The fall of the hair is a worrying development and compounded by the possibility of becoming alopecia if not treated early.
The hair, as well as the rest of the body villi, is produced by skin structures called hair follicles and is responsible for protecting the surface of the head from the harmful effects of sunlight, including UV radiation and incident heat.
Since ancient times, mainly in western culture, hair has also been considered one of the attributes most related to beauty and youth, reflecting the health condition in which an individual finds himself.
The appearance and quantity of hair are the results of a balanced process of generation and elimination. Normally, each hair follicle goes through three phases of development independently and cyclically: a phase of hair growth, called the anagen phase (lasting 2 to 6 years), a phase of hair loss, called the catagen phase, and a phase of rest, called telogen phase (lasting 2 to 4 months), during which hair loss occurs.
In various circumstances, pathological or not, the hair follicles can synchronize and pass simultaneously from the anagen phase to the telogen phase, resulting in massive hair loss. The latter is called alopecia and can be caused, as we will see, by a wide variety of disorders.
The factors that can cause hair loss are very varied. Among the non – pathological factors are hormones, stations, drugs or growth factors. The pathological factors include both disorders hair as diseases affecting the scalp hair follicles. Visit here https://hairnhair.org/
The 7 most common types of alopecia are listed below, with an emphasis on their origin and how they cause hair loss.
This is the most common form of alopecia, affecting approximately 70% of men (in whom it is also called baldness ) and 40% of women. It originates from a hormonal imbalance that causes a shortening of the anagen phase and with it an interruption of the hair formation cycle.
During androgenic alopecia, testosterone found in the bloodstream is converted to dihydrotestosterone (DTH) which binds to receptors in the hair follicle and modifies the hair formation cycle . When analyzed microscopically, and alteration of the structure of the affected hair follicles is observed, which appears shorter and narrower.
Scientific studies have shown that hair loss begins in areas of the scalp that are sensitive to the effect of DHT. For this reason, hair loss occurs following a pattern, which in men is called the Hamilton-Norwood pattern and in women the Ludwig pattern. Based on these two patterns of hair loss, the Hamilton-Norwood and Ludwig scales have been developed for the classification of androgenic alopecia in men and women respectively.
The Hamilton-Norwood scale consists of seven classification stages based on hair loss in the areas: frontal, temporal (commonly called entrances), and occipitotemporal (also called “the crown”) of the skull. As the scale rises, it is observed how the regions with hair loss come together until they end in complete baldness .
For its part, the Ludwig scale consists of only 3 degrees of classification based on a pattern of hair loss that extends circularly from the central region of the skull to the rest of it. This classification also takes into account the density of hair and its fragility .
Although this type of alopecia does not have life-threatening consequences, it is a cause of concern for those who suffer from it. In addition, female alopecia areata
Diffuse alopecia or telogen effluvium
This corresponds to the second largest cause of alopecia in the population , affecting both men and women, although it occurs much more frequently in the latter. The main characteristic of telogen effluvium is a constant and uniform hair loss over the entire surface of the scalp. Its causes are varied, however, they all share the fact that they cause atrophy of the hair follicle and alteration of the hair formation cycle , thus causing a sudden hair loss .
The telogen effluvium occurs spontaneously after critical events such as childbirth or in endocrine disorders and nutritional as thyroid diseases and iron deficiency respectively,
In general, telogen effluvium is self-limiting and lasts for approximately 6 months. Upon completion, the individual may have lost up to 50% of their total hair.
The alopecia areata is the third most frequent cause of alopecia is characterized by appearing suddenly. When it affects the entire scalp, it is called alopecia areata totalis, while when it affects the entire body, it is called alopecia areata Universalis.
The specific causes that lead to this type of alopecia are still unknown. However, scientific studies suggest that there is a genetic predisposition and that the pathological mechanism involves a strong autoimmune response. Due to this, alopecia areata is related to other inflammatory disorders such as Graves’ disease, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, atopic eczema, and vitiligo.
The treatment for alopecia areata is variable and depends on the severity in which it is located. Usually, its course is very variable; While some individuals heal spontaneously, others progress to complete hair loss. Therefore, the early diagnosis of alopecia areata is of utmost importance, not only for its aesthetic implications but also for its relationship with other autoimmune pathologies.
Alopecia due to stress
The stress is the biological response of an organism to a stimulus applicant and manifests as emotional and physical pressure. One of the characteristics of stress is leading to the release of high concentrations of the hormone cortisol and other mediators such as substance P, the adrenocorticotropic hormone and prolactin. The sustained effect of cortisol and these mediators over time has consequences that can be deleterious for the health of the individual, including hair loss.
The alopecia or hair fall stress is the result of the effect of cortisol and other mediators in the cells of the hair follicle which act by inhibiting the growth of hair and promoting inflammation of the hair follicle.
This type of alopecia can be the primary cause of hair loss. However, it can happen that stress from hair loss due to another circumstance increases alopecia and aggravates the pathological picture.
The end result is hair loss that subsides once the primary cause or stressor is removed.
This category encompasses a set of conditions in which hair follicles are irreversibly destroyed, both directly and indirectly, and replaced by fibrous scar tissue. This type of alopecia is not entirely uncommon since it represents approximately 7% of visits to the specialist. In clinical analysis, the affected region is pale, smooth, and devoid of pores due to the total loss of the follicle.
Of all alopecia, this is one of the most difficult to diagnose and treat. The pathological mechanism of the different diseases that trigger scarring alopecia is still unknown. This makes diagnosis difficult due to overlapping clinical symptoms. On the other hand, the treatment of scarring alopecia is also complicated due to the irreversible loss of the follicle. Because hair follicle negénesis occurs within the uterus, the only hair therapy available in most cases is a hair implant or hair graft.
Fibrosing Frontal Alopecia
Female patients with Frontal Fibrosing AlopeciaThis type of alopecia mainly affects postmenopausal women between the ages of 55 and 70. It is considered scarring alopecia that almost exclusively affects the front-temporal line of the scalp. However, it can affect other areas of the scalp and eyebrows. The latter can become thin and in some cases disappear completely.
The causes of fibrosing frontal alopecia are unknown, however, considering its postmenopausal appearance, it is suspected that a hormonal imbalance is involved. Scientific studies suggest that estrogen in postmenopause induces peripheral inflammation that over time causes damage to the hair follicle and produces hyperkeratosis and erythema of the affected area. Additionally, it has been shown that the use of certain cosmetic products, as well as smoking habits, can be causes of fibrosing frontal alopecia.
There are diseases that do not directly affect the hair fiber but at the effect, the scalp can produce, in their most critical states, falling hair. Of these the most common are: dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis, and infections. If you want to know in greater detail the diseases of the scalp that can cause hair loss, read our post by clicking on the link.
As we can see, the causes of alopecia are quite varied, hence the importance of visiting the dermatologist in time to be able to make a diagnosis on time. Many of this alopecia are of spontaneous resolution, but others require the use of treatments against hair loss in order to be cured. The loss treatments of hair are different, there are from more conventional techniques such as the use of shampoos and vitamins fall to techniques innovative as capillary graft and each of its variants. Check all the information you need about hair loss treatments click the link to our post. If you have noticed an increase in hair loss, do not hesitate to quickly consult the treatments available with a specialist.