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Table 5. Common hair loss disorders

  Androgenetic alopecia Telogen effluvium Alopecia areata
Hair loss distribution Focal balding pattern:

Hamilton/Norwood (men)

Ludwig (women)

Generalized Usually patchy but can be generalized
Course Gradual onset with progression Onset abrupt/trigger factor Onset abrupt; often waxes and wanes with relapses
Appearance Thinning with or without bare patches. Bare patches are gradual, not abrupt Thinning with no bare patches Thinning with abrupt bare patches
Shedding Minimal Prominent Prominent
Age onset Onset at puberty or older Onset at any age, but usually not childhood Onset at any age, majority have their first patch before the age of 20
Pull test Usually negative Positive;telogen hairs Positive;dystrophic anagen and telogen hairs
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University of British Columbia Hair Research & Treatment Centre.