The medical term for abnormal hair loss is alopecia. The usual place to lose hair is on the scalp. It is typically caused by your genetic makeup, often triggered by the environment including chemical exposure (including medicines), lack of proper nutrition, stress or illness.
There are three major forms of alopecia:
- Androgenetic Alopecia
This comprises both male pattern baldness and female pattern baldness. In men, this type of hair loss starts in a receding hairline and then start thinning the hair on the top of the head. In women, hair loss occurs more generally over the entire scalp. Most hair loss results from the miniaturization of genetically predisposed follicles.
- Alopecia Areata
This is an autoimmune skin disease where hair loss can occur anywhere on the body. It usually starts with a round area on the scale and can progress to total scalp hair loss (alopecia totalis) or total body hair loss (alopecia universalis).
- Aicatricial Alopecia
This is hair loss caused by the destruction of hair follicles due to inflammation or other causes.
To understand hair loss, we need to learn how your hair grows because hair loss results from a disruption in the hair growth cycle.