Thus, the hair at the top of the scalp tends to thin over time due to different factors, and that is what causes it to fall and, possibly, cease growing entirely.
People can intuitively tell that the hair on the back of the head is a little different from the rest. This is why it may come as a surprise to them that hair loss at the back of the head is also possible.
While the hair is thinning-resistant when facing normal thinning due to age or baldness, certain conditions do affect it.
There are a few conditions that cause hair loss at the back of the head, and alopecia areata is chief among them.
Hair Loss at the Back of the Head: Alopecia Areata
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder. And an autoimmune disorder is a disease in which your body’s own immune system attacks its own healthy cells.
Normally, the autoimmune system is in charge of protecting your body by attacking foreign elements like viruses and bacteria. An autoimmune disorder is when this reverses completely.
The autoimmune system instead targets the healthy cells, which it mistakenly believes to be harmful. The exact reason why this happens is currently unknown as well as to what triggers its, and some theorize that genetics play a part.
During alopecia areata, the immune system targets the hair follicles on your scalp and elsewhere. As a result of the attack, the hair follicle begins to shrink, and the hair thins with it, eventually breaking and falling.
Hair from the back of the head is not exempt from this. It’s follicles being susceptible to it as well. The hair loss from alopecia areata leaves small, quarter coin-sized little circles on the scalp. Those often occur close to each other and end up making bigger spots.
Hair loss from alopecia areata is reversible as long as the underlying condition is under control. The hair will regrow on its own. The treatments with corticosteroid injections directly into the scalp usually help with that.
Hair Loss at the Back of the Head: Other Causes
Some few other conditions can cause hair at the back of the head to fall.
- Trichotillomania: Is a psychological disorder. In it, the patients compulsively pull their hair as a stress or anxiety management mechanism. The hair can grow back, however, repeated pulling over a long period of time will permanently damage the hair follicle, ceasing its growth. If you can pull hair at the back of your head this way, it will eventually pluck and fall.
- Infections: Infections such as ringworm commonly lead to hair loss at the back of the head in addition to the top of it. Oral medications can treat them.
- Hairstyles: which put stress on the hair follicle by pulling them constantly will damage it permanently. Hair loss at the back of the head will happen in the off-chance your hairstyle pulls the hair from that area.
- Folliculitis: Is an inflammation of individual hair follicles. It often makes them look like little acne spots. It will eventually lead to hair loss from those particular follicles. Commonly happens to hair at the back of the head and is reversible.
Hair at the back of the head is thinning resistant, hair at the top of your scalp is not. When the latter falls, you can get a hair transplant procedure to repopulate the area but only if the former is still thick enough. Contact our hair surgeons for evaluation in the state of the hair loss at the back of the head.