This is an inherited type of hair loss. It is usually more noticeable in men, where hair begins thinning around the hairline near the temples as well as on the "vertex" (posterior scalp). In women, hair loss is more diffuse, usually without areas of baldness.
There is usually hair shedding as androgenetic alopecia progresses. The condition is normal, and very common. There are two treatments approved by the Food and Drug Administration for androgenetic alopecia:
- Minoxidil is thought to increase the blood supply to the follicle. This may be helpful, but its effects are lost if you stop using the drug.
- Finasteride is a pill — for men only. (This drug can harm a male fetus in a pregnant woman.) In many men, this drug has proved helpful in slowing the progression of androgenetic alopecia.
Find out more about this book:Harvard Medical School A Woman's Guide to Hair Loss and Excess Hair