Androgenetic Alopecia

Androgenetic AlopeciaAndrogenetic Alopecia is hair loss (Alopecia) that is caused by a combination of genetics and hormones called androgens. It affects both sexes but as a rule is noticed in men earlier than in women. By the age of 50, 50 percent of men and 40 percent of women will have noticed some hair loss.

In most affected men and some affected women, the hair on the sides and the back of the head is preserved but some or all of the hair on the top of the head may be lost in fairly distinctive patterns. This type of hair loss has commonly but incorrectly been called male pattern baldness. There may be slight individual variations from the patterns but the basic patterns were described first by Dr. Hamilton then by Dr. O’tar Norwood. The Norwood Classification system is most commonly used to describe “male pattern baldness”.

In some affected men and most affected women, there may be more diffuse hair loss. This type of hair loss has commonly but incorrectly been called female pattern baldness. There is often more loss on the top of the head than in the sides and back. There can often be some preservation of the hair in the hairline, giving a thicker frontal fringe. The Ludwig Classification system is most commonly used to describe “female pattern baldness”.

Androgenetic Alopecia starts at puberty but may not be noticed until many years later. There is progressive hair loss over time that never stops but may slow down in later years. The hair loss tends to slowly, steadily progress through fairly typical patterns but there can be cycles of faster and slower hair loss. It is therefore impossible to know exactly how much hair will be lost and how quickly it will be lost, for any individual.

What causes Androgenetic Alopecia?

Generally speaking, Androgenetic Alopecia is programmed from conception and is the result of your genetic blueprint, natural hormones, and time. There are other factors that can slow down or speed up the process but there are also many misconceptions about the causes of hair loss.


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