What is Androgenetic Alopecia?

Androgenetic Alopecia is often referred to as 'Male Pattern Hair Loss' or 'Female Pattern Hair Loss'. It is the most common type of hair loss affecting approximately 50% of men over the age of 50 and around 50% of women over the age of 65. Androgenetic Alopecia can also affect younger men and women. It is caused by a number of genetic and hormonal factors. Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is the main hormone responsible for Androgenetic Alopecia in genetically susceptible individuals. DHT causes hair loss by inducing a change in the hair follicles. The hairs produced by the follicles affected by DHT become progressively smaller until eventually the follicles shrink completely and stop producing hair entirely.

What does Androgenetic Alopecia look like?

Androgenetic Alopecia tends to look different between males and females. In men, the typical pattern of hair loss is a receding hair line with loss of hair from the top and front of the head. In women, the usual pattern of hair loss is thinning at the crown of the head. Often in women the frontal hairline remains. There are of course exceptions to these patterns but these are typically how Androgenetic Alopecia presents itself in men and women. It is less likely that a woman will experience total baldness as a result of Androgenetic Alopecia.

Is Androgenetic Alopecia permanent?

The hair follicles affected by Androgenetic Alopecia are permanently damaged and any hair loss as a result is irreversible. 

Can Androgenetic Alopecia be treated?

As with other types of alopecia, there is no cure for Androgenetic Alopecia. However, the effects of Androgenetic Alopecia may be slowed down with treatments. Minoxidil is licensed to treat both male and female pattern baldness.

Is Androgenetic Alopecia hereditary?

Yes, it is understood that genetic susceptibility is inherited from either or both parents.

Further Reading

The British Association of Dermatologists (BAD) has produced Patient Information Leaflets for all types of skin conditions, including types of alopecia. The BAD Patient Information Leaflets provide details of treatment options available. 

CLICK HERE TO READ THE BAD PATIENT INFORMATION LEAFLET FOR MALE PATTERN HAIR LOSS

CLICK HERE TO READ THE BAD PATIENT INFORMATION LEAFLET FOR FEMALE PATTERN HAIR LOSS