The average adult has about 100,000 to 150,000 hair on the head. We lose up to 100 of them a day naturally. So, finding a few stray hairs on your hairbrush or your shoulder and back is not usually a cause for alarm. However, if you lose more than that, you have a condition called hair loss or alopecia.
There are many types of alopecia:
Involutional alopecia is a natural condition in which the hair thins with age. More hair follicles go into the resting phase, and the remaining hairs become fewer in number. If cared for properly, the hair loss can be delayed.
Androgenic alopecia is hereditary and can affect both men and women. Men with this condition, called male pattern baldness, can begin suffering as early as in their teens or early 20s. Women with this condition, called female pattern baldness, usually don't experience thinning till their 40s.
There is no cure for androgenetic alopecia. However, it can be slowed down with the help of dermatologists and proper care.
Alopecia areata often starts suddenly and causes patchy hair loss in children and young adults, sometimes resulting in complete baldness. Hair usually regrows automatically.
Alopecia universalis is the advanced stage of Alopecia areata which causes all body hair to fall out.
Scarring alopecia develops when inflammation destroys hair follicles. Once a hair follicle is destroyed, it cannot regrow a hair. However, catching this condition early can prevent further hair loss.
Doctors are yet to know why certain hair follicles are programmed to have a shorter growth period than others. Reasons like medication, scalp infection, styling, hormonal imbalance, medication and psoriasis can also lead to the loss of hair.
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