This is a common diagnosis, and is responsible for a significant amount of hair loss patients in our office. This type of hair thinning can present as early as the early 20s and usually shows specific patterns. For women, it usually presents as a widening of the hairline part at the top of the scalp (known as the crown of the scalp). For men, they may notice thinning and hair loss on the back of the scalp of the frontal hairline.
This type of hair loss happens when your body’s immune system attacks hair follicles. Most commonly it presents as clumps of hair that fall out and leaves behind a completely smooth scalp. We usually will see round, smooth patches on the scalp with this condition. Sometimes the loss may include the entire scalp – Alopecia Totalis. In some, rarer, cases it may involve the entire body in which case the diagnosis is Alopecia Universalis.
This is a more permanent form of hair loss which we see currently in patients who have worn hairstyles that pull on the hairs such as tight braids or extensions. This loss generally occurs over time and many times is permanent. With medical treatments, many patients will see fine regrowth of the hair; however, most patients do not return to the initial thickness or fullness of the hair.