top of page

Types of Alopecia

Alopecia refers to the loss of hair from the scalp or any other part of the body.

There are several types of alopecia, each with its own characteristics and underlying causes. Here is a list and description of some common types of alopecia:

  1. Androgenetic Alopecia (Male and Female Pattern Baldness):

    • This is the most common type of hair loss and is hereditary.

    • In men, it typically starts with a receding hairline and balding at the crown.

    • In women, it often leads to diffuse thinning of the hair.

    • It is related to hormonal changes and genetic factors.

  1. Alopecia Areata:

    • Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder that causes hair loss in small, round patches on the scalp or other areas of the body.

    • It can occur suddenly and may result in complete hair loss on the scalp (alopecia totalis) or the entire body (alopecia universalis).

    • The exact cause is not well understood but is believed to involve immune system dysfunction.

  1. Traction Alopecia:

    • Traction alopecia results from prolonged pulling or tension on the hair follicles, often due to tight hairstyles like braids, cornrows, or tight ponytails.

    • Over time, this constant tension can damage and weaken the hair follicles, leading to hair loss.

  1. Telogen Effluvium:

    • Telogen effluvium is characterised by sudden and widespread hair shedding.

    • It is typically caused by significant stressors on the body, such as illness, surgery, childbirth, or extreme weight loss.

    • The hair usually grows back once the underlying cause is addressed.

  1. Cicatricial (Scarring) Alopecia:

    • This rare form of alopecia occurs when hair follicles are replaced by scar tissue.

    • Various conditions, including autoimmune diseases and infections, can cause cicatricial alopecia.

    • Hair loss is permanent in affected areas.

  1. Trichotillomania:

    • Trichotillomania is a psychological disorder where individuals have an irresistible urge to pull out their hair, resulting in hair loss.

    • The hair pulling can be from the scalp, eyebrows, eyelashes, or other body hair.

    • Treatment often involves therapy to address the underlying psychological causes.

  1. Anagen Effluvium:

    • Anagen effluvium is typically caused by exposure to toxins, such as chemotherapy drugs.

    • It leads to the sudden and rapid loss of actively growing hairs.

    • Once the offending agent is removed or discontinued, hair may gradually grow back.

  1. Alopecia Mucinosa (Follicular Mucinosis):

    • Alopecia mucinosa is a rare skin disorder that causes scaly, patchy hair loss on the scalp or face.

    • It is often associated with the accumulation of mucin, a substance in the hair follicles.

    • The exact cause is unclear, but it may be related to immune system dysfunction.

  1. Diffuse Alopecia:

    • Diffuse alopecia refers to a general thinning of hair across the scalp without distinct bald patches.

    • It can result from various factors, including nutritional deficiencies, illness, or hormonal changes.

  1. Secondary Syphilis-Related Alopecia:

    • Alopecia can be a symptom of secondary syphilis, a sexually transmitted infection.

    • It is often accompanied by other symptoms like skin rashes and fever.

Treatment options for alopecia depend on the specific type and underlying cause. It's important to consult a healthcare professional or dermatologist for an accurate diagnosis and personalised treatment plan.


bottom of page