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Evaluation and diagnosis of hair loss

Jerry Shapiro, MD
Nina Otberg, MD
Maria Hordinsky, MD
Section Editor
Jeffrey Callen, MD, FACP, FAAD
Deputy Editor
Abena O Ofori, MD


"Hair loss" is a common clinical complaint that is a manifestation of a wide variety of disorders. Although the cause of hair loss is easily diagnosed in some cases, such as in patients who present with classic male pattern hair loss or patchy hair loss due to alopecia areata, the diagnosis of hair loss also can be challenging.

An overview of the basic principles of hair biology, potential causes of hair loss, and the assessment of patients who present with a complaint of hair loss is provided here. Specific types of hair disorders are reviewed in greater detail separately.

(See "Acne keloidalis nuchae".)

(See "Androgenetic alopecia in men: Pathogenesis, clinical features, and diagnosis".)

(See "Central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia".)


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Literature review current through: Sep 2016. | This topic last updated: Nov 23, 2015.
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