Understanding Your Hair Loss
Several factors can impact male hair loss, including any combination of the following:
- Conditions and diseases (androgenetic alopecia, trichotillomania, and more)
- DHT/decline in testosterone production
- Prescription drugs and medications (chemotherapy, blood thinners, steroids, antibiotics, and more)
- Poor nutrition
- Harsh hair care, such as tight braids or “man buns”
Is It a Condition or Disease?
For men, the most common cause of hair loss by far is androgenetic alopecia, also known as male pattern hair loss. This is an inherited condition and typically involves progressive hair loss.
However, there are several other conditions that can lead to male hair loss. Consider some of the possible factors:
- Androgenetic Alopecia
Inherited and progressive hair loss; also known as “male pattern baldness”
This condition accounts for more than nine out of 10 cases of male hair loss; in other words, if you are a man experiencing thinning hair, it is extremely probable that male pattern hair loss is at least part of your diagnosis. The condition involves dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a byproduct of testosterone, which binds to hair follicles and prevents them from getting the nutrients they need.
Male pattern hair loss is so named because most men with the condition experience progressive hair loss that follows a well-defined shape, or pattern, often resulting in an M-shape of hair left on the head.
While male pattern hair loss has a strong genetic component, it can also be triggered or exacerbated by other conditions, including stress. Rather than simply chalking up your hair loss to androgenetic alopecia, it can be helpful to meet with an expert who will walk you through all possible contributing factors, as well as all available solutions. When you are ready to have that conversation, contact us at Unique Hair Concepts.
- Alopecia Areata
Autoimmune disorder; unpredictable hair loss
Men’s hair loss may also be caused by an autoimmune disorder known as alopecia areata. This condition is more common than you might think; the National Alopecia Areata Foundation claims that more than 6.6 million Americans experience hair loss as a result of this condition.
So what does alopecia areata actually involve? The condition entails your immune system attacking the hair follicles, mistaking them for foreign invaders. This can happen on the scalp, on the face, across your body, or all of the above. And while the condition can begin at any age, it typically starts during childhood.
One thing that makes this condition so demoralizing is that it’s highly unpredictable. You may experience your hair falling out either very slowly or very suddenly, and it often happens in patches across your scalp. And while your hair loss may stop, and seem for a time to be under control, it may begin again at any time, and without advance warning.
Something else to be aware of is a condition known as alopecia totalis. This basically refers to an extreme version of alopecia areata that leads to complete hair loss. There’s also alopecia universalis, meaning total, whole-body hair loss.
While there is no known cure for this condition, there are plenty of ways we can help you here at Unique Hair Concepts, including helping you care for your scalp and to plan for potential hair loss. We’re also here to give you the emotional support you need during this often traumatizing experience. If you believe you have hair loss as a result of alopecia areata, please don’t hesitate to contact us at UHC.
- Alopecia Totalis
Autoimmune disorder; complete and often permanent hair loss
As we mentioned above, alopecia totalis is a form of alopecia areata, which means it’s basically an immune disorder wherein your immune system attacks the follicles. While milder forms of alopecia can result in patchy or temporary hair loss, alopecia totalis means you lose all the hair on your head… and while regrowth is not impossible, it’s extremely uncommon.
This condition may begin in one of two different ways. Sometimes it starts as gradual, patchy hair loss across the scalp. In other cases, it involves the sudden loss of hair all over your head. Also note that, if you lose all hair across your entire body, that probably means you’re dealing with an even more extreme condition, known as alopecia universalis.
What causes this autoimmune disorder? Researchers are not yet sure. What we can tell you is that this condition can impact you at any age, but usually begins before age 40. And while there is no cure for this autoimmune disorder, there are plenty of ways we can address the problem, including hair replacement and basic scalp care. The best way to receive ongoing education and care is by reaching out to Unique Hair Concepts at your convenience.
- Alopecia Universalis
Autoimmune disorder; whole-body hair loss
The most extreme variant of alopecia areata is quite rare, but severe in its effect. Basically, men who have alopecia universalis will lose all of their hair across their entire scalp and body. This condition can impact men and boys at pretty much any age, sometimes starting in childhood.
As with other forms of alopecia areata, alopecia universalis is basically an autoimmune disorder. While no one knows exactly what triggers it, it involves your immune system fighting the follicles, as though they were foreign invaders.
Whole-body hair loss can obviously have significant effects, both emotionally and cosmetically. Also be aware that the body’s natural hairs create an important layer of protection against the environment, as well as against bacteria. As such, seeking treatment is essential.
Our trichology-focused salon has the expertise and the specialized techniques needed to help men manage their alopecia, and to provide natural-looking hair replacement. If you have any questions about this rare condition, contact us here in our Ardsley, NY studio.
- Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia (CCCA)
A form of scarring alopecia; permanent hair loss
Central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia (CCCA) is best known for causing a unique pattern of hair loss, beginning at the crown or the top of the head and progressing inward in a symmetric fashion. Though most common among Black women, CCCA can sometimes affect men, including men of any race or ethnicity.
Researchers have long suspected that the condition is triggered by certain hairstyles, such as weaves or the use of “hot combs,” which can physically scar the follicles and lead to permanent hair loss. However, this has not been fully proven, and some researchers believe that fungal infections or simple genetics could also play a role. There is also a credible theory that this is an autoimmune disorder, meaning it involves the immune system mistakenly attacking the hair follicles and replacing them with scar tissue. Due to this scarring, the hair loss caused by CCCA is usually permanent.
At Unique Hair Concepts, we have ample experience addressing this condition and can provide both the scalp care and the hair replacement options that our clients need to restore their look and their confidence.
- Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia (FFA)
A form of scarring alopecia; progressive, permanent hair loss around the frontal hairline
If you notice that your hair is falling out along the front hairline, there are several conditions that could be to blame. One of the rarest is frontal fibrosing alopecia (FFA), a scarring form of alopecia that results in permanent hair loss.
FFA involves healthy hair follicles being attacked by the immune system, then replaced with scar tissue. What makes FFA unique is the distinctive band of hair loss it creates along the front hairline. In some cases, it even causes hair loss in the eyebrows. And, because this area of hair loss is exposed to less sun than the surrounding skin, it can produce an unevenness in skin color.
Though FFA is sometimes confused with traction alopecia, the two conditions are not identical. They may cause similar patterns of hair loss, but traction alopecia is a result of hairstyles that involve excessive pulling, harming the follicles and leading to hair loss.
Researchers are not sure as to what causes FFA, though it’s not hereditary in nature, nor is it contagious. A dermatologist can confirm a diagnosis of FFA by conducting a scalp biopsy. From there, UHC can provide a spectrum of treatment options, including hair systems customized to look and fit just right. Whenever you need our help with hair replacement, UHC is here for you.
- Lichen Planopilaris (LPP)
A form of scarring alopecia; a rare inflammatory condition that results in patchy, progressive, and permanent hair loss
Lichen planopilaris (LPP) is an inflammatory autoimmune disease, which sets it apart from other forms of hair loss. Though anyone can get LPP, it is most common among women in middle age. It’s not a contagious condition. LPP involves the immune system mistakenly attacking and destroying hair follicles, resulting in significant scarring. The inflammation involved can cause pain, or result in itchy purple bumps across the scalp.
Diagnosing LPP can be difficult, if only because the patchy hair loss it causes is so similar to alopecia. A scalp biopsy, conducted by a dermatologist, is usually the best option for diagnosis.
If you have received such a diagnosis, then you probably already know that the condition is permanent. The good news is that, while we cannot regrow your lost hair, there are plenty of options for effective, natural-looking hair replacement.
At Unique Hair Concepts, Flora has assembled the most advanced solutions for male hair loss. We have options that we can customize to look and fit just right, and to accommodate even the most active lifestyles. Schedule a consultation with us to find out more about addressing LPP.
Compulsive hair-pulling behavior; also referred to as “hair-pulling disorder”
Most of us have at least some experience with hair pulling… especially when we’re kids. Even adults can sometimes twist or pull their hair in a moment of frustration. Trichotillomania is a condition characterized by compulsive, unstoppable urges to pull your own hair. It may involve pulling hair from the scalp, eyebrows, or across the body. Essentially a nervous disorder, trichotillomania can cause scarring to the hair follicles, meaning that the hair loss you experience may eventually become permanent.
Treating this nervous condition requires psychological intervention, including cognitive behavioral therapy. At UHC, we can connect you with a provider who is experienced in treating trichotillomania patients. And, we can walk you through plenty of options to replace lost hair, including custom options that look and feel completely natural.
- Other Conditions & Diseases
There are plenty of other factors that may contribute to men’s hair loss, including any of the following:
- Thyroid problems
- Autoimmune disorders, including lupus
- Anxiety or stress
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Certain cancers
- And more
To truly, effectively treat male hair loss, it’s crucial to determine what’s causing it… and that’s something we can help with.
Discover the Cause of Your Hair Loss. Then, Discover the Solution.
Male hair loss can emanate from any number of factors, from simple genetics to lifestyle factors to more serious health problems. Determining the cause of your hair loss is an important first step, because it can provide some insight into the most effective form of treatment. As you seek a diagnosis and a treatment plan, we welcome you into our studio here in Ardsley, New York.