Hair loss in men occurs in a distinctive way (and sometimes can affect women too). The hair begins to disappear from the forehead and crown of the head at any time. For some men this process begins at the end of adolescence, but most occur between 20 and 30. Some thinning of hair may be noticeable first, followed by an extensive loss of hair causing scalp becomes more visible.
Some men are not concerned by this process. Others, however, suffer great emotional distress associated with lack of confidence and sometimes depression.
In male pattern baldness, which tends to be inherited, the hair is usually lost on the forehead and crown. This is because an excess of a chemical called dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, which causes the hair follicles become thinner and thinner until it finally completely lost.
Other causes of hair loss, do not follow this pattern are:
- Iron deficiency anemia
- Underactive Thyroid
- Fungal infection of the scalp
- Some medications
Most women with androgenic alopecia have diffuse thinning suffered in all areas of the scalp. Men on the other hand, rarely have diffuse thinning, but have more different patterns of baldness. Some women may have a combination of the two types of pattern. Androgenic alopecia in women is due to the action of androgens, male hormones that tend to act only in small quantities.
Androgenic Alopecia can be caused by a variety of factors related to the actions of hormones, including, ovarian cysts, taking pills with high androgen index, pregnancy and menopause. As in men the hormone DHT appears to be at least partly to blame for the miniaturization of hair follicles in women suffering from female pattern baldness. Heredity plays a major factor in the disease.