08 / 27 / 17

What is Alopecia and How Does it Cause Hair Loss?

A frustrating ailment affecting people from all walks of life, alopecia is a disorder marked by sudden and unexplained hair loss in the form of circular, bald patches. Also, called male or female pattern baldness, being diagnosed with alopecia can be a devastating, life-changing experience. Moreover, although it doesn’t seem to be age-specific, most cases tend to occur before your 30th birthday. Here is an overview of the causes and symptoms of alopecia.

Male Pattern Baldness

The most common form of alopecia, male pattern baldness affects approximately 50 percent of men by the age of 50. A hereditary disorder, many believe the true culprit behind male pattern baldness is an abundance of testosterone. Although it can occur at any age, male pattern baldness — or androgenetic alopecia — usually occurs when a man is in his late 20s or early 30s, and is marked by hair that recedes and grows thin.

Female Pattern Baldness

On the flip side, female pattern baldness is far less common and affects mostly post-menopausal women. Most likely a result of hormonal changes, 40 percent of women suffer from female pattern baldness by age 50, though the hair loss is typically less pronounced than with male pattern baldness.

Alopecia Areata

Although the true determining factor behind the onset of alopecia areata is unknown, it occurs when your white blood cells attack the cells in your hair follicles, causing them to shrink and dramatically decreasing hair production. Furthermore, although no one knows what causes some people’s immune system to behave in this manner, we do know that there seems to be a genetic component. In fact, studies have shown that one in five with this condition has at least one family member who also has the disorder.


Although the main symptoms — hair loss and baldness — are well known, there is a range of other possible symptoms for alopecia sufferers. For example, it is also known to negatively affect the nails. If your nails suddenly become thin and split, become rough or lose their shine, it could be a sign of alopecia. In addition, pinpoint dents in hair follicles, white spots and lines in your hair, and cadaver hairs — hairs that break before reaching the surface of the skin — are other potential signs of alopecia.

Alopecia is a complex disorder with a variety of treatment options. Besides dealing with the physical symptoms, many benefit from treating the psychological side effects that accompany unexplained hair loss. Either way, the most crucial element for treating it is having a willingness to learn, and to try new treatments and technologies.

If you are just starting to experience hair loss, or have lost a substantial amount of your hair, at Transitions of Wisconsin, we offer guaranteed solutions utilizing the very latest hair restoration technology. Our hair loss specialists can determine what type of hair loss you’re experiencing. If you’re interested in scheduling a free consultation, contact us today!

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