Posts Tagged ‘Types of hair loss’

Types of Hair

Sunday, January 2nd, 2011

Knwoing what these words mean can help you better understand the articles on this website.

The below are quotes from Wikipedia

Terminal hair
Terminal hairs are thick, long, and dark, as compared with vellus hair.[1]  During puberty, the increase in androgenic hormone levels causes vellus hair to be replaced with terminal hair in certain parts of the human body.[2]  These parts will have different levels of sensitivity to androgens, primarily of the testosterone family.[3]

The pubic area is particularly sensitive to such hormones, as are the armpits which will develop axillary hair.[4] Pubic and axillary hair will develop on both men and women, to the extent that such hair qualifies as a secondary sex characteristic,[5] although males will develop terminal hair in more areas. This includes facial hair, chest hair, abdominal hair, leg and arm hair, and foot hair.[6] Human females on the other hand can be expected to retain more of the vellus hair.[7]

Vellus hair
Vellus hair, colloquially referred to as ‘peach fuzz’ or ‘bum fluff’ is short, fine, light-colored, and barely noticeable hair that develops on most of a person’s body from his/her childhood. Exceptions include the lips, the back of the ear, the palm of the hand, the sole of the foot, some external genital areas, the navel and scar tissue. The density of hair – the number of hair follicles per area of skin – varies from person to person. Each strand of vellus hair is usually less than 2 mm (1/13 inch) long and the follicle is not connected to a sebaceous gland.[1]

Vellus hair is most easily observed on children and adult women, as they generally have less terminal hair to obscure it. Vellus hair is not lanugo hair. Lanugo hair is a much thicker type of hair that, in human forms, normally grows only on fetuses.

Vellus hair is differentiated from the more visible terminal or androgenic hair, which develops only during and after puberty, usually to a greater extent on men than it does on women.

Lanugo Hair
Lanugo is fine, downy hair; it is a type of fur. Often found in teratomas.

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Types of Alopecia and Overlap in their Causes

Sunday, January 2nd, 2011

Alopecia can strike anyone for any variety of reasons.  Even newborn babies can be born with this condition.  There are five most common types of hair loss, several other types of alopecia exist, the first five being the most common ones:

  • The most common form of baldness is a progressive hair thinning condition, so called Androgenic alopecia or male pattern baldness (MPB).
  • Female pattern baldness. The equivalent of MPB, and often is related to Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), malnutrition or wheat/gluten intolerance.
  • Alopecia areata, involves the loss of some of the hair from the head, Those with alopecia areata have scattered bald spots all over the head, or one large bald spot confined to one section of the head. It is known as “spot baldness”, it can result in hair loss ranging from just one location (Alopecia areata monolocularis) to every hair on the entire body (Alopecia areata universalis). Alopecia areata, is typically associated with sudden hair loss, sometimes related to trauma, or illness, stress, abusive hair styling such as tight braids and pony tails, wigs, hairpieces or chemicals used on the hair. Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder. *4
  • Alopecia totalis, involves the loss of all of the head hair, typically be characterized by the complete loss of hair on the head.  The shedding of normal hair will usually occur over a certain amount of time. The sufferers of alopecia totalis will sometime have a small amount of soft Lanugo hair left over after the normal hair has completely fallen out. *7
  • Alopecia universalis, which involves the loss of all of the hair from the head and the body, from the top of the head to the legs and feet including eye brows.  Alopecia universalis is the rarest condition of the five most common forms of alopecia. It is thought that alopecial universalis is an autoimmune condition. *5

The following are are thought of as being less common, these can be confused as female/male pattern baldness:

Traction alopecia is most commonly found in people with ponytails or cornrows who pull on their hair with excessive force.

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Trichotillomania is the loss of hair caused by compulsive pulling and bending of the hairs. It tends to occur more in children than in adults. In this condition the hairs are not absent from the scalp but are broken. Where they break near the scalp they cause typical, short, “exclamation mark” hairs.

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