Androgenetic alopecia

Definition: Androgenetic alopecia, also known as male pattern baldness in men and female pattern hair loss in women, is the most common form of hair loss. It’s characterized by a gradual thinning of hair on the scalp, following a predictable pattern.

Causes: Androgenetic alopecia is a genetic condition influenced by hormones, particularly androgens like dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT shrinks hair follicles, shortening the hair growth cycle and producing finer, shorter hairs until eventually, follicles stop producing hair altogether. The exact mechanism isn’t fully understood, but genetics play a significant role in determining individual susceptibility.

Signs and Symptoms:

Men: Hair loss typically begins at the temples, receding to form an “M” shape. It can also progress on the crown of the head, leading to baldness.

Women: Hair loss usually presents as a widening of the part line and overall thinning on the top of the head. The hairline typically remains intact.

Treatment: There’s no permanent cure for androgenetic alopecia, but various treatments can slow hair loss and promote new hair growth. These include:

  • Minoxidil (Rogaine) – A topical medication that stimulates hair follicles.
  • Finasteride (Propecia) – A prescription medication that blocks DHT production.
  • Low-level laser therapy – Low-energy laser light applied to the scalp may improve hair growth.
  • Hair transplant surgery – Surgical techniques move hair follicles from denser areas of the scalp to bald spots.

Disclaimer: Please consult a dermatologist for diagnosis and treatment options for androgenetic alopecia.