Androgenic alopecia is a genetic condition that affects both men and women. Men with this condition, also called male pattern baldness, can suffer from hair loss as early as their teens or early 20s.
It is characterized by a reducing hairline and gradual reduction of hair from the crown and frontal scalp.
Androgenetic alopecia in women is also known as female pattern baldness. However, women do not experience visible thinning until their 40s or later.
Women experience a normal thinning over the entire scalp, with excess hair loss at the crown.
What are the Possible Causes of Androgenetic Alopecia?
Men may suffer from androgenetic alopecia because of genetics. It can also involve some medical conditions, including:
• Coronary heart disease
• Enlargement of the prostate
• Prostate cancer
• Insulin resistance disorders (such as diabetes and obesity)
• High blood pressure (hypertension)
Women suffer from androgenetic alopecia because of polycystic ovary syndrome. The syndrome’s symptoms include an imbalance of hormones causing acne, irregular periods, excess hair on the body, and weight loss.
Some researchers believe that these disorders may occur because of an increase in androgen levels. It explains why they only occur when androgen contributes to hair loss.
Factors related to hormones and the environment contributes to androgenetic alopecia as well, but they remain unknown.
Treatments for Androgenetic Alopecia
Treatment for androgenetic alopecia includes both medicines and surgeries. In some cases, the use of medications can increase hair growth and reduce hair loss; these medicines include:
• Minoxidil: It is a lotion or foam that you can apply to your scalp. Minoxidil is helpful for people who do not want to take any pills for hair growth. Furthermore, it makes your hair follicles enlarged and encourages hair growth. However, Minoxidil does have side effects like scalp irritation. So, you have a sensitive scalp; you may develop redness, itching, and flaking.
• Finasteride: It is a pill that targets the enzyme responsible for converting testosterone to DHT. This, in turn, reduces the production of DHT, the hormone which causes androgenic alopecia. After that, follicles that are sensitive to the effects of DHT function normally. It also prolongs the hair growth cycle, thus reducing hair shedding.
The main difference between them is that minoxidil is very effective in hair loss at the crown. But, finasteride is effective on the entire scalp.
There are some minimally invasive procedures, which are much more useful than medications:
• Mesotherapy: It is useful for patchy hair loss, hair thinning, balding, and patchy hair loss. In mesotherapy treatment, your doctor will use tiny needle-like injections to give your scalp a combination of different vitamins. This boost of vitamins creates the better blood circulation in your scalp. It results in healthy hair growth.
• Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP): Under this method, your blood is extracted and spun in a centrifuge. This method separates the platelets. Platelets, along with plasma, are injected into your scalp. PRP treatment encourages hair follicles to growth due to its healing properties.
The treatments mentioned above generally require some sessions depending on the level of your hair loss. These sessions are taken at different intervals ranging between 3-4 months. Other treatment for androgenetic alopecia includes hair transplant surgery.
Hair transplant surgery is an effective treatment for androgenetic alopecia. It is a surgical method of taking hair follicles from one area of your scalp and planting them on the balding side. Many people opt for a hair transplant treatment for balding because of its long-lasting benefits.
Medications can reduce androgenetic alopecia. But, if hair loss has increased and causes balding or patchy hair loss, hair transplant is the right option for best results.
So, if you are suffering from androgenetic alopecia consult your doctor. They will conduct a thorough examination of your scalp and hairline. In addition to that, they will guide you to a treatment method that will suit your condition.