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Alopecia is the general term which refers to partial or complete loss of hair from an area. Hair loss may be temporary or permanent depending on the cause and amount of damage to the follicle.

Male and female pattern hair loss

Androgenetic alopecia is the medical term for male and female pattern hair loss, where there is gradual loss of the hair from the top of the scalp. Androgenetic alopecia is caused by a combination of genetics, age, and hormones. Over time, androgen hormones bind to the hair follicles leading to miniaturisation of the hair and a shortened growth phase. 


Over 90% of men by the age of 40 and 40% of women by the age of 50 experience pattern hair loss to some degree.  There are many treatments that are marketed for androgenetic alopecia with varying effectiveness. Kate can give you guidance depending on the stage of your hair loss and talk you through the evidence and pros and cons of treatments as well as lifestyle and hair care adjustments that can help. 

Hair loss and thinning: Text
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Alopecia areata

Alopecia areata is one of the most common and recognisable causes of patchy hair loss, with an estimated 2% of the population experiencing areata at some point in their lives. An areata patch tends to appear very quickly, often overnight. The patch then expands slowly, and other patches may also appear. In 5% of cases, alopecia areata will progress to affecting the whole of the scalp, and potentially the entire body.

With alopecia areata, progression is difficult to predict, with spontaneous regrowth seen in 50% of cases where areata has been present for less than 1 year. Nevertheless, it is important to seek treatment quickly if you suspect that you have developed an areata patch because there are treatments that can help regrowth.


Scarring alopecia is permanent hair loss from the destruction of the follicle. The skin may appear shiny and smooth, and several scarring conditions are accompanied with itching and soreness of the scalp. Scarring can be caused by trauma to the scalp, as well as autoimmune conditions such as discoid lupus erythematosus and lichen planopilaris. Kate is able to diagnose these conditions and talk you through treatment options, but you will need a referral to a  dermatologist for further management.


Pulling on the hair can also cause patchy hair loss. This may be due to traction alopecia, typically caused by tight hairstyles such as ponytails and braids. Trichotillomania (also called trichotillosis) is the compulsion to pull or twist your hair, and may also affect other body hair such as eyelashes and eyebrows. Both types of traumatic hair loss may lead to scarring in longstanding cases. Kate can assess whether scarring is present and give advice on managing these conditions. 


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Diffuse hair loss is often noticed when there is more hair lost than usual when combing or washing your hair. You may also notice that you have an increased amount of fine flyaway hairs on the top of your head. This general hair loss is termed telogen effluvium, and can be triggered by many factors, including childbirth, nutritional deficiencies, weight loss, and severe stress.


Issues with fragile and rough textured hair can be caused by genetics, lifestyle, hair care practices, or a combination of the three. For people with longer hair an amount of weathering and breakage is unavoidable. Damp hair in particular is susceptible to breakage, so extra care must be taken when drying or combing after washing.


Poor hair growth can be related to lots of issues, such as stress, nutrition or your hair and scalp condition. Excess hair growth in women is symptomatic of an excess in androgen hormones, such as in PCOS and thyroid problems. For transgender patients undergoing hormone therapy, these hormones can cause unwanted changes in hair growth and distribution.

Are you experiencing hair loss, thinning or breakage?

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