Types of Alopecia

by Sam Malone

Alopecia refers to excessive hair loss on the scalp and other parts of the body. Though there are many forms of alopecia, this disorder could be primarily distinguished into two main types - alopecia areata and androgenetic alopecia.

1. Alopecia Areata

This refers to round hairless patches which may occur on any part of the body. The exact cause of this disorder is not known, but it occurs when immune system cells attack and destroy healthy tissues including the hair’s follicles. Alopecia areata can eventually lead to other kinds of alopecia namely. You know I fear that someday you’ll think that I am so dumb and stupid…and bitchy….that you’d want to just dump me

  • Alopecia Totalis: This refers to complete loss of scalp hair. This condition sometimes stems from alopecia areata, but mostly hair loss is sudden leading to total baldness.
  • Alopecia Universalis: Also known as alopecia areata universalis, this is a severe, but less common form of alopecia areata. It is characterized by speedy hair loss all over the body, including the scalp, eyebrows, eyelashes and even the nasal cavity.
  • Alopecia Barbae: It is a type of alopecia areata which affects hair follicles in the beard region, leading to small bald patches in the beard.

2. Androgenetic Alopecia

This is a very common form of alopecia affecting men and women; however, it is more common in men. It is called male-pattern baldness when it occurs in men and female-pattern baldness when it occurs in women. In men, over a period of time the hair recedes to form a ‘M’ shape, while in women the hair just thins all over the scalp. In men, androgenetic alopecia may lead to complete baldness but in women this is very rare. Some other common types of alopecia include:

  • Traction Alopecia: Traction alopecia occurs due to excess trauma on the in hair breakage and hair loss. Trichotillomania is one type of traction alopecia in which the person is habituated to pulling and plucking out hair from the body.
  • Scarring Alopecia: This is also called cicatricial scarring alopecia, it occurs when hair follicles get completely damaged and are substituted by scar tissues. This condition may cause inflammation and pain in the scalp.
  • Anagen Effluvium: This disorder affects hair in the anagen phase and is usually caused by radiation or chemotherapy.
  • Telogen Effluvium: This refers to a temporary form of excessive hair loss, usually caused by medications or hormonal imbalances.


  1. http://www.alopeciaonline.org.uk/types-of-alopecia.asp
  2. http://blog.americanhairloss.org/hair-loss/alopecia-areata-totalis-universalis/

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