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TYPES OF ALOPECIA

GENERAL INFORMATION ON THE VARIOUS TYPES OF HAIR LOSS

Hair loss is called “alopecia” in medical terms. There can be several causes:

Congenital alopecia

By destruction of the hair follicle.

Scarring alopecia

By destruction of the hair follicle (physical or chemical trauma, skin infections or tumours, special dermatosis).

Alopecia areata

Spot baldness from immunological and genetic cause.

Anagen effluvium

Sudden and diffuse loss of hair following an attack on the hair follicle during the anagen or growth phase. Such an attack can be produced by various causes such as medications, high fevers, etc.

Telogen effluvium

Telogen effluvium is an increasingly common situation of hair loss that affects mainly women between 30 and 60 years of age. It usually begins 2 to 4 months after the triggering cause, so it is not easy to associate it with a cause or reason at first glance.

It is usually caused, among many other reasons, by a deficiency in essential elements (amino acids, trace elements and vitamins) for normal hair metabolism.

There is, however, a key moment in women when telogen effluvium occurs more frequently: after childbirth.

Androgenetic alopecia (AGA)

Also known as “male pattern hair loss”, as it mainly affects the men, although it can also occur in women.

It is the most common type of hair loss. Statistics show that more than half of the population over 40 years of age and 66% of adult males show some signs of AGA. This type of alopecia depends on three factors: age, genetics and hormones.

Androgenetic alopecia in women is caused by increased susceptibility to dehydrotestosterone (DHT), a sex hormone present in both men and women. A woman with a bald father and maternal grandfather is highly likely to suffer from hair thinning by the age of 50.

The importance of image

Today’s society greatly influences the image and physical appearance of people. A feeling of social failure, of helplessness (“nothing can be done”) and of loss of attractiveness (loss of youth and first signs of premature ageing) are some of the consequences of hair loss on the emotional state.

According to a study published by Sigma Dos in 1999, one in four Spanish men concerned about their hair loss confesses that “they would have more confidence in themselves and would increase their social life if they didn’t lose their hair”.

Hair loss in women also has a very negative influence on the quality of life, because hair is part of a woman’s image, her way of being and her way of feeling.

THE HAIR GROWTH CYCLE

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