Condition: Androgenetic Alopecia

Also referred to as male pattern baldness or female pattern baldness, androgenetic alopecia is the most common type of progressive hair loss.


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What is androgenetic alopecia?

Androgenetic alopecia is the most common type of progressive hair loss. You may also hear it referred to as male pattern baldness, female pattern baldness, or just baldness. It affects more men than women and in most cases, will affect men earlier on in life than women.

Androgenetic alopecia causes you to permanently lose hair on your scalp. There are several stages to the condition ranging from a receding hairline with little to no hair loss, to loss of all hair on the head.

What are the symptoms of androgenetic alopecia?

Androgenetic alopecia doesn't cause pain, but those who experience it may feel self-conscious about their appearance.

Signs of androgenetic alopecia in men include:

  • Thinning or loss of hair on the crown of the head

  • Thinning or loss of hair near the temples

  • A receding hairline


Androgenetic alopecia in women rarely leads to total baldness and the hairline does not typically recede. Signs of androgenetic alopecia in men include:

  • Thinning hair at the top of the head

  • Widening of the middle parting

  • The scalp becomes visible through the hair

What causes androgenetic alopecia?

A number of factors have been associated with androgenetic alopecia, including:

  • Age – Approximately 25% of men will see the first signs of hair loss before 21, and by age 50, around half will have experienced some degree of hair loss.

  • Hormones – Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is a type of androgen that can cause hair follicles to shrink in diameter over time, to a point where they shrink completely and stop producing hair.

  • Genetics – The sensitivity of certain inherited genes may determine your likelihood of developing androgenetic alopecia.

  • Certain conditions – Androgenetic alopecia in men has been linked to coronary heart disease, an enlarged prostate, prostate cancer, insulin resistance (such as diabetes and obesity) and high blood pressure. In women, it has been linked to polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

How is androgenetic alopecia diagnosed?

At OneWelbeck, our dermatology specialists will be able to make a clear diagnosis of androgenic alopecia by examining your scalp and taking your medical and family history.

If your consultant suspects your hair loss is not due to androgenic alopecia, they may examine your scalp for signs of infection, conduct blood tests, and take a sample of your hair or scalp to check for disease.

What are the treatment options for androgenetic alopecia?

There is currently no cure for androgenic alopecia, but there are now treatments available that can slow the progression of the condition and even induce varying degrees of regrowth. Topical and oral treatments are the most common line of treatment. Platelet-rich injections and surgery in the form of hair transplantation may also be recommended in some cases.