Skip to Content
Home > Patients & Visitors > Health Library > Types of Hair Loss
There are many types of
hair loss. It is often categorized according to when
it takes place during the hair growth cycle: anagen, catagen, and telogen.
Androgenetic alopecia is inherited hair loss. In this
type of hair loss, the growth (anagen) cycle becomes shorter and shorter. The
hair follicles sprout hairs that are thinner than normal. The hairs become
thinner and thinner, and eventually the follicles wither away.
Alopecia areata is a type of hair loss that is caused
immune system mistakenly attacks hair follicles. This
type of hair loss begins to get worse when hair follicles enter the rest
(telogen) phase too soon.
Telogen effluvium has many causes. In this type of hair loss, large
numbers of hairs enter the resting phase (telogen), which causes shedding and
thinning. Usually no more than 50% of the hair is affected, and hair loss may
occur up to 3 months after the event that causes it.footnote 1
Two types of hair loss not related to the hair growth cycle are
trichotillomania and traction alopecia.
Habif TP (2010). Hair diseases. In Clinical Dermatology: A Color Guide to Diagnosis and Therapy, 5th ed., pp. 913–935. Edinburgh: Mosby Elsevier.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Current as ofFebruary 20, 2015
Current as of:
February 20, 2015
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
To learn more, visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2015 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Send Us Your Feedback
North Kansas City Hospital.