Androgenic alopecia is the name for male and female pattern baldness. In androgenic alopecia the hair loss occurs slowly over years. It can start anytime after age twenty. There is usually a family history of hair loss. In women, the hair slowly becomes thin throughout the scalp and bald spots usually do not occur. Men first develop hair loss at the temples, followed by an enlarging bald spot on top of the head.
- Androgenic alopecia is thought to be due to the hair growing tissue's sensitivity to hormones; this sensitivity is due to genetic factors.
- Not contagious, not caused by foods, not the result of nervousness.
- Androgenic alopecia often runs in families.
- Rogaine (minoxidil) is a medicine used to treat high blood pressure which when applied to the skin causes hair growth in some individuals. One out of ten people who use Rogaine will grow hair. Rogaine will slow the rate of hair loss in five out of ten patients who use it. The other four out of ten are wasting their money.
- Hair transplants are another option for treating androgenic alopecia. Plugs of hair are removed surgically from areas with plenty of hair and implanted in the areas with little hair.
- Some people can benefit from scalp reduction. This is a surgical procedure in which the bald area is cut out.