Alopecia (hair loss) typically develops gradually. Hair loss may be only temporary, but in some cases it is permanent. Causes of alopecia include the use of certain chemotherapy drugs, radiation therapy, burns, infections, endocrine disorders, not enough protein in the diet, iron deficiency, chronic anxiety or exposure to toxic substances. Alopecia areata can affect men, women or children of any age. You may be experiencing symptoms of alopecia if you notice the following signs.
Your have an itchy scalp, followed by hair loss. Some people get sore spots with redness before hair begins to fall out, leaving small bald areas. The condition may start with what looks like a small pimple. Bald patches may not be limited to the scalp.
You observe broken hairs around the edge of a small, round bald patch about the size of a quarter.
You have progressive thinning of hair, especially near the temples and crown area — also known as male pattern baldness. A receding hairline is common in many men. In women, this gradual thinning of hair, usually on the top of the head, is known as female pattern baldness.
You become aware of excess shedding of hair, most noticeable after shampooing. Hair that falls out easily when brushing or combing can be another sign. This type of hair loss usually causes hair thinning rather than bald patches.
Reports show that at least half of the population experiences normal hair loss by the age of 50. We all lose at least 100 hairs from our heads every day.