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Alopecia androgenetica (AGA) or baldness comum

Androgenetic alopecia is the main cause of hair loss. It is one of the most difficult and the only one that is linked to genetics. 

It is responsible for 90% of hair loss cases. It is the most common form of hair loss in both sexes, with 60% of cases in men. Hair loss is related to genetics and androgen metabolism. 

It usually appears between the ages of 20 and 30, in both men and women, and develops slowly and gradually.

What is androgenetic or androgenetic alopecia?

Androgenetic alopecia is one of the most common types of hair loss. It is a genetic hair loss in which hair gradually falls out. 

It is the most common cause of hair loss, and although it is a physiological process in men over a certain age, it is very rare in women (female androgenetic alopecia). 

Female Androgenetic Alopecia - FAGA

This type of alopecia has the same origin in the case of women, but experts believe that other hormones and different enzymes are involved in its appearance, such as the decrease of estrogens and increase of androgens that occurs after menopause, so it is generally called female pattern alopecia.

Female pattern hair loss (FAGA) is also called androgenic, as it is considered the same entity that affects the male sex. 

The amount of androgen in the female sex is lower than that of the male sex and the distribution of hair loss is also different.

What are the causes and symptoms of female androgenic alopecia?

In women hair loss is a characteristic of androgenism or hyperandrogenism with rapidly progressive alopecia, which is often accompanied by other signs such as: increased androgens, hirsutism, amenorrhea and increased circulating testosterone level, which should be investigated.

Symptoms of female androgenic alopecia

Alopecia is centered in the frontal and upper area of the head, usually maintaining the integrity of the first hairline, so they usually do not present receding hairline.
Reduction of hair density at the crown of the head at frontal level, with preservation of the frontal hairline.

Male androgenic alopecia : MAGA

Male alopecia is undoubtedly a trait that depends on the amount of androgens and genetic predisposition.

The androgenic influence is acquired by the genetic code of polygenic character inherited from paternal, maternal or both sides.

Genes with information and expression for baldness are related to the X chromosome.

Male pattern hair loss is seen in the receding frontal hairline and vertex (crown) baldness visible on the scalp. It has a slow and progressive progression with a final result (grade VII baldness), with hair only in the lateral and posterior parts of the scalp.

What are the causes and symptoms of male androgenic alopecia?

The main cause of androgenetic alopecia in men is the increased action of male hormones in certain areas of the scalp that are genetically predisposed to this condition. 

Due to increased hormone secretion, the activity of the hair follicle gradually decreases, it becomes smaller until the hair bulb completely atrophies and the follicle is completely destroyed.

Symptoms of androgenetic alopecia in men

  • Progressive thinning of the hair at the hairline and crown.
  • The hair becomes shorter and thinner until no new hair is produced.

In male androgenetic alopecia, the hair follicles on the frontal, top and crown line are more sensitive to the effects of male hormones. Androgens (male sex hormones) cause the follicles to become increasingly thinner.

The hormone responsible for hair loss is called DHT (dihydrotestosterone). This hormone interacts with a specific androgen receptor, which causes the hair on the top of the scalp to thin, resulting in alopecia or baldness.

The main causes of androgenetic alopecia are genetic and hormonal factors.

Conclusion of androgenetic alopecia in men and women

In both men and women, androgenetic or androgenetic baldness is characterized by a progressive decrease in the length of the anagen phase and an increase in the telogen phase with a miniaturization of the scalp hair follicles indicating a common final pathway of follicular regression.

The above mentioned symptoms can have different levels of alopecia and symptoms, there is a classification by hair loss that helps us to better understand the symptoms and levels that exist.

Is there a cure for androgenic alopecia?

There is no cure, but there are hair treatments that help to stabilize alopecia (they do not prevent progression, but slow down the process). 

Patients undergoing treatment for androgenetic alopecia should be aware that hair will not grow back, and if it does, it will probably be in areas close to where there was existing hair. 

The aim of the treatment is to inhibit the enzyme 5 alpha reductase.

How can it be detected?

Thanks to the pattern of hair loss we can diagnose the problem. When a patient comes to our hair clinic in Valencia a hair analysis of the scalp is performed, in addition to collecting sufficient information about the patient's medical history. 

During the study of the hair it is necessary to check the absence of other types of alopecia, including: 

  • alopecia areata 
  • scarring alopecia
  • telogen effluvium
  • secondary alopecia due to the consumption of certain drugs. 
  • trichotillomania 

Androgenic alopecia should not be confused with other hair loss of genetic origin, which is much rarer.

Hair treatments for androgenic alopecia 

  • The most effective and well-known hair treatment for alopecia is Minoxidil, which slows down the process and stimulates hair growth. Minoxidil is applied topically, i.e. in the form of a 2% or 5% solution directly on the scalp.
  • Finasteride not only slows alopecia, but also increases hair growth in the terminal phase; however, it is not effective in men over 60 years of age and is contraindicated in women.
  • Dutasteride, a derivative of finasteride, has been shown to be effective in androgenetic alopecia.
  • Hair implantation. Hair implantation with FUE technique is the most popular due to its high efficacy and good results. It does not leave scars in the area of extraction and causes much less postoperative pain, so it is currently the most accepted technique by both trichologists and patients.

All treatments for alopecia should always be recommended by a trichologist. Hair loss can be temporary or permanent, the doctor must diagnose the disorder and treat it according to the cause.

At Clínica de Freitas we provide a solution to hair loss by restoring the health and shine that your hair has always had. We can help you by filling out our web form, our medical team will give you the best solution.