Male and Female Pattern Baldness

Understanding Androgenetic Alopecia

Wig Medical provides personal telehealth sessions with a Cranial Prosthesis Specialist to help you manage Androgenetic Alopecia and reach your hair goals.

What is Androgenetic Alopecia?

Androgenetic alopecia, commonly known as male and female pattern baldness, is a prevalent condition characterized by gradual hair loss. 


While it affects both men and women, the manifestations and progression can differ between the genders. However, it is the most common form of hair loss in both men and women.  


Understanding the causes, symptoms, and available treatment options is crucial for managing this condition effectively.

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Most of our clients who need a medical wig or hair prosthetic are covered by insurance.

Androgenetic Alopecia has Many Names

Although you may not be familiar with the term “androgenetic alopecia”, you may be familiar with one of its many other names. 


The condition may also be referred to as androgenic alopecia, male balding, male pattern hair loss, female pattern alopecia, and hereditary alopecia. Varying terminology may be utilized by medical professionals in order to signify differing patterns of presentation, in both men and women. 


Typically, you may most often hear this condition now referred to as male pattern hair loss and female pattern hair loss. 

“The Wig Medical team of Cranial Prosthesis Specialists are dedicated to helping solve your hair loss challenges.”

Do Genes Play a Role?

Genes are the greatest determining factor to an individual developing androgenetic alopecia. 


The condition is characterized by a genetic predisposition for hair follicles to react excessively to androgens. Repeated activation of the follicle shortens the growth phase. 


Over time, this causes the follicle to shrink. Some of the genes that are involved include the androgen receptor gene and the estrogen receptor gene. 


However, it is also believed that hormones may also play a role in the development of the condition. 

How is Androgenetic Alopecia Diagnosed?

Androgenetic alopecia typically starts to present following puberty. 


The diagnosis can be made following a history of gradual hair loss beginning after this time. A medical professional will make a detailed evaluation of the patient, noting their overall history and perform a physical evaluation. 


A dermoscopy may also be performed to aid in the diagnosis. Patients may also be encouraged to go through other various testing to rule out other potentially serious medical issues, such as iron and thyroid issues. 

Symptoms and Progression

In men, androgenetic alopecia typically begins with a receding hairline and thinning at the crown, eventually progressing to partial or complete baldness. 


Women, on the other hand, often experience diffuse thinning across the scalp, with preservation of the hairline. 


The progression of hair loss can vary, with some individuals experiencing rapid onset while others may have a slower progression over many years.

Androgenetic Alopecia FAQs

Androgenetic Alopecia is a hereditary form of hair loss that can affect both sexes, but it typically presents differently in men and women. 


In men, it often begins with a receding hairline and progresses to balding on the top of the head. In women, it usually manifests as overall thinning without a receding hairline. 


The condition is associated with sensitivity to androgens (male hormones) in certain parts of the scalp, leading to hair follicle miniaturization and a shortened hair growth cycle.

The development of Androgenetic Alopecia is linked to genetic predisposition and the presence of androgens, particularly dihydrotestosterone (DHT). 


DHT shortens the growth phase (anagen phase) of hair, gradually miniaturizing the hair follicles until they no longer produce visible hair.


Genetics determine the scalp areas that are sensitive to androgens, which explains the patterned nature of the hair loss.

While there's no cure for Androgenetic Alopecia, its progression can be slowed, and hair loss can be managed with treatment. 


Early intervention is key to maximizing the effectiveness of treatments, which can include topical minoxidil, oral finasteride for men, and hormone therapy for women. 


These treatments can stimulate hair growth and prevent further thinning, but they require ongoing use to maintain results.

Treatment options for Androgenetic Alopecia include:


  • Topical Minoxidil: Available over the counter, it's applied to the scalp and can slow hair loss and stimulate hair regrowth for both men and women.
  • Oral Finasteride: Prescription medication for men that reduces DHT levels and can slow hair loss and stimulate regrowth.
  • Hormone Therapy: For women, treatments like spironolactone can help manage hair loss by addressing hormonal imbalances.
  • Hair Transplant Surgery: A more permanent solution that involves relocating hair follicles from the back of the scalp to balding areas.
  • Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT): Uses light therapy to stimulate hair growth.

Managing the cosmetic impact involves a combination of treatments to promote hair growth and density and the use of cosmetic solutions like wigs or hairpieces. 


Cranial prostheses are an effective option for covering areas affected by thinning or balding, providing a natural-looking hair appearance. 


Scalp micropigmentation, a tattooing technique that mimics the appearance of a closely shaved scalp, is another cosmetic option for some individuals.

Treatment of Androgenetic Alopecia

While androgenetic alopecia is not curable, various treatment options can slow down its progression and promote hair regrowth. 


Before starting any treatment, you should always consult with a medical professional. 


Treatment options may include:


Topical Minoxidil: An over-the-counter medication applied directly to the scalp, minoxidil can stimulate hair follicles and prolong the growth phase of the hair cycle.


Oral Finasteride: Available by prescription, finasteride works by blocking the conversion of testosterone to DHT, thereby reducing its effects on hair follicles.

Comprehensive Cranial Prosthetic Services at Wig Medical

Book an appointment with our Wig Medical specialists today to explore our range of cranial prosthetic services.


Take the first step towards regaining control over your appearance and reclaiming your self-esteem. 


Contact us now to schedule your consultation.

Take your next step towards getting help!

Let us help you with your Androgenetic Alopecia challenges.

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