Signs and symptoms of hair loss may include the following:
The gradual loss of hair thickness on the top of the head. This is the most common type of hair loss, and it affects both men and women as they age. In men, the hairline begins to recede from the forehead in a line that resembles the letter M. Women usually retain the hairline on the forehead but have a widening hair gap.
Circular or patchy bald spots. In some people, soft, coin-sized bald spots are present. This type of hair loss usually affects only the scalp, but sometimes it also occurs in the beard or eyebrows. In some cases, there may be itchy or painful skin before the hair falls out.
Sudden hair loss. A physical or emotional shock can loosen the hair. Strands of hair may fall out when combing or washing hair, or even after gently pulling it. This type of hair loss usually causes general thinning of the hair rather than bald patches.
Hair loss throughout the body. Some medical conditions and treatments like cancer chemotherapy can cause hair loss throughout the body. Hair usually grows back.
Flaking patches that spread on the scalp. This is a sign of ringworm. It can be accompanied by broken hair, redness, inflammation, and sometimes secretions.