Alopecia is a general term for hair loss. Alopecia areata is a specific, common cause of hair loss that can occur at any age. It usually causes small, coin-sized, round patches of baldness on the scalp, although hair elsewhere such as the beard, eyebrows, eyelashes, body and limbs can be affected. Occasionally it can involve the whole scalp (alopecia totalis) or even the entire body and scalp (alopecia universalis). It is not possible to predict how much hair will be lost. Regrowth of hair in typical alopecia areata is usual over a period of months or sometimes years, but cannot be guaranteed. The hair sometimes regrows white, at least in the first instance. Further hair loss is not uncommon. In alopecia totalis and alopecia universalis, the likelihood of total regrowth is less.
Trichotillomania (trik-o-til-o-MAY-nee-uh), also called hair-pulling disorder, is a mental health disorder, where sufferers have irresistible urges to pull out hair from their own scalp, eyebrows or other areas of the body, despite best efforts to stop.
Hair pulling from the scalp often leaves patchy bald spots, thinning hair and hair loss which can cause significant distress.
For some people, trichotillomania may be mild and generally manageable. For others, the compulsive urge to pull hair is overwhelming. Some treatment options have helped many people reduce their hair pulling or stop entirely.
Female pattern baldness, also called androgenetic alopecia, is hair loss that affects women. It’s similar to male pattern baldness, except that women can lose their hair in a different pattern than men.
Hair loss in women is normal, especially as you age. Up to two-thirds of women experience hair loss after menopause.
Female pattern baldness is hereditary. It’s more common after menopause, so hormones are likely responsible. If you notice that you’re losing hair, see your doctor or a dermatologist. They will be able to determine if you’re experiencing female pattern baldness or another type of hair loss.
In female pattern baldness, the hair’s growing phase slows down. It also takes longer for new hair to begin growing. Hair follicles shrink, leading the hair that does grow to be thinner and finer. This can result in hair that easily breaks.
In men, hair loss starts in the front of the head and recedes to the back until they go bald. Women lose hair from all over their head, starting at their part line. Hair at the temples may also recede.
Woman are less likely to go completely bald, but you may have a lot of thinning throughout your hair.