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Understanding Alopecia

Genetic Hair Loss (Androgenetic Alopecia)

Alopecia is the Greek word simply meaning hair loss. In understanding Alopecia, you must first know there are 4 very differing types of hair loss.

The first is genetic hair loss or androgenetic alopecia. This type of alopecia is present in 80 million Americans also commonly known as Male Pattern Hair Loss (MPHL) and Female Pattern Hair Loss (FPHL).  The key to successful treatment of either MPHL or FPHL is to have a proper diagnosis with the education to support the nature of this type of loss. Thinning of the crown temple area the traditional locations we first notice male pattern thinning.  Female patterned hair loss can present itself in various ways of diffused thinning across the entire scalp, above the ears or around the frontal hair line

Alopecia Stages

Alopecia Areata

Alopecia Areata is the first of three forms of autoimmune alopecia and is usually determined by the appearance of patchy, sometimes circular areas of hair loss on parts of the face, head and body where hair should normally be. Learn more about this type of hair loss in our discussion with Emily below.

Alopecia Totalis

Alopecia Totalis, an autoimmune form of alopecia is complete loss of all scalp and facial hair. This form of alopecia can begin as alopecia areata and quickly advance into more aggressive loss.  tches spread over time until the entire head is bald.


Alopecia Universalis

Alopecia Universalis the final and most severe form of of alopecia is total hair loss across the entire body.  Another sign of this condition can also be a change in finger nails.  The can become rigid and pitted with whitening discoloration also present.



  • Genetic predisposition
  • Hormonal changes
  • Medical conditions/Radiation to scalp
  • Medications/Supplements
  • Stress
  • Hairstyles/Treatments
Alopecia Hair Loss


Alopecia Dx Blood Testing for Hair Loss
  • Iron Deficiencies – Iron is essential for the production of hemoglobin. Low hemoglobin results in a reduction of oxygen, which healthy hair requires. When iron levels are low oxygen cannot be transferred for healthy hair.
  • Thyroid Dysfunction – Disruption of the thyroid causes the hair growth cycle to remain in the resting phase, causing hair loss.
  • Vitamin Deficiencies – Vitamins stimulate new growth in hair follicles. Without optimal levels, growth can be stunted.
  • Mineral Deficiencies – Lack of certain minerals inhibit the hair’s ability to grow at a cellular level and affects the hair growth cycles. Certain minerals also help to strengthen the hair follicle.
  • Gene Mutation – Certain gene mutations may play a vital role in the hair cycle of both growth and strength.
  • Amino Acid – Amino acids are essential for healthy hair. These are especially important for the growth cycle and strength of hair.

What’s in the AlopeciaDX Blood Test Panel?

In our lab panel, our Nashville hair loss experts are especially looking for underlying medical issues, along with vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

Every medical condition affects each person in different ways. Hair loss is no different and may be the only symptom or one of many.

If hair loss is the only issue, it may be assumed it is genetics. Genetics may be a part of it, but not necessarily the only reason for hair loss. Many times there are multiple reasons for hair loss and understanding the cause may be the difference between losing more hair or finding a solution. Our AlopeciaDX testing can help accurately diagnose the factors causing your hair thinning, shedding or loss.


Alopecia areata (AA) is considered an autoimmune disease, in which the immune system, which is designed to protect the body from foreign invaders such as viruses and bacteria, mistakenly attacks the hair follicles, the structures from which hairs grow. This can lead to hair loss on the scalp and elsewhere.
In most cases, hair falls out in small, round patches about the size of a quarter. In many cases, the disease does not extend beyond a few bare patches. In some people, hair loss is more extensive. Although uncommon, the disease can progress to cause total loss of hair on the scalp (referred to as alopecia totalis) or complete loss of hair on the scalp, face, and body (alopecia universalis).

Alopecia Totalis (AT) is an autoimmune disorder which effectively turns your own immune system against your hair follicles. It results in total hair loss on the scalp, and can affect eyebrows and eyelashes. Alopecia Totalis can affect nails as well as hair, causing them to become thin, brittle and ridged. Beyond hair loss, Alopecia Totalis has no physical side effects. It does not induce pain or sickness and the quality of life for sufferers is generally not affected, except by the psychological implications that accompany any form of hair loss. The condition is not contagious, but is thought to have a genetic influence, so there is an increased chance that sons and daughters could face the same issues.

Alopecia Universalis (AU) is a condition characterized by the complete loss of hair on the scalp and body. It is an advanced form of alopecia areata, a condition that causes round patches of hair loss. Although the exact cause of AU is unknown, it is thought to be an autoimmune condition in which an affected person’s immune system mistakenly attacks the hair follicles. Roughly 20% of affected people have a family member with alopecia, suggesting that genetic factors may contribute to the development of AU.
Most people with AU can present with additional signs including a burning sensation or itching in affected areas. In some cases, AU can be associated with other conditions such as atopic dermatitis, thyroid disorders, and/or nail changes. Additional information.

Blog Series:Successful Alopecia Areata Drug Trials!

The National Alopecia Areata Foundation estimated that 6.8 million Americans are affected by this auto-immune skin condition. With the large number of citizens affected, it is great news that clinical trials are showing success. HPIHair stays on top of these trials to keep our clients informed.

Phase 3 clinical trials using a common arthritis drug are showing that one in three patients with a severe skin disease were able to regrow hair after being treated with this drug. Read More…



Woman Receiving Hair Scan
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Blog Series: What is Alopecia?

At 50 years old, Jada Pinkett Smith is a unexpected champion of alopecia.  She has first spoke publicly about her struggle with alopecia in 2018, on her talk show, Red Table Talk.  Sitting by her mother and daughter, Willow, Pinkett Smith spoke about the “terrifying” moment she noticed handfuls of her hair falling out in the shower. However, it wasn’t until December of 2021 when Pinkett Smith, with the encouragement of her daughter, shared her experience with her Instagram followers.

Jada Pinkett Smith has a specific type of alopecia…read more

JPS Alopecia

Why choose HPIHair for your Alopecia testing?

Thinning Hair For Women
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Personalized programs
Every client is helped individually by thinning hair experts who design programs to fit the individual needs. As your anti-aging and hair care improves, our hair loss experts in Nashville adjust your program accordingly based on the results we see and your feedback for the most effective results.

Client service
Unmatched Customer Service: our professionals and certified thinning hair consultants are able to answer your questions on our Alopecia treatments in Nashville and offer advice based on your specific hair care concerns and needs.


We are excited to meet you and will be in touch very soon.
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