Hair disorders affect men and women of all ages. Disorders of the hair can be seen in everyone from infants to fully-grown adults, causing abnormalities like hair shedding, thinning, and baldness. Despite being so common, hair disorders can inflict serious mental and emotional pain. Hair plays a significant role in our perception of things like status and attractiveness, so disorders that cause hair loss or shedding often undermine confidence, self image, and self esteem.
Three of the most common forms of hair loss and hair disorders include alopecia areata, andgrogenetic alopecia, and telogen effluvium. This guide has been developed to help Miami residents recognize the warning signs of each, as well as the different methods that hair loss professionals might use to diagnose them.
3 Common Hair Loss Disorders
1. Alopecia areata. When hair loss occurs in widespread areas throughout the body, hair loss professionals call it alopecia areata. When the hair loss occurs throughout the entire body, including the scalp, the disorder is known as alopecia totalis.
Warning Sign: Shedding/ hair loss occurring in circular areas.
2. Androgenetic alopecia. This is one of the most common types of hair loss. When hair transplant surgeons discuss male or female pattern baldness, they are referring to androgenetic alopecia and the way it causes hair to stop growing in a predictable progression (the pattern).
Physicians may use one of two different classification systems to diagnose and treat this type of hair disorder. The first categorizes male pattern baldness, and it’s called the Norwood Classification. For female patients, the Ludwig Classification is used. In addition to Norwood and Ludwig Classifications, surgeons may employ one of the tests described in the section below to better understand the severity and likely progression of the patient’s hair loss.
Warning Sign: Gradual thinning of hair (no shedding).
3. Telogen effluvium. This type of hair disorder occurs when hair enters into the “shedding” phase of the growth cycle prematurely. Telogen effluvium is most commonly triggered by periods of heightened stress, which can occur mentally, physically, or even emotionally. For example, the victim of a severe car accident might experience this hair disorder as a result of the physical and emotional trauma.
Telogen effluvium is more common among women than men, and it could take up to 3 months to take affect.
Warning Sign: Shedding (diffuse).
Testing for Hair Disorders
There are a variety of ways hair loss professionals test for hair disorders. Here is a list of the most common 4:
- Hair Pull Test
- Hair Count
- Lab Tests
To learn more about any of these tests, visit this page on hair loss evaluation.
Hair Disorder Consultation in Miami
Don’t let a hair disorder compromise your sense of happiness with life. If you or a loved one is suffering with a hair disorder, our team has the experience and expertise to help. We hold every patient’s pursuit of a new head of hair in the highest regard, and we welcome you to contact our Institute to learn more about our approach to hair loss diagnosis and treatment.
Contact us online or call directly, (305) 925-0222.