Hair loss occurs in both men and women but differs dramatically in the appearance and rate. The most common type is called androgenetic alopecia, also known as "male pattern balding" and "female pattern hair loss."
Prediction of hair loss is a prevalent topic given how many people experience alopecia in some form. When a male comes in for a hair loss consultation, I'm trying to look into the “crystal ball” to question where the patient sitting in front of me will end up or which stage in hair loss progression could be the endpoint, so I can recommend appropriate treatment options.
Unlike some cosmetic and health fields where treatment preventions can start before any symptoms occur, hair loss is a condition not everyone will experience. When we talk about prevention as it relates to hair loss, the focus of this discussion is preventing further hair loss, not preventing hair loss from ever appearing. Likewise, any "prevention" approach to hair loss, we only recommend after miniaturization has begun.
October brings us Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This annual international campaign is designed to increase awareness of this disease including the prevention, early detection strategies and possible treatments. Various charities participate in hopes of raising funds that may ultimately contribute to the eradication of this disease that affects about 1 in 8 American women and 1 in 1,000 men.
This September, let's increase awareness of a specific type of alopecia, Trichotillomania. Trichotillomania is an obsessive compulsive disorder that causes people to pull out their own hair. At the root of an obsessive-compulsive disorder is a mental disorder in which people have unwanted and repeated thoughts, feelings, ideas, sensations (obsessions) and behaviors that drive them to do something over and over (compulsions).
September brings us Alopecia Areata Awareness Month. In the large family of alopecia and its causes, the focus this month is on Alopecia Areata. This is an autoimmune disease affects as many as 6.8 million people in America and causes hair loss that can range from patches of hair, typically circular and coin-size, to complete hair loss, otherwise known as alopecia totalis.
Hair infection from fungal agents, also called trichomycoses, is one of the common concerns in humans. Fungi or fungus are single celled or multinucleate organisms that decay and absorb the organic material in which they grow (including yeasts, mushrooms, molds, smuts, rusts and mildews). There are three common agents causing hair infections: