What is pattern baldness? This term
indicates the condition of baldness in men
and may also be a common form of hair loss
in women. Men and women experience baldness
in different patterns.
Hair Loss Pattern in Men vs. Women
Androgenetic alopecia, or hair loss, in
men occurs in a well-defined pattern. The
hairline usually starts receding above both
temples of their head and form an “M” shape
after some time. Hair loss in men also takes
place at the crown of the head, resulting
in either partial or complete vertex baldness.
In women, total baldness resulting from
androgeneric alopecia is rare. This is due
to the fact that their hair merely thins
all over the top of the head, and female
hairlines do not recede.
Androgenetic Alopecia from Genetic Factors
Genes may also influence Androgenetic alopecia,
modifying the magnitude of the hair follicle’s
response in circulating androgens. Men or
women who have weak generic predispositions
may start losing hair in their teens. They
may lose hair only until their 40’s
or 50’s. Less than 15% of men may not
experience baldness by the age of 70.
According to research, the genes inherited
from both parents play important roles in
this disease. Fathers, mothers and grandparents
who had experienced hair loss may pass it
on to their descendants. On the other hand,
androgen receptors (AR) are X chromosome linked
and they can correlate with baldness. In women’s
case, X-linked genes can come from either
her father or mother or both.
Androgen receptors could allow one's body
to respond appropriately to dihydrotestosterone
and other androgens. Variations in the AR
genes can produce increased activity of androgen
receptors in hair follicles. However, it is
still unknown how these genetic changes could
strengthen the risk of hair loss for both
men and women.
Other Names for Androgenetic Alopecia
Androgenetic alopecia may also be referred
to as "Pattern Hair Loss" and "Pattern
Balding," its most common layman’s
versions. The reason why the disease is
also called such is because it follows a
characteristic pattern in an affected person.
These names may not exactly define the disease
but they are so far the broadest in orientation
and scope which best fit the description
of the disease.
What This Site Wants To Do For You
The main objective of this site is to inform
people about the facts of pattern hair loss
(i.e. pattern baldness) in men and women.
Some of the physicians around and the people
who are most affected by the disease consider
it to be pathologic while the rest consider
it as a normal part of aging.
So which is it? Some degree of balding (especially
bi-temporal hair loss) is present among 50
percent of aging men. On the other hand, same
number of women is affected by some degree
of thinning after menopause. However, a myriad
of genetic and hormonal factors may trigger
an early onset of pattern balding, indicating
an almost certainly pathologic nature.
Do Same Cellular Mechanisms Result to Androgenetic
Alopecia in Men and Women?
It was assumed that both conditions of male
pattern baldness and female pattern baldness
were caused by the same cellular mechanisms.
This is despite of the phenotypic and age-related
differences in clinical presentation. However,
it is recently becoming evident that there
are two subsets of female pattern hair loss.
One is directly under the control of androgens,
as it is with men, and the other is more
clearly distinct. It is believed that this
occurring second mechanism in women is protective
Androgenetic alopecia, in both men in women
involves a complex steroid metabolism. The
hair loss mechanism is well studied in men
and the fact that androgens have been found
to be the real source of the problem gives
justice to the disease’s name.