Blog: Hair Forever
by curisto

Androgenic Alopecia – Causes and Symptoms

Androgenic Alopecia is commonly referred to as male pattern baldness. We look at the common causes of the condition and their symptoms. The condition presents differently in men and women, and the underlying conditions of either could also vary greatly. Read on to find out more.

Date:   12/22/2011 7:45:19 AM   ( 12 y ) ... viewed 17572 times

The term Androgenic Alopecia is used to describe what is commonly known as male pattern baldness; the most common cause of hair loss, hair thinning and baldness. The formation of that characteristic ‘helipad’ at the crown of the head where the scalp skin shows through as well as the typical high forehead getting a lot higher due to a receding hair line are classic signs of this type of hair loss.

This type of hair loss is different from others such as alopecia areata where the immune system of the body is involved. With alopecia areata, the hair loss could be all over the body; not just from the head.

Causes of Androgenic Alopecia

Aging is one of the factors responsible for this type of hair loss. An estimated 60% or more men experience this form of hair loss at least to some extent after the age of 35.

Having a genetic predisposition to hair loss is another reason. For instance if a man has close relatives who have experienced hair loss he is more likely to undergo the same. Those who are genetically predisposed to hair loss display sensitivity to a byproduct of testosterone called dihydrotestosterone, or DHT which causes the hair to thin and fall out earlier than the normal life span of the hair.

Androgenetic alopecia in women is often caused by hormonal imbalances. With women the hair loss does not usually display that typical male pattern baldness; rather it is a diffuse thinning of hair all over the scalp. Natural progressions such as pregnancy and menopause as well as having ovarian cysts or taking birth control pills are known to cause hair loss.

Certain conditions and diseases or medications used to cure them can also cause hair loss. For instance chemotherapy, administered for cancer is known to cause hair loss. Even eating disorders or malnutrition are known causes of hair loss, but these are not usually male pattern hair loss.

Symptoms of androgenic alopecia

The symptoms of andogenetic alopecia are usually quite clear and they follow a definite pattern. The hair loss first starts at the area above the temples and at the top or crown of the head. As the hair loss progresses, it could be that the entire top part of the scalp becomes bald and the only hair that is left is at the sides of the head and the back of the head. A receding hair line is usually the first symptom of this condition.

This type of hair loss in women is sometimes known as female pattern baldness. There is usually no predictable pattern of hair loss here. The hair is lost equally all over the scalp; so there is an all over thinning rather than bald patches appearing. This rarely results in complete baldness for women, which explains the fact that we see very few bald women if any. However this kind of hair loss could be difficult to diagnose until it is quite advanced. Sometimes this kind of hair loss is noted in men as well.

For more information on how to treat alopecia and male pattern baldness please visit

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