The lingering fear of hair loss is prevalent in many, many Malaysian men. Most of them know only about the surface information that they’ve heard or read about male baldness. They know it’s genetic to a certain extent, and that there are warning signs of hair thinning before the baldness begins. Beyond that, they aren’t too well informed.
In truth, male pattern baldness or hair loss, also known as alopecia, is a condition caused by a disruption of the body’s hair development cycle. The scalp is usually the most severely affected by alopecia, since it contains some 100,000 hairs that go through cycles of regrowth, development, and fall out.
Hair growth cycles normally happen in three stages. Hair grows rapidly during the anagen process. This stage could last for a long time. Hair stops growing and separates from its follicle, the structure beneath the skin that keeps the hair in place, during the catagen process. The catagen process lasts for approximately ten days. The follicle rests for two to three months during the telogen process, after which the hair falls out. As a new hair develops in the same follicle, the next anagen process begins. This natural cycle causes most people to lose 50 to 100 hairs every day.
Hair can begin to fall out more quickly than it is regenerated if this cycle is interrupted or if a hair follicle is damaged, resulting in symptoms such as a receding hairline, patches of hair coming out, or a general thinning of hair. Hair loss is often attributed to a person’s genetics, but it can also be caused by a variety of medical and behavioral conditions that disrupt the growth cycle and cause hair loss.
What’s more, there are multiple types of hair loss in men. Here are 8 of the most common ones:
- Androgenic Alopecia
It is a common form of hair loss that both men and women experience. It’s also known as male pattern baldness, and it’s characterized by hair loss or thinning on the crown of the head, as well as a receding hairline from the temples. A U-shaped hair pattern around the back and sides of the head usually persists, but hair can continue to fall out, eventually leading to total baldness. Hair loss in men can start at any age after puberty and progress over years or decades.
- Alopecia Areata
This is a condition that happens when the body’s immune system attacks the hair follicles, disrupting normal hair growth and development. It’s unclear what causes it, but it seems to be a rare occurrence in which the immune system attacks particular body tissues. Biopsies of the infected skin show immune cells inside the hair follicles, which are not usually present. Other autoimmune diseases such as ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, vitiligo, thyroid disease, and allergic disorders are often related to alopecia areata. In certain cases, alopecia areata affects several family members, implying a role for heredity and genes.
- Alopecia Universalis
This is the most severe form of alopecia, characterized by complete hair loss across the body. Since the lack of hair on the body exposes areas such as the nasal cavity, eyes, and scalp, those who suffer from this condition must take extra precautions to protect themselves from infection, the sun, and other potentially harmful elements.
- Alopecia Totalis
Alopecia Totalis is an auto-immune condition that causes complete hair loss on the scalp only. Alopecia Totalis is a disease that falls somewhere between Alopecia areata and Alopecia Universalis. Alopecia Totalis usually manifests itself in two ways. The first is a rapid and full hair loss in the head. The second form is a slower one that begins as patchy hair loss (alopecia areata) and progresses to complete hair loss in the scalp.
- Traction Alopecia
It is a hair loss disorder caused by constant tension or pulling on the hair follicle and papilla for an extended period. It usually occurs in people who wear tight braids, particularly “cornrows,” which cause pulling, high tension, and hair breakage. It may also be the result of cosmetic surgery that causes hair stress, such as facelifts.
This is a bacterial infection that causes inflammation to the hair follicles and is one of the most common skin infections. Even though it is insignificant in most cases, it can cause serious disease. It can be deep or superficial, and it causes an inflammatory nodule to form around the scalp. Hairs that have been contaminated can be quickly removed.
Hypotrichosis is a rare genetic disorder in which the scalp and body develop very little hair. At first, babies born with this condition may have normal hair growth; but, after a few months, their hair falls out and is replaced with sparse hair. By the age of 25, many hypotrichosis patients are bald. This condition has few treatment options, but some medications can help thicken or regrow hair.
- Cicatricial Alopecia
Scarring alopecia, also known as cicatricial alopecia, is a rare form of hair loss in which inflammation kills hair follicles and scar tissue forms in their place. Hair does not regrow after scar tissue develops.
Hair loss may start slowly enough that signs aren’t apparent, or it can happen all at once. Extreme itching, swelling, and red or white lesions on the scalp that resemble a rash are some of the other symptoms. This form of hair loss can affect both men and women at any age. The form of cicatricial alopecia that is causing your symptoms will determine your treatment options. Our physicians have treated people with cicatricial alopecia for several years and will prescribe a range of therapies to support you.
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