Androgenic alopecia is a medical condition that causes progressive hair loss in both men and women.
Also known as male or female pattern baldness, it is one of the most common forms of hair loss and can significantly affect the self-esteem and quality of life of those who suffer from it.
In this article, we will delve into what androgenic alopecia is, its main characteristics, the causes that trigger it and the treatment options available.
Androgenic alopecia: What it is and main features
Androgenic alopecia is a type of hair loss that affects both men and women and is one of the most frequent forms of hair loss.
It is characterized by a progressive thinning of the hair in specific areas of the scalp, resulting in the appearance of bald areas or areas with lower capillary density.
In men, androgenic alopecia typically manifests with recessive entrances to the temples and an unpopulated crown, while in women, the pattern usually involves thinning at the top of the head.
One of the main characteristics of androgenic alopecia is its distribution pattern.
In men, it usually manifests with recessive entries in the temples, forming the classic “M” in the hairline, and an unpopulated crown at the top of the head.
On the other hand, in women, the typical pattern of androgenic alopecia involves progressive thinning in the central and upper part of the scalp, usually preserving the frontal hairline.
Causes of androgenic alopecia
Androgenic alopecia, also known as male or female pattern baldness, is one of the most common forms of hair loss and has its origin in a combination of hormonal and genetic factors that affect the health and vitality of the hair.
Although it is more common in men, it can also affect women, especially after menopause.
Although the presence of a direct family history of androgenic alopecia increases the probability of developing it, its absence does not exclude the possibility of suffering from it, since genetics is not the only determining factor.
In men who experience androgenic alopecia, the hair follicles of the frontal, upper and crown area are more sensitive to the action of androgens, which are male hormones.
These androgens, among which dihydrotestosterone (DHT) stands out, play a key role in the process of miniaturization of hair follicles.
DHT is a metabolite of testosterone that affects the growth phase of the hair cycle, progressively shortening it and resulting in the presence of thinner, shorter and colorless hair on the scalp. Over time, the follicles weaken until they disappear, if proper treatment is not implemented.
Usually, androgenic alopecia begins to manifest around the age of 20 to 25, or even at younger ages, although the process of hair loss can vary in each person.
It is essential to understand that the presence of androgenic alopecia is not usually associated with any concomitant disease, and its development is strongly influenced by the combination of hormonal and genetic factors.
Hormonal influence on alopecia
As we have already mentioned, androgenic alopecia is directly influenced by male hormones, specifically dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
This hormone acts on the hair follicles genetically predisposed to the condition, causing their progressive miniaturization until causing their complete atrophy and fibrosis.
The process of hair loss is due to the sensitivity of these hair follicles to the effect of androgen hormones.
DHT, as a metabolite of testosterone, shortens the growth phase of the hair cycle, resulting in a reduction in hair size and thickness in the affected areas. Over time, the follicles become weaker and produce thinner, less pigmented hair, which contributes to the appearance of baldness.
Genetics and heredity in baldness
While the genetic cause of androgenic alopecia is known, a specific gene responsible for this condition has not yet been identified.
Androgenic alopecia is considered a dominant polygenic inheritance, which means that several genes may be involved in predisposition to this form of hair loss.
The presence of a family history with androgenic alopecia significantly increases the risk of developing it, but it can also manifest itself in people with no family history of baldness.
This suggests that other genetic and environmental factors may interact to influence the development of this condition.
Symptoms of androgenic alopecia
Androgenic alopecia follows a specific pattern of hair loss, and its evolution can be divided into different phases. Next, we will see some symptoms that can help identify if we are facing this situation:
- Loss of capillary density: One of the most obvious symptoms of androgenic alopecia is the miniaturization or decrease in hair diameter, which occurs progressively. This causes a reduction in hair density in specific areas of the scalp.
- Scalp discomfort: Some people may experience scalp discomfort, such as redness or itching, due to hair loss and decreased hair protection.
- Excessive hair loss: It is common to notice an increased amount of hair on the pillow, when combing or moving hair. Hair loss can occur in different situations and times of the day.
- Excess dandruff or oil: Miniaturization of hair can lead to excessive production of oil in the sebaceous glands of the scalp, which can lead to increased dandruff or seborrhea.
