Alopecia (Hair Loss) Due to Genetics, Aging & More
InvolutionalThis condition is more commonly known as age-related hair loss and affects both men and women. Hair growth on the scalp naturally slows as we age, entering a resting phase. The follicles that remain active tend to produce hairs that are shorter and fewer in number, so some degree of thinning, as a result, is normal.
While most people are familiar with the term "male pattern baldness," this genetic form of the condition can also affect women. Caused by a type of hormone called androgens, androgenic alopecia can affect men in their teens or 20s and upwards. Women often see the effects of this type of hair loss beginning around age 40.
AreataThis type of hair loss leads to patchy hair loss and can affect patients of any age. Unlike involutional and androgenic alopecia, it typically has a very rapid onset. In about 90 percent of sufferers, growth returns to normal within a few years. However, in others, it can result in total baldness, or alopecia totalis.
Scarring & Skin DisordersDamage to the skin can also affect the health and function of the hair follicles. Scarring due to injury, such as burns, can impact the scalp. Inflammatory conditions, such as acne, cellulitis, and folliculitis, as well as skin conditions like lichen planus and lupus, can all cause hair loss.
This type of hair loss causes hair throughout the body to fall out. Patients might experience changes to their eyebrows, eyelashes, and even pubic hair.
Like involutional alopecia, this hair loss results from changes in the growth cycles of hair follicles. Thinning and shedding will be seen after an unusually high number of follicles enter the resting phase simultaneously.
In very rare cases, people are compelled to pull out their own hair. This behavior, known as trichotillomania and categorized as a psychological condition, is most often seen in children.