The end result of hair loss is the same for everybody: hair that winds up on the shower floor, stuck in a brush, on your pillow, or pretty much anywhere other than your scalp. But how that hair falls out, where it falls out, and why it falls out can vary from person to person. People lose and shed their hair for different reasons, and those reasons will play a role in how baldness or thinning hair will manifest itself.
There are two primary hair loss patterns experienced by both men and women: progressive and diffuse. Understanding the differences between the two can help you identify your hair loss problem earlier and guide you as you seek options for stopping further loss and restoring your hair to a fuller, natural state.
Progressive Pattern Hair Loss
Accounting for over 95 percent of hair loss cases, progressive pattern baldness, also known as androgenetic alopecia, is a hereditary condition that causes hair miniaturization. This phenomenon causes hair follicles to become thinner and finer each time they progress through the growth cycle. Eventually, the follicles cease to grow at all and fall out.
Progressive pattern hair loss follows a familiar and predictable course. In men, it starts with shedding in the front of the scalp above the forehead that causes the hairline to recede gradually. This progresses to more noticeable hair loss across the top of the head, and finally toward the crown. In women, androgenetic alopecia acts differently, occurring throughout the scalp rather than in specific, isolated areas as it does in men.
Men are more likely to notice and experience pattern baldness earlier than women. 25 percent of American men see symptoms of male pattern baldness before the age of 21, approximately 66 percent of men suffer some degree of hair loss by age 35, and 85 percent of men see significant thinning related to androgenetic alopecia by age 50. About 40 percent of women experience pattern baldness but may not see any signs of thinning hair until the age of 50 or 60, long after the shedding starts.
Diffuse Hair Loss
As opposed to pattern baldness, which you can blame on your genes, diffuse hair loss is usually caused by environmental factors such as stress, hormonal imbalances, or trauma. These issues cause a condition called telogen effluvium in which hair follicles are shocked into a resting state. Since the follicles are not actively producing more hair to replace normal shedding, the thinning occurs in a diffuse pattern throughout the scalp. If the factors which are causing the thinning can be addressed and resolved, the follicles often return to their normal healthy state and fully regrow without surgical intervention.
If You See the First Signs of Hair Loss, Take the First Step Towards Fixing It
No matter how your hair loss issues become apparent, the first step towards fixing the problem is arranging for a comprehensive hair loss evaluation. Early detection, diagnosis, and treatment provide the best chance of stopping further hair loss and restoring the hair you’ve lost. Schedule an appointment with the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami today by calling us at 305.925.0222. We look forward to assisting you.