Hair loss affects about 35 million men and 21 million women in the United States alone. 40% of men have noticeable hair loss by age 35 and 65% by age 60.
What is hair loss?
The word "alopecia" is the medical term for hair loss, which refers to any form of hair loss refer rather that one specific hair loss disease. The average adult has between 90-150 K hairs located on the body. Most hair grows at a rate of about one inch every two months. Some hairs are in a "resting stage", after which the hair is shed and a new hair grows out of the same follicle. Therefore, it is normal for men and women to lose anywhere from 500-100 hairs every day.
Types of hair loss
Alopecia areata - This condition can cause bald patches on the scalp or beard. Hair can grow back within several months, except for people who experience widespread hair loss on other parts of the body, when re-growth is unlikely.
Alopecia universalis - A rare type of alopecia areata which can result in total body hair loss or variants of the extent of hair loss.
Androgenic alopecia - This is the most common type of hair loss and is often called "male or female pattern baldness". Male pattern baldness can occur in men affect after puberty - at any age. The hair usually thins out first in the front of the scalp and moves progressively to the back and top of the head. Pattern baldness tends to be progressive and runs in families.
Telogen effluvium - This condition occurs when hair follicles shift into the telogen (or resting) phase prematurely, which can cause a general thinning of the hair. Telogen effluvium usually remits within 3-6 months after identified causes have been treated.
Tinea capitis - A skin disease characterized by bare patches of skin on the scalp caused by fungal infection can attack hair shafts and follicles (a.k.a."ringworm of the scalp"). Tinea capitis is most commonly found in children ages 10 and under, even though it can occur in older people.
Trichotillomania - A psychological condition characterized by incessant pulling or plucking of one's own hair. Commonly treatable in children, adults with this condition rarely recover.
Although common, hair loss can be an embarrassing condition. But what causes hair loss? And when are you at risk for losing your hair? Continue reading here for more information on hair loss causes.