Androgenetic alopecia – how to recognize and treat it?

19 October 2023
Men who suffer from androgenetic alopecia. En Source: VistaCreate

Hair loss is a common problem that statistically affects men more often. One of the main causes of premature baldness is the hypersensitivity of hair follicles to androgens – hence the name of this affliction: androgenetic alopecia. How to recognize and treat this ailment?

What is androgenetic alopecia? What are its causes?

The direct cause of androgenetic alopecia is the excessive sensitivity of hair follicles to androgens – these are sex hormones that are present not only in men, but also in women. Their role is to regulate the sebaceous glands and even regulate the level of libido.

Levels of androgens in men are usually much higher than in women – these hormones stimulate beard growth, but can simultaneously negatively affect hair growing on the head. Among androgens, testosterone derivatives – particularly dihydrotestosterone (DHT) – have the most significant effect on head hair loss.

The aforementioned DHT hormone causes shrinking and atrophy of hair follicles. The consequence of this phenomenon is hair loss. Susceptibility to androgenetic alopecia is most often genetically determined. Interestingly, hair follicles located on the occipital area are usually not susceptible to the effects of DHT.

How to recognize androgenetic alopecia? Characteristic symptoms

The course of androgenetic alopecia can vary depending on gender, but also on individual hormonal balance and DHT levels. It is not difficult for a specialist to diagnose this ailment. If you suspect this type of alopecia in yourself, be sure to schedule a trichology consultation.

Androgenetic alopecia in men

It usually progresses much more rapidly than in women. The first symptoms can occur as early as around the age of eighteen! What are the symptoms of androgenetic alopecia in men?

  • The hairline begins to recede – at first, delicate curves appear, which deepen over time.
  • The hair on the top of the head is thinning. Only the hair on the occipital area can retain its original density.
  • Over time, hair loss progresses until eventually hair is present only on the occipital area.

Androgenetic alopecia in women

It is sometimes a consequence of hormonal disorders, as well as an improper balance between estrogens and androgens. What are the symptoms of this ailment in women?

  • Androgenetic alopecia in women is mild.
  • Hair loss is not as intense as in men – there is thinning of hair (primarily on the top of the head).

Androgenetic alopecia – treatment

Many people wonder whether androgenetic alopecia is reversible and whether the condition can be successfully treated. There is no denying that treating this type of alopecia is difficult, but the earlier efforts are made, the better results can be obtained.

What are the treatments for androgenetic alopecia?

  • Topical therapies – these can include rubs, ampoules, shampoos and other types of minoxidil-based agents. This agent increases blood supply to hair follicles, which stops their shrinking and atrophy. Products based on other active substances are also sometimes used – the selection of the most beneficial preparation should be handled by a specialist trichologist.
  • Oral treatment – usually with finasteride, which blocks the conversion of testosterone to DHT. Treatments of this type are used in men and can effectively inhibit hair loss. Unfortunately, they are not free of side effects – they can lead to decreased libido, as well as sexual dysfunction.

Treatments are also important in the treatment of androgenetic alopecia – both hair and scalp care, as well as possible hair thickening and transplantation.

Treatments for androgenetic alopecia:

  • Needle mesotherapy of the scalp – a procedure with a nutritional effect, during which substances are injected into the scalp to stimulate hair growth, strengthen hair follicles and inhibit hair loss. Subcutaneous injection is a much more effective way to deliver nutrients to the hair roots and scalp than using cosmetics. The treatment also results in improved microcirculation and hydration of the scalp.
  • Platelet-rich plasma treatment for the scalp – the so-called „vampire lift“ can be effective when it comes to strengthening hair and preventing hair loss. The procedure uses ingredients from the patient’s blood, which are administered under the skin by injection. The purpose of this procedure is to stimulate stem cells, strengthen hair and stimulate new hair growth.
  • Hair transplantation – mesotherapy, platelet-rich plasma and other hair enhancement methods have limited effectiveness. If androgenetic alopecia is already severely advanced, the former hair density can only be restored with a transplant. Since hair follicles from the occipital area show resistance to androgens, it is from this area that they can be taken for transplantation. The procedure can be performed in a variety of ways, but a particularly recommendable option is the WAW FUE technique, which involves taking individual hair follicles with a specialized device and transplanting them to the desired location. This procedure is time-consuming, but provides the most natural and measurable results.

Although androgenetic alopecia is a fairly common condition (especially in men), it has still not been possible to develop fully effective preventive methods to protect against this ailment. A large influence on the occurrence of this type of baldness is genetic. However, if you notice the first symptoms of androgenetic alopecia in yourself, do not delay a visit to a trichologist. The use of properly selected treatments will help inhibit the process of follicular atrophy and hair loss, and if necessary in the future you can also opt for a transplant.

Karol Popko

Karol Popko is an experienced author whose pen has been shining in the lifestyle world for many years. With his copywriting practice and insight into trends, he not only shares practical tips, but also opens up a deeper understanding of these topics to his readers. According to Karol, beauty can be found everywhere, and life is worth celebrating with passion and style.


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