Types of Hair Loss in Women

Types of Hair Loss in Women

by Dr. Vikram Singh Rathore

Posted on 10th May, 2023 at 5:28:06 AM

Hair loss is the most common problem faced by both men and women of all ages. Our extremely stressful lives and this exceptionally polluted environment have contributed to this. Hair loss not only affects our appearance but also our confidence. There are many remedies to treat hair loss. But before trying any remedies, it is best to know about your hair loss and its root cause. Here, we have listed the various types of hair loss in women and their causes.

Types of hair loss in Women

Before looking at the types of hair loss, it is better to understand how hair actually grows.

How does hair grow?

Hair grows in 3 phases

Anagen Phase- This is a growing phase. Hair can stay in this phase for 2-8 years. Cells in the hair bulb rapidly divide creating new hair and promoting growth. This stage determines the length of your hair. In this phase, the hair receives nourishment via the blood supply.

Catagen Phase- Also known as the transition phase. The blood supply to the hair is cut off, and the hair stops growing. This phase lasts for a short period mostly 2-3 weeks.

Telogen Phase- This is the final phase also known as the resting phase. As the blood supply is cut off, the hair is basically dead. It rests in the bulb until the new hair starts forming at the bottom and then falls off.

Now, we are ready to look at various types of hair loss in women.

Alopecia is the medical term for abnormal or excessive hair loss. It can be caused due to short-term conditions like stress, pregnancy, medications or serious conditions such as hormonal imbalance or some underlying diseases.

Androgenetic Alopecia- It is the most common type of hair loss and is associated with Dihydrotestosterone, a derivative of the male hormone testosterone. It causes thinning of hair all over the scalp. It may be a natural part of aging but can also be triggered by hormonal imbalances.

Telogen Effluvium- When you go through a traumatic incident like an accident, the death of a loved one or childbirth, or surgery, it severely impacts the hair. Most of the hair, be it in any phase of growth, subverts to the telogen phase, i.e., the resting phase. After 2-3 months all this hair starts to fall out. This is called Telogen Effluvium. It is possible that the hair goes back to its normal state of growth after a period of time, but it mostly remains as is.

Anagen Effluvium- It occurs if any harm is done to the hair follicle, mostly during chemotherapy. Chemotherapy targets the rapidly multiplying cells in the body, the rapidly growing hair cells in the anagen phase are also affected. Thus chemotherapy patients lose about 90% of their hair.

Alopecia Areata- In this type of hair loss, an inappropriate inflammatory reaction occurs. The body’s immune system attacks the roots of hair follicles. It leaves patchy bald spots on the head, which seem to rapidly grow.

Traction Alopecia- This is caused by damage to the hair follicles due to tight hairstyles or pulling of the hair. Braiding, tight ponytails, extensions, etc., are the root causes of this.

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