Many patients wonder what diffuse hair thinning is, how it appears and how to cure it. Can this hair problem be linked with baldness or alopecia?
This condition concerns both men and women and has various causes.
Here is everything you need to know!
Diffuse hair thinning is a hair loss leading to a loss of hair density in the whole hair.
The causes of diffuse hair thinning
Several types of alopecia cause diffuse hair thinning; some are permanent while others are temporary. Depending on gender, the cause of diffuse thinning hair may vary.
Here are the most common causes of diffuse hair thinning:
Androgenic alopecia in females
Androgenic alopecia is a condition due to the action of androgen, a male hormone, which the action cause hair thinning and hair loss.
In males, androgenic alopecia is very common; more than 70% of men face it at a point in their lifetime. Gentleman suffering from androgenic alopecia do not have diffuse thinning hair; they gradually become bald on the top and the front of their head.
However, this condition affects women differently. In females, androgenic alopecia is less common and is often triggered by hormonal imbalance or change such as menopause. Women are less concerned by androgenic alopecia because feminine hormones protect the hair follicles against androgen’s balding action.
Women suffering from androgenic alopecia never lose their hair like men. This condition in females causes diffuse thinning hair. They lose hair density, and their hair part becomes larger.
Women can try hormonal therapy to reverse androgenic alopecia. If it does not work, they can undergo a hair transplant to get luxuriant and dense hair.
This condition causes temporary diffuse hair thinning. The leading cause of effluvium telogen is stress, but nutritional deficiencies may also trigger it.
Effluvium telogen is a large number of hair follicles entering the telogen phase.
Telogen is the last phase of the hair life cycle. This cycle counts three steps:
- The anagen phase is the hair’s growing period. The hair follicle produces hair keratin, and the hair grows longer. It lasts 2 to 7 years, depending on genetics. About 70% of the hair is in the anagen phase in a normal situation.
- Then comes the catagen phase. It lasts three weeks when the hair stops growing. The hair follicle retracts under the skin, preparing for the ultimate stage.
- The last phase is the telogen phase. It lasts three months and is when the follicle rests before starting the cycle again.
Effluvium telogen is like the trees losing their leaves in fall. The body faces a traumatic situation (such as stress or illness) and must gather its energy and resources to face it. It gets rid of non-vital features, such as hair. The same happens in the case of nutrients deficiency.
As mentioned before, telogen effluvium is a temporary condition. This condition causes short diffuse hair thinning three months after the traumatic event. The hair then grow back following the normal hair life cycle. After a telogen effluvium episode, it takes about six months to a year to get one’s hair back.
There is no other cure to this condition than time. People suffering from nutritional deficiency-related telogen effluvium may take supplements to ensure the hair gets enough nutrients to grow healthy.
In some cases, telogen effluvium is chronic, and the best to do is seek medical advice.
Some medications may cause diffuse hair thinning. Patients taking medicines and facing hair loss should look for their treatment’s side effects or ask their doctor.
Diffuse hair thinning may be the first sign of some autoimmune diseases such as alopecia areata. However, the hair loss keeps progressing in those cases until the patient is completely bald in some areas. Patients facing unexplained hair loss should discuss this problem with a doctor.