• What Causes Androgenetic Alopecia?


    What Causes Androgenetic Alopecia

    Heredity brings us many wonderful things. You might have your grandmother’s eyes, or perhaps your father’s square jaw. Perhaps you inherited your aunt’s naturally curly hair, or a parent’s musical ability. However, sometimes, our inherited genetics give us gifts that are not quite so positive: Hair loss is a good example.

    Androgenetic alopecia, or hereditary hair loss, is the most common type of hair loss disorder. It is also genetic, passed down through the generations. The good news is that this family trait doesn’t have to define your life.

    What Causes Androgenetic Alopecia?

    While androgenetic alopecia is often associated with men (male pattern baldness), women can also suffer from it. Like blue eyes or curly hair, it is a genetic trait passed along within your DNA. And, because of that, it can be treated, but there is no “cure”. Technically, it is not a disease, any more than being tall is a disease, or having red hair is a disease.

    How Does Androgenetic Alopecia Progress?

    It’s important to understand that while there are multiple, defined stages, progress through those stages may be uneven. The first stage sees no significant recession of the hairline or hair loss. In the second stage, the hairline begins to recede, usually beginning around the temples for men. Women often see thinning across the scalp, without the defined M-shaped pattern most men experience.

    The third stage of androgenetic alopecia is recession at both temples, combined with noticeable hair loss. Next, the hairline continues to recede, with hair loss starting to accelerate. In the fifth stage, the hairline has extended back, with a narrow strip of hair remaining at the crown. Within the sixth and seventh stages, most of the hair is lost from the top of the head, with only a fringe remaining around the sides and back.

    Beyond Genetics: Contributing Factors for Androgenetic Alopecia

    While your genes are the most significant driver of hair loss, other factors complicate the situation and can accelerate loss and hairline recession. These include hormone imbalances (particularly in women suffering from hair loss), medications, medical treatments, menopause, and lifestyle factors, such as trauma or poor diet.

    How Can You Treat Androgenetic Alopecia?

    While there is no cure for androgenetic alopecia, there are multiple treatment options on the market, varying from topical treatments to hair replacement surgery. For mild hair loss, vitamin shampoos may provide the nourishment hair follicles need, although they will not halt hair loss. More advanced cases may require treatment with a product like Propecia or finasteride and/or a topical application such as Rogaine. Laser therapy can also provide some benefits.

    Other options include scalp injection therapy with platelet-rich plasma, or stem cell therapy. However, for full restoration of lost hair, hair transplant surgery is the only choice. Today’s methods include follicular unit hair transplant (FUT) and follicular unit extraction (FUE).

    Achieving a Healthy Head of Hair

    No matter what your stage of hair loss, there are ways to fight back. While there is no cure, there are options that can allow you to enjoy a full head of healthy hair. With the right physician, you can follow a customized treatment plan tailored to your needs and goals.

  • View All Testimonials
  • View All Before & Afters