What is Baldness?
Baldness may be described as the partial or complete absence of hair on the scalp. It is also referred to by the medical term alopecia or hair loss. This condition does not only affect the scalp and hair loss can occur on other body areas such as eyebrows, eyelashes or pubic region.
Normally, an individual loses approximately 50 to 100 hairs a day but sometimes a larger amount of hair is lost. Baldness affects both men and women. Since baldness has become the hottest new trend, nowadays men are no longer embarrassed to shave their hair and "go bald."
For women, on the other hand, coping with baldness can be a very traumatic experience often bringing about self-esteem issues, anxiety and depression.
This condition may affect any part of the body that is covered in hair including the scalp, eyebrows, beard or pubic area. There are various types of male or female pattern baldness associated with hair loss that are classified by cause. Some are permanent while other types are temporary.
Baldness may be classified into specific types – permanent and
temporary baldness and include:
- Male-pattern baldness (androgenetic alopecia) affects men from a very early age, during their teens or early twenties. Balding appears at the top of the head with a receding hairline at the temples.
- Female-pattern baldness (androgenetic alopecia) is characterized by hair thinning at the front, sides and crown of the head. Complete baldness is seldom experienced in women.
- Cicatricial (scarring) alopecia is caused by scarring of the hair follicle which prevents the hair from growing back. It is a rare condition and symptoms are often associated with itching or pain.
- Alopecia areata is diagwhen hair loss occurs in small, bald spots in one particular area. Bald patches or hair loss usually occurs on the scalp but can affect other body areas such as eyebrows or beard. Hair eventually grows back after several months but if all body hair is lost, it may never grow back.
- Telogen effluvium is a condition where sudden loss of hair occurs because the normal hair growth cycle is interrupted. Hair begins to thin and fall out of the scalp, particularly when you wash or comb or hair.
- Traction alopecia occurs as a result of hairstyles that pull too tightly on the hair follicle. Hairstyles include braids, tight ponytails, cornrows, chignons, buns or twists.