There are four main types of hair loss; male-pattern baldness, alopecia areata, scarring alopecia and telogen effluvium. Male-pattern baldness is the most common type of hair loss and is not just restricted to men. Male and female pattern baldness follow a pattern of receding hairline before a thinning of the hair on the crown and temples. The type of hair loss is linked to the male testosterone hormone ‘dihydrotestosterone’.
Alopecia areata can occur at any age but will mostly affect teenagers and young adults. These patches of baldness that may come and go are normally developed before a yound adult turns 20. It is a problem that is thought to be caused by a weakness in the immune system. Currently, there is no treatment but normally the hair will grow back after a year.
Scarring alopecia usually occurs as a complication of other conditions. In this type of hair loss the hair follicle is completely destroyed and can never grow back. Scarring alopecia can be caused by scleroderma, lichen planus or shingles. The final type of hair loss, telogen effluvium, is reasonably common and improves at the best rate. Telogen effluvium normally occurs as a reaction to stress of medication and hair is shed from the scalp. The hair will usually grow back as normal without treatment after a few months.