HAIR LOSS – IT’S NOT SO BLACK AND WHITE
Hair loss affects both men and women to an extremely high amount. Even though many see that hair loss is more experienced by men, women are just as much affected if not more affected. Genetic hair loss, also called androgenetic alopecia, is not an easy condition to determine by simply looking at one side of your family and sighing in relief that your mother has a full head of hair and, therefore, you will not experience any kind of baldness.
This type of condition is not so black and white. You can’t just look at your mother’s side of the family to determine your follicular fate. Up until recently it was believed that hair loss came from a gene on the X chromosome from the mother’s side of the family. But it’s not that simple and androgenetic alopecia is said to come from many genes.
There’s no denying that dihydrotestosterone (DHT) plays a huge role in genetic hair loss. DHT is an androgen (male sex hormone) that is produced by both men and women. The fact that men produce more testosterone could have something to do with how men and women respond to the effects DHT has on the body and on the follicles. Women experience loss of follicles all over the scalp, and the front of the hairline remains mostly unaffected at the beginning. For men, the loss is mostly in the front of the hairline and the temples, as well as on the top of the head. This is why it is much easier for a man to be diagnosed with androgenetic alopecia than for a woman since the causes for a woman can range from stress, to hormonal changes from pregnancy to even a too-tight pony tail. So it is advisable for a woman to see a doctor to determine the cause before starting any kind of treatment regimen. For men, sometimes they start a treatment regimen without even being diagnosed with androgenetic alopecia.
As far as the direct cause of androgenetic alopecia from a genetic stand-point, it’s not 100 percent apparent what level of hormones can cause it or make it worse. Most of the scientific evidence is still somewhat unknown.
Thankfully, androgenetic alopecia, when caught in the earlier stages, is preventable and with the proper treatments (learn more about the treatments here), one can actually stop the hair loss before it gets so bad that there are no other options.