- Premature hair loss: In some cases, androgenic alopecia can begin prematurely, even in adolescence or early youth (20-30 years), which can be a cause for concern for those who experience it.
- Alterations in the scalp due to sun exposure: With the evolution of androgenic alopecia, alterations in the scalp associated with chronic sun exposure can also be observed. The decrease in capillary density reduces protection against the sun’s rays, which can cause damage to the skin of the scalp.
It is important to note that each individual may experience these symptoms differently and that androgenic alopecia may manifest progressively over time.
If these symptoms are observed or the presence of this condition is suspected, it is advisable to consult a hair health specialist for an accurate diagnosis and determine the best treatment for each particular case.
Identifying the early signs of alopecia
Recognizing the initial symptoms of androgenic alopecia is crucial to seek treatment early and address the condition before it progresses significantly.
As in almost all problems, prevention
and early detection of the symptoms of androgenic alopecia
are very appropriate ways to treat it.
In this sense, it is very important to take care of daily hygiene, use appropriate cosmetic products and pay attention to different aspects of our lives to try to abort the fall.
But the best way to know if you have androgenetic alopecia is to go to a trichologist, the doctor who specializes in problems with the scalp.
He will be able to know if you suffer from this form of alopecia. Our trichologists are at your disposal.
Androgenic alopecia over time
As androgenic alopecia progresses, hair loss may become more apparent, affecting various areas of the scalp.
It is important to note that there are medical treatments and hair techniques that can help stop or slow down the progression of androgenic alopecia.
Technological advances have made it possible to develop therapies that facilitate the stabilization process of this form of alopecia over time.
, we have qualified professionals and a variety of hair treatments and techniques that adapt to the individual needs of each patient.
From pharmacological treatments to infiltrated therapies and, in more advanced cases,
can be an option to significantly increase capillary density.
Treatment of androgenic alopecia
Treatment for androgenic alopecia
It can vary depending on the degree of hair loss and the specific needs of each patient. Below are some of the most common options used to address this condition:
- Medications: There are drugs approved by health authorities that have been shown to be effective in slowing or delaying hair loss in androgenic alopecia. Among them are Minoxidil and Finasteride. Minoxidil can be presented as a topical solution that is applied directly to the scalp and helps stimulate the growth of new hair follicles, or in tablets, more effective and easy to assimilate by the body, since they go directly to the bloodstream, allowing to affect the root of the follicle. On the other hand, Finasteride is an oral medication that acts by inhibiting the action of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a hormone responsible for the miniaturization of follicles. Both treatments are usually effective, especially when started in the early stages of alopecia.
- Laser therapies: Low-intensity laser therapy is a non-invasive option that can help improve hair health in people with androgenic alopecia. The laser stimulates blood flow in the scalp, which promotes hair growth and the regeneration of weakened follicles.
- Topical treatments: In addition to Minoxidil, there are other topical treatments that can be beneficial for androgenic alopecia, such as shampoos and conditioners with specific ingredients to strengthen the hair and improve its appearance.
- Hair mesotherapy: Mesotherapy is a treatment that involves the application of small doses of nutrients and vitamins directly to the scalp, as well as platelet-enriched plasma (PRP). This therapy can stimulate hair growth and improve its quality.
- Hair TransplantIn advanced cases of androgenic alopecia, where significant hair loss has already occurred, hair transplantation can be an effective option. This surgical intervention consists of transplanting hair follicles from donor areas of the scalp to the affected areas, achieving a natural and lasting result.
- Hair prostheses: Another option and also one that in Hair Solution we know very well are hair prostheses. This solution has improved a lot in recent years being increasingly used. A solution 100% adapted to each person, painless, undetectable and instant that allows you to lead a totally normal life.
It is important to note that each patient is unique and that not all treatments work the same for all people.
Therefore, it is essential to consult a
hair health specialist to
obtain an accurate diagnosis and determine the most appropriate treatment according to the individual characteristics of each case.
With a personalized approach and comprehensive treatment, it is possible to face androgenic alopecia and regain confidence in the appearance of the hair.
Do you still have doubts if you suffer from androgenic alopecia? Don’t worry, in Hair Solution We’re here to help. Our team of hair health specialists has the experience and knowledge necessary to provide you with an accurate evaluation and an accurate diagnosis.