Types of Hair Loss in Men

20 Nov
2017

There are many types of hair loss, which are all described by the medical term alopecia. However, this term just means ‘hair loss’ but doesn’t refer to a specific disease and therefore any form of hair loss is an alopecia. It can be caused by many factors from genetics and underlying illnesses to the environment, and can present a problem since treatment as always depends on the course. While you may consult Drugs-med.com for existing generic drugs, here are the most common types of hair fall in men, which we want you to understand for finding the best one for you.

Pattern hair loss, often called androgenic alopecia is the most common type of excess hair shedding in men, which affects 95% of those who face this problem. It has a strong genetic component from one of the parents and can start in youth, aggravating with time. This type is due to the effects of dihydrotestosterone that makes hair follicles stop producing normal hair, but producing thin, short and colorless hair instead, eventually ceasing hair production all together. Hair thinning is the first symptom, which quickly progresses to bald spots on top of the head forming an ‘M’ shape with individual variations. Once the follicles on the front, top and crown atrophy, the scalp appears tight and shiny.

Treatment options for this type are somewhat limited and are represented by local Minoxodil lotion and the only approved tablets for this condition Propecia or as it is also called Finasteride. Twice daily local application of the lotion, which is a vasodilator in fact, whose mode of action is unknown, helps in about 60% of cases. Whereas, once daily oral pill of Propecia, which blocks the effect of male hormones, halts hair loss and promotes its regrowth in 80% of cases.  Though the effects of both start to wear off when they are discontinued.

Alopecia areata is a highly unpredictable condition, with hair falling out at any time without a pattern. It usually presents as patchy or coin-shaped baldness anywhere on the scalp and in the beard area.  The condition is caused by the immune system attacking the follicles and is treated with steroid medications in the bald areas. Oftentimes it can start and stop suddenly with no obvious reason. In rare cases, when the condition is rapid in onset and therefore difficult to reverse, all the scalp hair can be lost.

Traction alopecia is the result of excessive strain or chronic tension on the hair follicles from tight hairstyles worn for years on end, as well as braiding and ongoing pulling that permanently damage the follicles and prevent hair from growing. It typically represents as a recession of frontal and temporal hairline, which cannot be reversed. However, changing hair style and removing tension from the follicles stops the progression of the condition.

Telogen effluvium presents as increased or generalized hair shedding over the entire scalp. It is also called stress-induced alopecia because it presents with any major stress on the body, as well as thyroid disease, surgery, low iron or inadequate protein. Once the root cause is treated and there is full recovery from the stressor, this type of hair loss reverses within months with no further treatment needed.