Androgenic Androgenetic Alopecia
Veterinarian Reviewed on January 13, 2012 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Posted in Uncategorized
Androgenic (Androgenetic) Alopecia
Androgenetic or Androgenic alopecia is most commonly known as male pattern baldness or hereditary hair loss is among the most common form of hair loss that’s been afflicting both men and women today. And it is mainly cause by sex hormones, hereditary balding is most susceptible to the male population.
As opposed to follicular hair loss, Androgenic (Androgenetic) Alopecia is generally characterized by hair thinning on the scalp. Usually, hereditary balding does not manifest itself after puberty, as this is the time when male sex hormones are really at their peak. This is the time when someone will start noticing their hair thinning, especially to those with a genetic pre-disposition to hair loss. Medical studies revealed that almost half of all white male over the age of 40 experience some type of hair loss during their lifetime, as the severity and incidence in other cultures or races tends to be much lower, although still present.
DHT or dihydrotestosterone and testosterone are androgens are the main culprits in activating the genes in the scalp to trigger hair loss. The genes inside the body modify or change the way the scalp reacts in circulating androgens in the blood. Androgenic (Androgenetic) Alopecia has three key features and these are listed below.
- Follicular miniaturization or shrinking. When androgens are present the genes that cut down the anagen phase are triggered, as hair follicles are rich of androgen receptors. And as a result, the follicles start to miniaturized or shrink. Finally the shrinking of hair follicles comes to full circle and non-pigmented vellus hairs begin to replace pigmented hair terminals.
- Men that have alopecia have a significant decrease in terminal to vellus hair ratio and will show signs of typical hair loss distribution.
- Areas of inflammation.
Scientists believed that various environmental and genetic factors contribute or triggers Androgenic (Androgenetic) Alopecia. Scientists and researchers works in overtime studying the many possible causes of hereditary baldness, unfortunately, most of these factors still remain unknown. A lot of scientific research are pointing to the maternal side for the connection to the hair loss gene, but it is yet to be proven as there are conflicting evidence to support this. Although, many research are being conducted about Androgenic (Androgenetic) Alopecia, scientists are still baffled and finding it hard to pinpoint the exact gene or genes responsible for hereditary baldness.
Lifestyle seems to be a minimal contributor in Androgenic (Androgenetic) Alopecia both in men and women. But daily eating habit or diet seems to be a more plausible contributor to male pattern baldness, as modern diet these days may be lacking many vital nutrients that a lot of researchers believed could have an effect to hair loss. Although Androgenic (Androgenetic) Alopecia tends to be highest among Caucasian males, what’s interesting is that the hair loss condition affects different races or cultures differently, as the reason for this variance among cultures or races still baffles the scientific community. As people age comes the likelihood of hereditary baldness and the more an individual aged, the more prone they are likely to be. Although hormone levels reduces or decreases after age 30, the probability to be diagnosed with Androgenic (Androgenetic) Alopecia increases.
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan