Types of Hair Loss

The most common form of alopecia, of hair loss, is known as androgenetic alopecia. This refers to a genetic cause that results in hair along the vertex of the scalp being vulnerable to loss. In male patients, hair loss typically starts in the corners of the hairline and may advance to the center and crown areas.

A hair loss chart known as the Norwood Scale has been established to help patients follow the progression of their hair loss and alert them to the level of aggression. Once a hair loss pattern has reached the 2 and beyond stage, cosmetic alteration is typically necessary to maintain a normal hair appearance that seems unaffected by loss.

For female patients, genetic vulnerability to hair loss is just as prevalent. If there is a female within the family tree that is affected by hair loss, there is a strong possibility that other family members carry the gene responsible for female pattern hair loss. However, hormonal imbalances and aging may play a more prominent role in female hair loss when compared to typical male hair loss. As such, different considerations may be necessary when developing a treatment plan to combat a female patient’s hair loss.

Another type of hair loss that is common to African American men and women is known as traction alopecia. This is hair loss that is the result of repeated tension being applied to hair follicles from tight hairstyles. This tension results in hairs being frequently plucked from the scalp, and can most often be seen around the hairline and corners of the scalp. Sometimes these plucked hairs are so damaged and there is such a prevalence of scar tissue that hairs can no longer grow in these areas. From here, hair transplantation is often chosen as a method to replace the lost hairs and restore hairline appearances.