Hair Breakage

Conditions/Diseases causing hair breakage include:

  • Idiopathic Trichoclasia
  • Monilethrix (beaded hair)
  • Trichokinesis syn. Pili Torti Hair (twisted hair)
  • Trichokryptomania
  • Trichonodosis (knotted hair)
  • Trichoptilosis (syn. Fragilitas Crinium)
  • Trichorrhexis Nodosa
  • Certain Hairdressing procedures

This article is published for general information. It is not intended as an aid to self diagnosis.
If you think you are suffering hair breakage, a properly trained trichologist’s advice should be sought.

Idiopathic Trichoclasia a rare condition presenting as oval patches of varying size at the vertex or anterior parietals which on close examination reveal broken hairshafts with brush like distal ends reminescent of trichorrhexis nodosa but with a maximum length of 6 mm. The surrounding skin may be normal or lichenified.
The condition effects either sex at any age. Recurrence is possible.
Cause – uncertain but over zealous massage and scratching have been suggested.

Monilethrix (beaded hair) In children the hairshafts exhibit swellings or nodes with intervening constrictions. Hairshafts are fragile and breakage is common. There is keratosis on bald areas. The condition frequently occurs in other family members. It may disappear after puberty.

Trichokinesis (twisted hair) syn. Pili Torti Hair. A rare condition in which the hairshaft is twisted at regular intervals throughout its length The hairshafts present a shimmering appearance due to the effects of light. The patient is usually a young blonde female who was born without hair. The scalp is often dry and scaly. Whereas the deformity is usually associated with scalp hairshafts, eyebrows and eyelashes may also be affected.
The condition may improve as hairshafts strengthen with age or after puberty. Confusion with monilethrix may exist.

Trichokryptomania a condition in which hairs are broken off (self induced) This is often seen in neurotic patients. Sites: usually symmetrical, involve the parietal and auricular regions of scalp. Broken hairs are of differing lengths. New short hairs are present. There are no exclamation hairs.

Trichonodosis (knotted hair) Hairs grow in loops and sometimes form knots. Frequent sites: the lower occipital regions. Head rests hats and pillows may be inculcated.

Trichoptilosis syn. Fragilitas Crinium hairshafts become dry and exhibit splits. These splits can flay – reminiscent of feathers.

Trichorrhexis Nodosa a swelling appears on hairs-hafts. Breakage occurs leaving the ends frayed (almost brush like). The condition can result from: excessive heat, exposure to hydrogen peroxide, hair dyes, alkalis, mechanical traumatism.

Other causes of hair breakage:

Hairdressing procedures – capable of causing hairshaft damage /destruction include: Bleaching, Highlighting, Tinting, Permanent waving, Hair relaxing, Hair extensions, Rapid blow drying.

This web site provides lists of graduate trichologists who may be consulted – see  Consultants – Your Region – Trichologists

© 2001- B Stevens FTTS