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What is Diffuse Hair Loss?: Definition, Causes, and Treatments

Diffuse hair loss is a common pattern for women experiencing thinning. Learn how to identify and treat this kind of hair loss.

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Any type of hair loss can be traumatizing, and lead to psychological stress, or a loss of self-confidence.

But, knowing just what kind of hair loss you are dealing with, including the potential causes behind it, may help you get back on the right track sooner.

Below, we will specifically discuss diffuse hair loss, including how to identify it, what might be causing it, how it is diagnosed, and what the treatment options are.

What does diffuse hair loss look like?

Diffuse hair loss is when hair seems to be thinning or shedding in a relatively even pattern across your whole head or crown.

This differs from situations like male pattern hair loss, which has the tell-tale signs of a receding hairline, bald spots, or hair loss at the temples creating an “M” pattern in the hairline. Although, people experiencing male pattern hair loss may have some diffuse thinning, too.

When you are experiencing only diffuse thinning, you will likely maintain your hairline, and not have any bald spots, or areas that progress to full baldness.

The first signs of diffuse thinning may be the appearance of a widening part when you part your hair.

What conditions are characterized by diffuse hair loss?

The most common hair loss conditions which lead to a diffuse thinning are Telogen Effluvium and Female Pattern Hair Loss.

Telogen Effluvium is a condition in which a large portion of the hair is moved into the Telogen, or resting, phase of hair growth. At the end of this phase, around 100 days, the hair is normally shed. Telogen Effluvium can occur after an extremely stressful mental or physical event like giving birth, high fevers, severe illness, or surgery. Usually, 2-3 months after the triggering event, a rapid diffuse shedding will occur, and up to 30-50% of the hair may fall out. Luckily, if the stressful trigger is removed or remedied, the hair will start returning to normal in 3-6 months in most cases. The hairs that fall out with telogen effluvium may have little white bulbs at the end, signaling that your shedding may be from this situation.

Female Pattern Hair Loss is the other common cause of diffuse thinning. Female Pattern Hair Loss can also cause diffuse thinning over the entire head, or have a focus on the top of the head. However, this type of diffuse hair loss tends to come on much more gradually than Telogen Effluvium, and is likely to be a hereditary hair loss situation rather than the effect of a stressful event.

Is diffuse hair loss more common in men or women?

Diffuse hair loss is more common in women due to Telogen Effluvium or Female Pattern Hair Loss. Men tend to develop Male Pattern Hair loss which develops from a hormonal component, specifically DHT in the scalp. Men’s hair loss usually follows a pattern of a receding hairline, bald spots, and hair loss on the temples, and may progress to full baldness.

Diffuse hair loss in women can occur at any age, but Female Pattern Hair Loss is more common in women as they go through menopause and afterward.

How is diffuse hair loss normally diagnosed?

Diffuse hair loss may be diagnosed in a few different ways to help identify the root cause.

Your doctor may look at your scalp directly, or view images of your scalp, perform a hair pull test, run blood tests to help identify underlying deficiencies or conditions, look at the hairs under a microscope, or perform a scalp biopsy to assess the scalp and hairs together.

How can diffuse hair loss be treated?

The treatment for diffuse hair loss differs depending on what your doctor identified the root cause to be.

If you had a nutritional deficiency, anemia, or thyroid problems causing your hair loss, your doctor may treat the deficiency or condition to help with your hair.

If your hair loss was deemed to be from Telogen Effluvium, the situation normally fixes itself once the stressful event has been removed and no treatment may be necessary for the hair to regrow.

If your hair loss is likely from hereditary Female Pattern Hair Loss or Male Pattern Hair Loss, you may be able to use over-the-counter or prescription medications to help stop hair losses and help with hair regrowth. Usually, the sooner treatments are started for hair loss, the better the outcome. Medications like Minoxidil (the active ingredient in Rogaine), 5-alpha reductase inhibitors like Finasteride and off-label Dutasteride for men, and anti-androgens used off-label like Spironolactone for women may be treatment options for long term diffuse thinning.

Strut Health Prescription Hair Loss Treatments Online

Here at Strut Health, we offer a variety of hair loss medications for men and women.

We utilize ingredients like Minoxidil, Finasteride, Dutasteride, Spironolactone, Tretinoin, and Biotin to create hair loss formulations that are specific to your current hair situation and your hair goals.

We offer both oral and topical Finasteride and Dutasteride formulations for men, to help you find the treatment route that works best for your preferences and your life.

Get started with a free online questionnaire and image-based consultation with our U.S. licensed doctors today to see if a custom compounded hair loss formulation is a good option for you.

If you are a good fit for treatment, your prescription medication can be shipped to your front door with our free shipping. If you have any questions or concerns during your hair loss treatment journey, our staff and doctors are available to help answer your questions or adjust your dosages, if needed.

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