How Do I Know What Type of Hair Loss I Have?

Hair loss is incredibly common. Nearly 80 percent of men and half of the population of women will experience significant hair loss during their lifetime. Fortunately, there are many options available to slow down, halt, or reverse hair loss – or to replace permanently lost tresses.

The first steps toward addressing hair loss are to determine whether or not your hair loss is excessive and – if so – to understand what may be causing it. Only then can you formulate a plan to restore a thicker, fuller head of hair.

How Do I Know If My Hair Loss is Normal?

Healthy hair has a robust cycle of growth, transition, resting, shedding, and regrowth. Every hair on your head is at some point in this cycle. So, it’s natural that you will lose a percentage of these strands every day. It’s perfectly normal to lose between 50 to 100 hairs each day.

While this may seem like a lot (especially if you have dark, curly, or long hair), these hairs are typically in the process of being replaced with fresh growth. If you are losing more than this amount of hair each day, it is considered excessive hair loss and may be a cause for concern.

What Are the Common Types of Hair Loss?

While this is by no means a complete list, these are some of the most common hair loss causes:

  • Androgenic alopecia, also known as male (or female) pattern baldness, is a progressive, permanent form of hair loss caused mainly by hereditary factors. Hormones cause miniaturization of the follicles, leading to rapid shedding and poor regrowth. Eventually, some follicles cease to produce hair at all. In men, this typically appears as an M-shaped receding hairline, and in women is expressed as overall thinning – most visible at a widening part.
  • Telogen effluvium is a type of hair thinning due to physical or psychological stress. Stress disrupts the hair’s growth cycle, leading to excess shedding throughout the scalp as well as slow regrowth. Often, if the stressor is eliminated then hair will regrow after several months.
  • Alopecia areata is a condition where the immune system attacks the hair follicles, causing round patches of hair loss. Alopecia areata is treatable if the underlying cause is addressed, and hair regrowth may be possible.
  • Scarring alopecia is permanent hair loss that occurs when burns, chemicals, infections, or autoimmune issues destroy some or all of the hair follicles.
  • Traction alopecia is hair loss caused by wearing tight hairstyles or headwear. If pulling on follicles continues, hair loss in the affected areas may become permanent.

How Do I Know What Type of Hair Loss I Have?

You might be able to make an educated guess about your hair loss based on which part of your scalp is losing hair. For example, if your hair is falling out in a receding M-shaped pattern then it’s probably androgenic alopecia. Round, coin-sized patches could indicate alopecia areata. Allover shedding would point to telogen effluvium, or possibly female pattern baldness in women.

Known health or behavioral issues also provide clues as to what sort of hair loss you are experiencing. If you are under physical or emotional stress, telogen effluvium is a possibility. If you wear a tight hairstyle, you should suspect traction alopecia.

There is, however, no substitute for a proper, full examination by a physician specializing in hair loss. During your initial consultation, you will be asked about your family history, the specifics of your hair loss, your lifestyle, and any health issues you may be experiencing. Your doctor will conduct an examination of your hair and scalp… and may perform tests to determine how easily your hair breaks or pulls from your scalp. If a health issue is suspected, additional diagnostics may be ordered.

Our Experts Will Get to the Root of Your Hair Loss

Dealing with hair loss can be challenging. But we are here to answer your questions, put your mind at ease, and assist you in regaining your confidence with a fuller, thicker head of hair. The experts at HairMD have performed more than 5,000 hair transplants, including ARTAS® robotic-assisted procedures that deliver natural-looking results with minimal downtown. We also offer nonsurgical treatments to preserve and enhance your existing hair. 

Contact us today to set up a consultation. Let’s get to the root of your hair loss and create a plan to achieve the hairline you desire.