Different Type Of Alopecia: Five Types Of Alopecia Explained

Did you know that alopecia affects almost three-fourths of men?

Yes, it does. So odds are you might be experiencing a form of it.

Alopecia is the medical term for hair loss and there are a few different types of it that you should know about.

In this article we will describe each type of hair loss and show you what each type of alopecia looks like. Keep reading along!

What Is Alopecia?

If you are a beginner in hair loss then you probably don’t know what alopecia is.

When you first Google the topic, you probably see alopecia across your screen.

So what is it?

Alopecia is a medical term for hair loss. 

It can refer to patchy hair loss, complete baldness, or anything in between. 

The most common type of alopecia is male-pattern baldness, which affects about 70% of all men by the time they reach the age of 70.

What Are The Different Types Of Alopecia?

Interestingly, there is more than one type of alopecia.

Next, we will describe the different types of this condition and show you some pictures of them as well. 

That way you can figure out what kind of hair loss that you have and get the best help for it.

#5. Cicatricial Alopecia

Cicatricial Alopecia

This type of alopecia results in scarring. So, cicatricial alopecia is also referred to as scarring alopecia.

How does this happen?

When your scalp is inflamed the hair follicles will be destroyed and be inactive.

When your body tries to replace the dead hair follicle, it will instead replace the area with scar tissue.

Signs of this condition include itching, pain, or a warm sensation.

The reason for why people get this condition is not completely clear. However, it is most common in African American women who have tight hairstyles.

#4. Traction Alopecia

Traction Alopecia

Traction alopecia is caused by repeated stress on your hair through tugging or stretching.

For example, you can develop this type of alopecia by wearing your hair in a ponytail, dreadlocks, braids, etc.

People who wear these hairstyles end up with a receding hairline.

Over time, the pulling will cause damage to your hair follicles which then results in permanent hair loss.

In general, if you can catch this early on, the better.

To prevent this condition, you should switch to less strenuous hairstyles or switch hairstyles every couple months.

#3. Alopecia Totalis

Alopecia Totalis

This is another type of alopecia and is a more severe form of alopecia areata.

Alopecia totalis or alopecia universalis is an autoimmune disease that makes you lose all of the hair from your entire scalp.

In people with alopecia totalis, the body’s immune system attacks the hair follicles, causing them to shrink and eventually stop producing hair. 

The exact cause of alopecia totalis is not known, but it is thought to be related to both genetic and environmental factors. 

There is no cure for alopecia totalis, but there are treatments that can help to improve the appearance of the scalp and reduce discomfort.

#2. Alopecia Areata

Alopecia Areata

Alopecia areata is sometimes referred to as patchy baldness or alopecia barbae.

Theoretically, the bald patches can show up anywhere on your body. But, most people get round or oval patches on their scalp, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.

Alopecia areata is one kind of autoimmune disease.

What is an autoimmune disease?

An autoimmune condition causes your own immune system to attack your body.

In this case, the immune system is attacking your own hair follicles causing patchy baldness.

Fortunately, your hair can grow back on its own without any special treatment, although it is possible for the hair to fall out again.

#1. Androgenic Alopecia

Androgenic Alopecia

This type of hair loss is extremely common for men and women. It is also known as androgenetic alopecia, male pattern loss or female pattern loss.

In men, this condition leads to partial or complete baldness. There are many different stages and formations of male pattern hair loss. For example, you can experience a receding hairline or crown balding.

While in women, this condition will cause thinning hair, but it will not make you go completely bald or have a receding hairline.

The main drivers of this type of alopecia are your genes and the environment you are in.

What Doctor Do You See For Alopecia?

If you are experiencing any of the above types of alopecia, you will want to see a dermatologist.

Dermatologists specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of skin conditions.

Why see a dermatologist?

There are many different causes of hair loss, some of which are temporary and reversible, while others are permanent. 

It is important to determine the cause of your hair loss so that the appropriate treatment can be prescribed.

A dermatologist will help you get the right treatment for your hair loss such as a laser hair growth device.

Final Thoughts

Alopecia is the scientific term for hair loss.

However, hair loss can come in many different forms with each having a different cause.

Overall, there are five different types of alopecia.

Some are due to lifestyle while other types of alopecia are genetic.

Being able to identify the type of alopecia correctly can allow you dermatologist to find the best course of treatment for you.

Fact Checked by our Director of Dermatology We know that understanding how your skin and hair work can seem scary, so my team and I devote our time to thoroughly researching every single topic and product we write about. We hope you find our reviews helpful and informative.

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