Androgenetic alopecia is the medical term for baldness, once known as male pattern baldness, but recently refers to both men and women. What happens with this sort of baldness is that it is lost in a defined pattern and with men it usually begins above the temples along the hairline causing the hairline to begin to recede. Through passage of time, the hair will begin to thin at the top of the head leading to partial or even total baldness.
The hair loss pattern for women is different than the male pattern type, with woman their hair will become thinner all over their heads and the hairline does not recede. In women, this condition hardly ever leads to complete baldness.
This type of baldness in men has on occasion been associated with other medical conditions such as coronary heart disease, an enlarged prostate, prostate cancer, diabetes as well as high blood pressure. With women it is sometimes associated with the increased risk of polycystic ovary syndrome which is an imbalance of hormones.
Although both men and women can suffer from androgenetic alopecia it is more common in men than it is in women. This type of hair loss affects about thirty five million men or 50 percent of men in the United States alone and can begin as early as the teen years and with age the chances of the disorder increases greatly.
There is a specific gene that is associated with this hair loss disorder called the AR gene making it a good possibility that this hair loss is influenced by genetic and environmental factors but most of the real factors behind the loss of hair still remains unknown to researchers. They do however, know that this hair loss can be linked to hormones called androgens. Androgens are important in sexual development for males before they are born and during puberty. They also are important for women and men when it comes to their hair growth and sex drive.
The growth of hair starts under the skin through follicles with each hair usually growing anywhere from two to six years and then goes dormant or rests for several months after which it falls out. When there happens to be increased levels of androgens in the follicles it will lead to a shorter growing cycle for the hair which in turn will lead to thinner strands of hair along with delay of the new hair that is suppose to replace the hair that was shed. Although researchers are still unclear to how this type of hair loss is genetically passed on they do know that if someone has a relative that is a close relative with this type of baldness they have a better chance of developing this type of baldness.
There are treatments that can be given to those with this type of baldness if the person is not comfortable with the appearance they experience with the baldness. There is hair weaving, change the hairstyle as well as different styles of hairpieces can help disguise the problem. The Hairmax reviews are also very positive.
There are also two major drugs that are also used in the treatment of this type of baldness. Minoxidil or better known as Rogaine is a solution that can be put directly on the scalp to help stimulate the follicles. It has been proven to slow hair loss for a lot of men and some men have even grown new hair. But if the treatment is stopped, the hair loss will begin to return.
The other main drug used is Finasteride. This is a pill that a person must get a prescription for in order to use it. What this does is inhibit the production of the hormone dihydrotestosterone. Similar to Rogaine, this drug will slow down hair loss quite a bit and some consider it far more effective than Rogaine. Just as Rogaine, the hair loss will return as soon as you stop taking it.
One of the more successful ways, yet quite expensive is to do hair transplants. Here plugs of hair taken from an area that is not balding is taken and placed in balding areas, this may cause some scarring but it is known to be an excellent procedure that is permanent and not temporary like the drugs are.