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Androgenic alopecia

What Is Androgenic Alopecia?

Androgenic alopecia is the medical term for what many lay persons refer to as male-pattern baldness. This genetic condition affects men and women but presents in two very different ways.

In men, androgenic alopecia usually presents as a thinning above the temples. As it increases, it forms a line that looks like an “M’ across the forehead. Some men with androgenic alopecia instead develop the “friar’s ring.” That’s a bald spot at the top of the head with relatively normal hair growth on the side and back of the skull.

For women, “male pattern balding” is not a pattern. Androgenic alopecia in women often presents as an overall thinning of the hair. Rarely does this lead to baldness in women, but it can make the appearance of hair less attractive and more problematic to those affected.

What Triggers Androgenic Alopecia?

Many people are taught in basic classes about genetics that male pattern baldness, a.k.a. androgenic alopecia, is a regressive gene tied to the sex chromosome. Specifically, in this case, conventional wisdom taught that you inherited it from your mother’s father.

In reality, that is a gross oversimplification and ignores hormones’ role. According to a WebMD article, androgenic alopecia in men and women is triggered by the interplay of genetics and hormones. Specifically, a testosterone derivative called dihydrotestosterone or DHT. DHT is more common in men but does appear in women, especially as they approach their 40s and 50s. It also seems that both sides can carry the genes for androgenic alopecia on both sides of the family.

Can Androgenic Alopecia Be Cured?

Because this type of hair loss is partially genetic, doctors cannot cure it. However, medical intervention can potentially slow it.

About five percent of the body’s testosterone is converted to DHT, so reducing the body’s testosterone or eating things that help block DHT may slow hair loss. Some foods, including bananas and onions, may help prevent DHT from damaging the hair follicles and causing hair loss.

The FDA-approved medication finasteride has been shown to inhibit an enzyme that converts testosterone to DHT. As a result, it reduces DHT levels, thereby sustaining hair growth. However, this only occurs as long as the finasteride is used, so the benefits end after usage ceases.

When you consult a hair loss prevention specialist at BayMed Hair and Aesthetics, you can expect a discussion about your diet and other lifestyle changes to help minimize your hair loss. For instance, some severe hairstyles, including ponytails and buns that pull the hair tight, can contribute to hair breakage and the appearance of hair loss.

Additionally, doctors say that consulting a professional at the first sign of hair loss is the best way to keep your hair healthy. Often people have lost as much as 50 percent of their hair before they consult a professional, making it an uphill battle to keep their hair.

BayMed Hair and Aesthetics Can Restore Your Hairline and Confidence

If you are experiencing hair loss that is more than shedding, it’s essential to consult a doctor to determine the cause of the hair loss and what can be done to stop or slow the process. Start the process of saving your hair by contacting us at BayMed Hair and Aesthetics today to help figure out what to do about your hair loss so call us today.

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