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What Is Involutional Alopecia?

If your hair has slowly been thinning over time or you’re noticing increased hair loss, you may be suffering from involutional alopecia. This is a condition that shortens the growth phase of your hair follicles and forces them into the resting phase faster than usual.

Involutional alopecia occurs naturally with age. This gradual thinning of the hair is caused by a shortened cycle of hair growth, known as the anagen phase, which leads to a higher rate of fallout and thinning of your hair follicles. Remaining hairs stay in the resting period, known as the telogen phase, but get shed more quickly than normal. Gradually, involutional apolecia will cause the hair not only to become thinner, but also to become shorter due to the abbreviated growth phase.


Up to 90% of the hair on your head is growing at any point in time, and each hair has its own specific life cycle. To understand involutional alopecia, keep in mind that a hair’s life cycle has three specific phases: anagen, categen and telogen.

Anagen is the growth phase. This is when hair strands emerge from your scalp and begin normal hair growth. Depending on your genetics, this phase can last between two and six years.

Catagen is a brief transitional stage that lasts between two and three weeks. During this period, the outer layers of a hair strand shrink and cling to the root of the hair, preparing it to move into the resting phase. About 3% of your hair is in the catagen phase at any given time.

Telogen is known as the “resting” phase because no more hair growth occurs after this point. It’s normal to shed 25 to 100 hairs in the telogen phase every day, and this phase can last more than 100 days for healthy hair.

Involutional alopecia causes normal hairs to reach the telogen phase very quickly and then prematurely leave the telogen phase (by falling out).


If you’ve noticed a change in your hair over time, you may have involutional alopecia. To address the problem, first consult with your physician to rule out any underlying medical conditions and get a correct diagnosis. If after your visit to a physician you’re interested in pursuing treatment for involutional alopecia or other causes of hair loss, you have a variety of options available depending on the severity of your condition.

At Bosley, we offer surgical hair loss solutions such as hair restoration through our follicular unit transplantation (FUT) or follicular unit extraction (FUE) techniques. We also offer a number of nonsurgical hair loss solutions, including the Bosley Revitalizer low-level therapy cap, Bosley SMP (scalp micropigmentation) and our Bosley Professional Strength® for Men five-step hair system.

We can help determine your hair loss condition and recommend a solution. To learn more about your available treatment options, schedule a free, private, no-obligation consultation today at any of the 70 Bosley locations in the U.S. To learn more about your hair restoration options, download Bosley’s FREE guidebook, The Complete Book on Hair Restoration, to see how great your hair can look.

What to do next?

To learn more about your hair restoration options and the average hair transplant timeline, The Complete Book on Hair Restoration, to see how great your hair can look. If you’re ready to do something about that bald spot or thinning hair now, schedule a FREE in-person or video consultation with a trained Bosley hair restoration specialist. Together with a Bosley Physician, we can help you find out what’s causing your balding and what treatment solution is right for you.

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