Androgenic Hair Loss

Androgenic alopecia or male/female patterned hair loss is also known as hereditary hair loss.

Androgenic Alopecia (AGA) is a condition affecting men AND women. Although the exact cause is unknown, it is believed to be related to a genetic sensitivity to an androgen called DHT (dihydrotestosterone). In an affected person, the hair follicles of the scalp are sensitive to DHT, and binding of this hormone to the follicle causes shrinking of the hair follicle. Over time, this shortens the follicles lifespan and the ability to grow hair. Although the process is the same in men and women, the pattern of hair loss is very different. Men tend to have thinning and erosion of the vertices of the scalp first which then extends to the vertex/crown and eventually the entire superior aspect of the scalp. Women tend to maintain their hairline, but become very thin in the frontal and vertex/crown area. The scale for grading loss in men and women is known as the Norwood/Hamilton scale

Androgenic Alopecia in Men (Male patterned hair loss)

Men who have this type of hair loss are genetically predisposed to the androgen (hormone) effects that can occur with scalp hair follicles.

There are two types of scalp follicles: androgen sensitive follicles on the top of the scalp and androgen independent follicles on the sides and the back of the scalp. This is why in men, we typically see hair loss on the crown of the scalp, but not on the sides or back of the scalp.

Androgenic Alopecia in Women (Female patterned hair loss)

Women who have this type of hair loss are genetically predisposed to the hormone effect that can occur with scalp hair follicles.

These women will typically have thinning of the hair on the top and crown of the scalp. This progression usually begins with widening of the central hair part, and the hairline along the forehead and temples remain unaffected.

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