What is Diffuse Hair Thinning?

Thu 29 Nov 2007

I have been told I have a diffuse hair thinning pattern of hair loss.   What is that and how do I treat this?

I have seen diffuse thinning refer to a couple of things.

Diffuse Alopecia:

Diffuse Alopecia is a condition characterized by hair loss over the entire scalp including the sides and back of the head.   An example of Diffuse Alopecia is Telogen Effluvium.   Many things can cause this, but Diffuse Alopecia is not genetic.  

Some possible causes are but not limited to:

  • Hormonal changes in the body (thyroid disorders)
  • Pregnancy or shortly thereafter
  • Certain medications (anticoagulants – blood thinning drugs)
  • Scalp determatitus or other inflamation of the scalp
  • Severe infections such as pneumonia
  • Traumatic Stress (physical or emotional)
  • Iron deficiency

Treating this type of hair loss depends on the actual hair loss cause.    Tests should be performed by a doctor to first determine the cause which may involve a thyroid gland test to determine it is working properly and whether or not iron level are normal.   Medication or supplements may be administered to correct the condition.   In most cases of diffuse alopecia, no treatment is needed for the hair loss condition itself and in many cases, the hair regrows.   Some people however may continue to experience diffuse alopecia and the scalp hair remains thin.   Complete baldness however, is exceptionally rare.

Genetic Hair Loss with a Diffuse Pattern (Diffuse Pattern Baldness):

More commonly on our hair restoration discussion forum, many people refer to a “diffuse thinning” pattern as hereditary hair loss with  diffiuse thinning all over the top of the scalp while the sides and back of the head remain unaffected.   These hairs will miniaturize going from terminal to vellus gradually.   This type of hair loss is still genetic and can be treated with Propecia  (finasteride) and/or Rogaine  (minoxodil).  

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4 Comments so far:

  1. hair thinning causes says:

    Thinning hair occurs for a number of reasons. Sometimes it’s hereditary, but other times it’s health or stress related. No matter what, thinning hair is usually beyond the individual’s control.

  2. Guest says:

    Is it Possible to regrow the hair again after getting the Diffuse Alopecia ?????

  3. David aka - TakingthePlunge says:


    Yes, it is possible. However, it depends greatly upon the cause of the diffuse thinning. You will need to consult with a dermatologist or other hair loss exert for a diagnosis.

    All the best,

  4. Nobody says:

    How is Genetic Hair Loss with a Diffuse Pattern different from Male Pattern Baldness? Is Diffuse Pattern baldness reversible without the use of Minox or Finax? How can we diagnose if it’s MPB or Diffuse Pattern Baldness?

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