Diseases that Cause Hair Loss (Part 3)

Pili Torti or Twisted Hair

I know the name pili torti sounds more like a food dish, but it's a rare genetic hair disease, and guess what? It can cause hair loss as well.

Hair is prone to be brittle and, if viewed under a microscope, would appear as a flattened hair shaft with narrow and twisted segments.

The person who inherits it could have it alone. The condition could come along with other diseases, like Ectodermal Dysplasia, Bjornstad Syndrome, and Menkes disease, which causes low copper levels. 

Pili Torti can also be acquired; hence the name Acquired Pili Torti. It can also appear with other conditions like sclerosis, lupus, malnutrition, and anorexia.

There's no treatment for Pili Torti at this moment, but it usually improves after the stage of puberty; some are permanently affected or throughout their lives.

Pili Torti, which appears after puberty, causes people to develop scarring alopecia or scarring alopecia on the scalp, face, and hair on the rest of the body.

One of the first symptoms, and an excellent way to identify it, is broken eyebrows and eyelashes. You can learn more about this disease by reading the article Pili Torti

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS 

(PCOS) or polycystic ovary syndrome is an endocrine disorder that impacts how the female's ovaries work. PCOS affects 10 million women around the world. Studies have shown that 67% of women suffering from baldness or hair loss also have the polycystic ovarian syndrome.

Some of the symptoms are:

            ·    Pelvic pain

            ·    Acne

            ·    Irregular menstrual periods

            ·    Infertility

            ·    Cysts in the ovaries, hence the name of the disease.

            ·    Hirsutism or excess hair where it should not be.

            ·    Skin with spots or discoloration

            ·    High Blood Sugar Level

            ·    Sleep Apnea

            ·    Weight gain

            ·    Fatigue

            ·    Sleep problems

            ·    Headache

            ·    Emotional disorders

Did I forget something? You guessed it!

        ·    Hair loss or thinning hair, or both.

Unfortunately, PCOS is one of the diseases that cause hair loss. 

Treatment for PCOS is possible, although complicated. But the primary treatment consists in taking topical or oral antiandrogens.


If you suffer from scalp psoriasis, I have good and bad news to share. Which one do you want first? Well, let's start with the good. The good thing is that this condition itself does not cause hair loss. It's also temporary.

The bad news is that even if you scratch your head to relieve the itching, that can cause you to lose your hair. Psoriasis produces scaling layers and bumps on the skin or papules forming plates. At least 50 percent of those with psoriasis develop scales.

Some of those who have psoriasis have it because of a genetic predisposition. The affected genes seem to control the body's immune system.

If you try to remove the scales and protrusions by force to feel relief, that will cause hair loss. But if you get an effective treatment against psoriasis, the hair will grow again.

Scalp Diseases and Infections

There are different types of scalp illnesses and infections, but some are diseases that cause hair loss, though in many cases, not directly. 

Here is a list of the most common scalp diseases in alphabetical order:

            ·    Alopecia Areata

            ·    Bamboo Hair

            ·    Cradle Cap or Seborrheic Eczema

            ·    Cysts

            ·    Dermatitis

            ·    Folliculitis or Scattered Pus Bumps

            ·    Itchy Redness

            ·    Ito Syndrome

            ·    Leishmaniasis

            ·    Lichen Planus

            ·    Lichen Simplex

            ·    Lupus Erythematosus

            ·    Pediculosis Capitis or Head Lice

            ·    Piedra

            ·    Pityriasis Amiantacea

            ·    Pityriasis Capitis or Dandruff

            ·    Psoriasis

            ·    Ringworm

            ·    Seborrheic Dermatitis

            ·    Scleroderma

            ·    Temporal Arteritis

            ·    Tinea Capitis

            ·    Trichodystrophy

As I told you before, some of these affections of the scalp are not directly linked to hair fall, while others cause hair loss.

Scalp DiseaseScalp Disease

Thyroid Disorders

There is a link between thyroid and hair loss. When someone has a thyroid disorder, the hair may fall out, and the texture of the hair changes. It leads to many emotions, ranging from fear, anxiety, frustration, and even anger.

If you have a thyroid disorder, you are also at higher risk for alopecia areata. If you want to know more, see the article: Thyroid and Hair Loss.

Trichotillomania or Hair Pulling Disorder

Trichotillomania (TTM), or hair-pulling disorder is an impulse control disorder, characterized by a prolonged desire to pull the hair, either from the head, eyebrows, eyelashes, or other body parts where there is body hair.

It happens even if the person who has this condition has tried to stop these impulses. The persons with this disorder know that they are hurting themselves but can't stop. 

Doing that leads to irregular bald spots, which causes anguish and therefore interferes with daily life and with others. Many of those who suffer from Trichotillomania deny it and try to cover their hair loss by putting on hats, caps, wigs, fake eyelashes, and eyebrows.

There are different degrees of Trichotillomania, some milder, others more severe. Some treatments have helped reduce or even eliminate the urge to pull the hair.

Hair Pulling DisorderHair Pulling Disorder

So there you have it, the diseases that cause hair loss. If you want to know the full spectrum of hair loss causes, you can read the article: Causes of Hair Loss.