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Did you know that there’s more than one type of Alopecia? A recent Ask Cole question about hair growth with alopecia is what lead me to learn more about this disease. During my research I discovered that there is more than one type of alopecia. Hair loss can be frightening and embarrassing for a lot of women and I really didn’t understand the depths of thinning hair until I went natural. At times it feels like I’ve been living under a rock when it comes to learning about caring for my natural hair.

As a little girl my mom often said that I had thin edges. I remember having little white bumps appear on the surface of my scalp. Mom related this to my sickness as a child but after reaching out about information on hair scalp diseases and disorders I think she was pulling my hair to tight and I was probably experiencing a light case of traction alopecia. Glad she stopped making my ponytails so tight, geesh!

1. Alopecia Totalis – starts with small, round patches of hair loss and progresses until there is total scalp hair loss.

2. Alopecia Universalis – all body hair is lost.

3. Androgenetic Alopecia – also known as male-pattern baldness that occurs in both men and women. This disorder can start after puberty in women. It generally develops slowly over 15 to 30 years and increases with age.

4. Alopecia Areata – people with this type of alopecia experience the sudden or sometimes unrecognized falling out of hair in patches or spots. Patches can vary in size from 1/8 inch to 4 inches in diameter, the affected areas are usually lighter in color due to the poor blood supply to the area.

5. Diffuse Alopecia – also known as alopecia areata incognita, is a rare form of alopecia areata and affects primarily young females, and the hair loss on the head is radical and sudden.

6. Postpartum Alopecia – is temporary hair loss experienced at the end of a pregnancy. Very little normal hair loss occurs during pregnancy but the sudden and excessive shedding takes place from three to nine months after delivery. The growth cycle generally returns to normal within a year after the baby is delivered.

7. Traction Alopecia – the most common balding disorder among young women and girls with highly textured hair. Baldness occurs when the hair is pulled to tight meaning the hair is literally pulled out of the follicle, taking out the hair root and the bulb. Destroying the hair shaft may cause white bumps and pus, or scaling may occur around the affected area.

If you think you have a problem with alopecia I highly recommend speaking with a medical professional or visiting a stylist who specializes in scalp problems. Information in this blog post was quoted from the Milady Standard Natural Hair Care and Braiding book.

Has alopecia affected your lifestyle? Do you know someone with this hair disease? If so, let talk. Leave a comment below.

Nicole Patrick, founder of is an online hair care resource for women of color with natural hair. To learn more visit or contact her at

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