Androgenetic alopecia or hereditary hair loss is the most common type of hair loss, affecting about 80 million men and women in the United States. Male pattern baldness and female pattern baldness are both forms of androgenetic alopecia.
Male pattern baldness makes up about 90% of all men’s hair loss. Currently, almost 40 million men in North America are suffering from male pattern baldness. Male pattern baldness is a genetic condition that can appear as early as the teenage years.
The effects of male pattern baldness usually begin at the hairline. Many men will notice that their hairline is gradually receding to form an “M” shape. Men with male pattern baldness may also discover bald patches, especially on the top of the head, and will usually find that their existing hair becomes finer and thinner.
If you experience hair loss in patches, diffuse shedding of hair, breaking of hair shafts or hair loss associated with redness, scaling, pain or rapid progression, you’re probably dealing with something more than male pattern baldness and should consult your doctor.
Female pattern baldness is prevalent in more than 50 percent of women over 50. It is estimated that one in four women experiences female pattern baldness, which can begin in their 20s or sometimes even earlier. In addition to genetics, high androgen birth control pills, ovarian cysts, hormones, menopause or pregnancy can potentially cause female pattern baldness.
Unlike men, women tend to keep their hairline and instead experience thinning hair elsewhere. A widening part is usually the first sign of this type of hair loss. Thinning over the front and top of the scalp is most common. However, it is possible for women to see a receding hairline or bald patches. Similarly, in some instances, men may notice thinning hair and not necessarily any issues at the hairline.
Technically speaking, androgenetic alopecia results from a genetic predisposition that makes follicles sensitive to the effect of dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT builds up around the hair follicle, causing a shorter hair growth cycle and finer hair. Eventually, the follicle shuts down and completely stops producing hair so that when the hair falls out, it isn’t replaced.
Luckily, this type of hair loss can easily be treated. If you’re experiencing hair loss symptoms and are considering treatment, Hair Club can help you determine the cause of your hair loss and the most effective solution to get your hair back.