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Hair loss

About ¼ of the population suffers from hair loss. Both women and men are affected.

The causes are as varied as their appearance/look. Throughout the world, many women and men are suffering from hair loss and are looking for appropriate solutions. For many, hair loss means a loss of appeal. The psychological burden for people with hair loss is often deeply profound. Women and men with a full head of hair meet far more success in their private and professional lives compared to individuals with hardly any hair at all. A full head of hair stands for youthfulness, beauty, attractiveness, athleticism and success. The aetiology, namely the causes, can be genetic factors, metabolic disorders, side effects from medication (for example, chemotherapy), poisoning, radiation damage, (fire) scars, severe internal diseases, severe infectious and immunological scalp disorders, hormonal imbalances, nutritional deficiencies or may even be stress-related. The hair loss can either be for a short time (temporary) or may last for a lifetime (irreversible).


In principle, we distinguish between:

Androgenetic alopecia:

The hereditary form of hair loss is by far the most common type of hair loss throughout the world. It primarily affects only the men. However, there are also rare cases, where women are also affected, although a much milder form is usually involved with women.

In one way or the other, a great majority of men are confronted with this kind of hair loss in the course of their lives. In the event of a highly sensitive disposition, this can already begin in the early years of puberty. The cause of this type of hair loss is the inherited or genetically-defined hypersensitivity of the hair follicles of the scalp to the hormone DHT (dihydrotestosterone). DHT is a by-product of metabolism of the male sex hormone testosterone. DHT causes the life cycle of the sensitive hair follicles to be continuously shortened, which is then followed by progressive balding.

In order to describe the stages of hair loss, the internationally-acclaimed Norwood-Hamilton scale was introduced. 7 stages with substages are distinguished here. No hair loss is present in stage 1. This stage is often omitted in the pictorial representation.

The Ludwigs scale was introduced to describe the stages of hair loss in women.

Alopecia areata:

The circular hair loss is the most common hair loss disease with an inflammatory cause. There are typically one or more circular bald spots on the hair-covered scalp which may occur acutely.

The cause is assumed to be a disorder of the immune system which now mistakenly attacks its own hair cells.
Alopecia areata may either be permanent or temporary only to disappear again all by itself. Even a hereditary component cannot be excluded. At worst, it can lead to a loss of all hair of the scalp (alopecia totalis) or to a loss of all body hair (alopecia universalis). Nowadays, alopecia areata can often be treated quite well using a variety of drugs.

Diffuse alopecia:

When we talk about diffuse hair loss, we refer to the loss of hair from the entire hair-covered scalp. This type of hair loss affects both women and men. The causes are autoimmune diseases (for example, lupus erythematosus), hormonal imbalances, stress, iron deficiency, severe infections, side effects of medication, thyroid disease, ingestion or discontinuation of birth control pills, pregnancy, crash diets and poisoning. The hair loss is usually reversible when the cause is eliminated. Cancer treatment with cytostatics usually leads to alopecia medicamentosa.

Alopecia traumatica:

occurs as a result of accident scars (for example, lacerations above the eyebrows) or burns (irreversible destruction of hair follicles).

Alopecia mechanica:

is caused by constant pressure, friction or pulling forces. For example, by constantly carrying heavy loads on the head, permanent hair styles with tight knots and braids, compulsive pulling of the hair, long bedridden conditions while placing the head in the same position for long periods of time while lying down.

Psychological consequences

A full head of hair plays an important role in everyday life in socio-cultural terms and hair loss can lead to severe psychological consequences. Beautiful, shiny and thick hair stands for attractiveness, youthfulness and above all vitality.
Women or young people suffer from hair loss in particular, as they are rarely affected and thus stand out conspicuously in society. But even men, who are most commonly affected in society, are often unable to accept that they are going bald and thus lose self-confidence, suffer from depression, prefer to wear a hat in public and often even unconsciously withdraw from social life to a greater or lesser extent.