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Baldness, also known as alopecia, is a condition characterized by the hair loss, or absence of hair. Baldness is usually most noticeable on the scalp, but can occur anywhere on the body where the hair actually grows.

The condition is more common in men than in women. The fact is that some people prefer to let their baldness run its course untreated and unhidden, while others may cover it up with hairstyles, makeup, hats or scarves.

Normal hair cycle

Human hair grows about an inch every couple of months and most people are familiar with this fact. What most people don’t know is that each and every hair grows approximately 2 to 6 years, remains at the reached length for a short period, and then falls out. The good thing is that soon  afterwards a new hair begins growing in its place. The proven fact is that at this minute about 85% of the hair on your head is in the growing phase and 15% is not. Each hair sits in a cavity in the skin called a follicle.

What are the different types of baldness?

Baldness can be classified into various types depending on the cause behind it. The most common types of baldness include the following:

Male-pattern baldness
Male-pattern baldness is usually a hereditary condition and it may begin at any age. Hair loss often begins on the front, sides, and/or on the crown of the head. Some men may develop a bald spot or just a receding hair line, while others may lose all of their hair.

Female-pattern baldness
Female-pattern baldness is less common and a bit different from male-pattern baldness In this type of baldness hair generally thins all over the head, but the frontal hairline is maintained. Female-pattern baldness rarely results in total hair loss.

Alopecia areata
This hair loss disorder is characterized by the sudden loss of hair in one particular area only and it grows back after several months. However, if all body hair is suddenly lost, regrowth may not occur.

Toxic alopecia
Toxic alopecia is not so frequent and it can occur after taking certain medications, especially thallium, high doses of vitamin A, and retinoids. Soma medical conditions, such as thyroid disease or giving birth alo may trigger toxic alopecia.
 
Scarring alopecia
Scarred areas may prevent the hair from growing back and this condition can occur from burns, injuries or x-ray therapy.
 
Trichotillomania
Hair pulling, a habit most common among children, may cause hair loss.

However, the most common types of alopecia are definitely male and female pattern baldness.

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