem when new hair doesn't grow back.
Following are the related factors-
- Medicines and Supplements
Certain drugs used to treat various diseases like cancer, arthritis, gout, heart problems etc., can cause hair loss as a side effect.
- Hormonal changes and other diseases
Hormonal changes due to pregnancy or menopause can cause permanent or temporary hair loss. An immune system-related disease, alopecia areata, causes patchy hair loss, so does scalp infections and trichotillomania.
- Radiation therapy to head
You may not retain the average growth of hair post radiation therapy.
Hereditary baldness is common and increases with age. Also known as androgenic alopecia, it causes both male and female pattern baldness. It occurs gradually in a predictable way.
- A very stressful event
Several months after a severe physical or mental shock, one can experience general thinning hair or hair loss. It is only temporary.
- Hairstyles and Treatments
A type of hair loss, traction alopecia, can be caused due to persistent hairstyling that pulls your hair back tightly like pigtails or cornrows. Hot oil treatments can cause hair loss as well. If scarring is seen, then the hair loss can be permanent.
After a physical exam and taking details about one's diet, hair care routine, family medical history etc., the doctor will diagnose the cause. Doctors can also suggest tests for diagnosis purposes like-
- Blood Test
You can determine the cause of hair loss with these tests.
- Scalp Biopsy
Some scrape samples from the scalp or a few plucked hairs can be taken to examine using a microscope. They help examine the hair roots, mainly to check for infections.
- Light Microscopy
A special instrument is used to check the hair trimmed at the bases to help uncover hair shaft disorders.
- Pull Test
The doctor can diagnose the shedding process stage by doing a simple test called a pull test. The doctor will gently pull a bundle of hair to see how many come out.
Almost everyone can use homoeopathic medicines to treat hair loss.
- You can also treat several underlying diseases like thyroid, diabetes, physical/mental stress while taking homoeopathic medicines for hair loss.
- Conventional medicine can lead to low libido or ejaculation problems. On the other hand, homoeopathy offers treatment with zero side effects.
- The medication helps in the effective management of hair thinning and offers long-lasting effects. Furthermore, these medicines can manage hormonal imbalances as well.
- Hair fall is slowed down, and nutrition is improved with homoeopathy.
- Baldness and deterioration of the hair follicles are avoided.
- Blood circulation is improved, and toxic materials are removed.
Homoeopathy has proven to be safe compared to other treatments and offers an exceptional alternative to conventional medication.