Alopecia androgenetics is a form of hair loss that occurs in both men and women. Male baldness is the most commonly used term for this form of hair loss.
Alopecia androgenetics is part of the natural process of the body and is influenced by race, gender, age, heredity and hormones. The chance of this form of baldness is greater when it occurs in the family.
Alopecia androgenetics in men
Alopecia androgenetics can occur at a young age. Twenty percent of Dutch men are already (largely) bald before the age of twenty. Forty percent is bald for his forty and seventy percent for his seventy.
In men, baldness generally begins on the sides on the forehead (coves) and on the crown. Eventually the bald spots grow towards each other and the bald spot gets bigger and bigger. For some men this means that they are completely bald.
Alopecia androgenetics in women
Women can also suffer from ‘male pattern baldness’. With them it is usually a lighter form. About forty percent of Dutch women experience alopecia androgenetics in the course of their lives, especially after the menopause.
In women, due to alopecia androgenetics, usually no bald spots are visible. Most of the time they get thinning of the hair when they get divorced. The divorce eventually gets wider.
Some women experience a more rare form of androgenetic alopecia, where the hair loss is the same as in men, with bald patches and inlets. Then there may be a hormonal disorder and humanization. Blood tests then indicate increased levels of testosterone.
Women can also be confronted with ‘monkshap alopecia’. This occurs during the post-menopause and the hair loss then concentrates on the crown, where a bald spot develops.
How does androgenetic alopecia arise?
In androgenetic alopecia, androgens (male hormones) play an important role. Testosterone, among other things, promotes shrinking of hair follicles. This makes the hair grow faster and at the same time the growth phase is shortened, so that a hair follicle is used up faster. A hair follicle can only produce a limited number of hairs.
In the early stages of baldness, the hair follicles produce very small, thin hairs, the so-called vellus hairs. Because these hairs are thinner and lighter, there already seems to be a bald spot.
How can androgenetic alopecia be treated?
If androgenetic alopecia is treated at an early stage, the kaling process is still reversible to a certain extent. Use of medication is possible to combat baldness. The most commonly used medications by men are minoxidil and finasteride. Women also often use minoxidil or hormones that block the action of androgens, such as anti-androgens or estrogens.