Types of Hair Loss

Hair loss can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetics, medical conditions, medication, and lifestyle. The two most common types of hair loss are androgenetic alopecia (male or female pattern baldness) and telogen effluvium (temporary shedding). Other types include alopecia areata, traction alopecia, and scarring alopecia.

Types of Hair Loss

Following are the major types of hair loss −

Androgenetic Alopecia (Male or Female Pattern Baldness)

Explanation: Gradual thinning and loss of hair from the crown or hairline is typically due to genetic and hormonal factors.

Causes include genetics, hormonal imbalances, and aging.

Prevention − There is no known prevention, but early treatment can slow down the progression.

Remedy − Medications such as minoxidil and finasteride, hair transplant surgery, and scalp micropigmentation.

Types − Androgenetic alopecia, also known as male or female pattern baldness, is a common form of hair loss that affects both men and women. There are two types of androgenetic alopecia −

  • Male pattern baldness (MPB) − This type of androgenetic alopecia is the most common form of hair loss in men. It is characterised by a receding hairline and thinning hair on the crown of the head, leading to a horseshoe-shaped pattern of hair around the sides and back of the head.

  • Female pattern hair loss (FPHL) − This type of androgenetic alopecia is the most common form of hair loss in women. It is characterised by thinning hair on the top of the head, which may eventually progress to widespread hair loss across the scalp. Women with FPHL typically retain their frontal hairline and do not experience a complete balding pattern like men with MPB.

Telogen Effluvium (Temporary Shedding)

Explanation − Sudden excessive shedding of hair from all over the scalp is usually due to a triggering event such as stress or medication.

Causes − Physical or emotional stress, hormonal changes, medication side effects

Prevention − Reduce stress; avoid harsh hair treatments; maintain a balanced diet.

Remedy − Time and patience, as it usually resolves on its own, but treatment may be necessary if the underlying cause persists.

Types − Telogen effluvium is a type of hair loss that is characterised by a temporary shedding of hair. There are two types of telogen effluvium:

  • Acute Telogen Effluvium − This type of telogen effluvium is a sudden and severe form of hair loss that is often triggered by a traumatic event, such as surgery, childbirth, or a major illness. The hair loss typically occurs within a few months of the traumatic event, and the hair usually regrows naturally after a few months.

  • Chronic Telogen Effluvium  This type of telogen effluvium is a long-term form of hair loss that is characterised by a gradual thinning of hair over a period of several months or years. The cause of chronic telogen effluvium is often unknown, but it is thought to be related to hormonal changes, stress, or nutritional deficiencies. Treatment for chronic telogen effluvium may involve addressing the underlying cause of the hair loss, such as stress reduction or dietary changes. Topical or oral medications may also be used to promote hair growth.

Alopecia Areata

Explanation − The sudden onset of patchy hair loss, often in circular or oval shapes, is due to an autoimmune reaction against hair follicles. It is worth noting that some people with alopecia areata may experience hair regrowth without treatment, while others may have ongoing hair loss. The type and extent of alopecia areata vary from person to person.

Causes − genetics, autoimmune disorders, environmental triggers

Prevention − There is no known prevention, but managing underlying autoimmune conditions may help.

Remedy − corticosteroid injections, topical immunotherapy, oral immunosuppressants, or hair transplant surgery

Types − Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder that causes hair loss on the scalp and other parts of the body. There are different types of alopecia areata, including −

  • Patchy Alopecia Areata − This is the most common type of alopecia areata, characterized by one or more small, round bald patches on the scalp.

  • Alopecia Areata Totalis − This type of alopecia areata results in total hair loss on the scalp.

  • Alopecia Areata Universalis − This type of alopecia areata results in total hair loss on the scalp and the entire body, including the eyebrows, eyelashes, and body hair.

  • Alopecia Areata Ophiasis − This type of alopecia areata results in hair loss in a band-like pattern around the back and sides of the scalp.

  • Alopecia Areata Diffusa − This type of alopecia areata results in diffuse hair loss all over the scalp.

Traction Alopecia

Explanation − Hair loss is caused by pulling on the hair repeatedly and over time, typically due to tight hairstyles.

Causes − Tight braids, weaves, ponytails, and hair extensions

Prevention − Avoid tight hairstyles, take frequent hair breaks, alternate hairstyles, and use protective styles.

Remedy − Discontinuing damaging hairstyles, scalp massage and care, and hair growth treatments such as minoxidil Severe cases may require hair transplant surgery.

Scarring Alopecia

Explanation − Hair loss is caused by the destruction of hair follicles and is replaced by scar tissue.

Causes − Autoimmunity disorders, infections, burns, or injuries

Prevention − There is no known prevention.

Remedy − Treatment depends on the underlying cause and extent of hair loss and may include oral or topical corticosteroids, immunosuppressants, or hair transplant surgery.

Anagen Effluvium

Explanation − Hair loss occurs during the anagen (growth) phase of the hair cycle, typically due to exposure to toxins or chemotherapy.

Causes − radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and exposure to toxins

Prevention − Scalp cooling during chemotherapy

Remedy − Stopping the toxin or completing chemotherapy can allow hair to regrow naturally. In some cases, hair transplant surgery may be an option.

Involutional Alopecia

Explanation − There is gradual thinning of the hair with aging, as hair follicles become smaller and produce thinner and fewer hairs.

Cause − Natural ageing is one of the causes.

Prevention − There is no known prevention.

Remedy − Hair growth treatments such as minoxidil or hair transplant surgery


Explanation − This is a compulsive disorder in which individuals have an irresistible urge to pull out their hair, leading to noticeable hair loss.

Causes − psychological and emotional stressors

Prevention − Therapy and stress management techniques

Remedy − Therapy, habit reversal training, and hair regrowth treatments such as minoxidil. In some cases, wigs or hairpieces may be used to conceal hair loss.

Chemotherapy-Induced Hair Loss

Explanation − Hair loss is caused by chemotherapeutic treatment, which targets rapidly dividing cancer cells and also affects rapidly dividing hair cells.

Causes − Chemotherapy treatment

Prevention − Scalp cooling or hypothermia during chemotherapy

Remedy − Hair regrowth typically occurs within 3–6 months after chemotherapeutic treatment ends. Hair growth treatments such as minoxidil can also help.

Hair Loss Caused by Nutritional Deficiencies

Explanation − Hair loss is caused by an inadequate intake of essential nutrients required for healthy hair growth.

Causes − Deficiencies in iron, zinc, biotin, or vitamin D

Prevention − Eating a well-balanced diet and taking vitamin supplements if necessary

Remedy − Correcting the nutrient deficiency through dietary changes and supplementation can help improve hair growth. In some cases, hair regrowth treatments such as minoxidil may also be used.


In conclusion, there are several types of hair loss, each with its own causes, prevention measures, and remedies. Androgenetic alopecia, telogen effluvium, alopecia areata, traction alopecia, scarring alopecia, anagen effluvium, involutional alopecia, trichotillomania, chemotherapy-induced hair loss, and nutritional deficiencies-induced hair loss are the most common types of hair loss. Understanding the specific type of hair loss is essential to developing an effective treatment plan. Proper hair care, a well-balanced diet, and medical treatment options can help prevent and treat hair loss. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional if experiencing hair loss to determine the underlying cause and the appropriate course of action.

Updated on: 21-Mar-2023


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