What is androgenetic alopecia?
Androgenetic alopecia is the most common type of progressive hair loss. It is also known as male-pattern baldness, female-pattern baldness, or just common baldness. It affects about 50% of men over the age of 50, and about 50% of women over the age of 65.
What causes androgenetic alopecia?
Androgenetic alopecia is caused by a genetically determined sensitivity to the effects of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in some areas of the scalp. DHT shortens the growth (anagen), phase of the hair cycle, from a usual duration of 3–6 years to just weeks or months. The hairs produced by the follicles become progressively shorter in length, smaller in diameterand lighter in color; until eventually the follicles shrink completely and stop producing hair.
Is androgenetic alopecia hereditary?
Yes, genetic susceptibility to this condition can be inherited from either or both parents.Several genes are involved, accounting for differing age of onset, progression, pattern and severity of hair loss in family members.
What does androgenetic alopecia look like?
It is characterized by receding hairline and hair loss on the top and front of the head in males. Female pattern hair loss presents with thinning hair on the mid-frontal area of the scalp, with nearly complete preservation of the frontal hairline.
What treatment options are available for male pattern hair loss?
Current treatment options include:
- Hair transplantation
- Cosmetic camouflage-hair fiber
- Micropigmentation (tattoo) to resemble shaven scalp
- Minoxidil solution
- Finasteride tablets (type II 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor)
- Platelet rich plasma therapy
- Low level laser light
- Ketoconazole shampoo
Is hair loss just a cosmetic issue?
Hair loss can have a negative psychological impact and is associated with low self-esteem, depression, introversion, and feelings of unattractiveness.
Cover any bald patches with a hat or wig to protect to prevent sunburn and to reduce the chances of developing long-term sun damage.