Dermatologists comment that scalp hair loss seems to provoke more distress than many severe skin conditions. Unfortunately, hair loss may not be easy to remedy.
What causes hair loss?
Hair loss can be due to:
- Decreased growth of the hair
- Increased shedding of the hair
- Breakage of hairs
- Conversion of thick terminal hairs to thin vellus hairs
Hirsutism (or hirsutes) is the term used for increased hair growth in women. It refers to a male pattern of hair, i.e. in the moustache and beard areas (chin), or occurring more thickly than usual on the limbs. Hirsutism is very common.
There may be hairs on the chest or an extension of pubic hair on to the abdomen and thighs. What is considered normal for a woman, and what is considered hirsute, depends on cultural factors and race.
What is male pattern hair loss (androgenetic alopecia)?
Hair loss resulting in thinning is known as alopecia. When it is related to hormones (androgens) and genetics, it is known as androgenetic alopecia, or more commonly just balding. Male pattern alopecia is characterised by a receding hairline and/or hair loss on the top of the head. A similar type of hair loss in women, female pattern hair loss, results in thinning hair on the vertex (top) of the scalp but is generally less severe than occurs in males.