Identifying Extreme Hair Loss Conditions
Extreme hair loss happens when you are losing clumps of hair at a time leaving bald patches where the hair refuses to grow back. This type of extreme hair loss normally occurs due to a scalp disease or other types of conditions that are creating the hair loss.
Together, these conditions are called alopecia. There are different types of alopecia each related to the different types of conditions causing hair loss as well as the varying degrees of hair loss.
Alopecia totalis and alopecia universalis are the two most extreme of all the types of alopecia. The most common cause of alopecia totalis and universalis is due to chemotherapy or radiation treatment in cancer patients. Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent hair loss occurring through these treatments but the hair growth should return to normal once the treatments have stopped.
Other medications can also be the cause of severe hair loss. Find out whether this might be one of the side effects of a drug that you are currently using before looking at other avenues for answers to extreme hair loss.
- Traction alopecia and trichotillomania are self inflicted causes of hair loss. Traction alopecia is caused by the hair being tied up too tightly and being pulled out as a result. Corn rows, french plaits and other forms of braiding can also cause this hair loss condition.
- Trichotillomania is a condition where a person obsessively tugs or breaks their hair resulting in hair loss. The condition is classed as a form of obsessive compulsive disorder and can be treated through therapy and the use of medication.
- Pattern alopecia (also referred to as male pattern baldness) is a condition that more people are familiar with. The cause of this condition is mainly hormonal and while there are many different treatments available, it is best to consult a doctor to receive a treatment that will make a difference.
- Hyperthyroidism can cause thinning of the hair. You will know if you have hyperthyroidism as you will probably be overweight as your body struggles to metabolise the food that you eat. However, it does not automatically mean that you have hyperthyroidism if you are overweight and losing your hair.
Other types of hair loss are congenital. This means that they are genetic and that a person is born with the condition. Hair loss of a genetic nature is normally permanent and radical treatments like hair implants are the only treatment solutions.
Genetics also play a role in male pattern baldness but is not the cause of the baldness and therefore the condition remains treatable. Genetics will only provide a predisposition to the hair loss condition.
Your lifestyle can also affect the rate at which hair loss can occur. A highly stressed individual will find that they lose more hair than relaxed people. Diet can also affect hair loss. A lack of certain vitamins and minerals in the diet will cause hair loss while the consumption of other foods may result in the hair falling out.