Most common forms:
Male-pattern baldness (androgenic alopecia):
Male-pattern baldness causes significant hair loss in up to 6.5 million men in the UK. It can start as early as the teenage years and occurs by the age of 40 in a significant proportion of men. This can cause significant emotional distress in some men, leading to a lack of self-esteem and even depression. Emotional distress is often more pronounced in younger men.
This will usually follow a pattern. It generally starts with a receding hairline as well as thinning of the hair on the temples and crown. It is uncommon for this type of hair loss to result in complete baldness. This form of hair loss usually occurs around the late twenties or early thirties and is normally a very slow process. By a man’s late thirties it is very common for him to have suffered some degree of hair loss.
This is less common and differs from male-pattern baldness. The hair generally only thins on top of the head. Female-pattern baldness is usually more prominent after the menopause.
Less common forms:
This is a form of hair loss that will present as patches of baldness. These patches will usually be about the size of a large coin. Alopecia areata can occur anywhere on the body, though it‘s more common to appear on the scalp. Approximately one in every ten sufferers of alopecia areata will also suffers symptoms in the fingernails, causing them to become grooved or pitted.
The symptoms of scarring alopecia will relate to the underlying condition that is causing it. For example, if lichen planus has caused the hair loss then the affected skin will likely be damaged too. This sets scarring alopecia apart from other forms of hair loss, as it also affects the skin where the hair has fallen out. Unfortunately, the damaged skin can cause the hair follicle to become damaged or destroyed. This means the hair is unable to grow back.
This is most commonly caused by the cancer treatment, chemotherapy. This form of alopecia is only temporary and the hair should start to grow back within a few months of completing the chemotherapy. The loss suffered from anagen effluvium is widespread and can affect the body and face as well as the scalp.