Androgenetic alopecia, also known as male- or female-pattern baldness, is a common form of hair loss that is caused by a combination of genetic and hormonal factors. It affects both men and women and is characterized by a gradual thinning of the hair on the scalp, usually starting at the frontal hairline and/or crown.
In men, androgenetic alopecia typically begins with a receding hairline and thinning on the crown, eventually leading to partial or complete baldness. In women, the hair loss is usually more diffuse with accentuation of loss towards the frontal scalp.
The underlying cause of androgenetic alopecia is a sensitivity to androgens, which are male hormones that are also present in females. In people with androgenetic alopecia, hair follicles gradually become smaller and produce thinner, shorter, and less pigmented hair. Eventually, the follicles may stop producing hair altogether.
While there is no cure for androgenetic alopecia, there are several treatments that can help slow down or even reverse the hair loss. These include medications such as minoxidil and finasteride, low-level laser therapy, and hair transplant surgery. It's important to consult with a board-certified dermatologist to determine the most appropriate treatment for each individual case.