Hair loss can happen to anyone at any age, but hair loss affects both men and women very differently. The most common type of hair loss in both men and women is a condition called androgenetic alopecia, also known as male or female pattern hair loss. Men with androgenetic alopecia can begin suffering hair loss in their early 20s, whereas women often don’t experience noticeable thinning until around 40 years old or later. Keep reading to understand the differences in hair loss in men versus women with androgenetic alopecia.
Hair Loss in Men
Androgenetic alopecia accounts for more than 95% of hair loss in men, according to the American Hair Loss Association. This inherited condition tends to give men a receding hairline and a thinning crown that is caused by a genetic sensitivity to a byproduct of testosterone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Some major patterns of hair loss that can be seen in men include:
- Temples: Hair will start thinning around the temples and at the top of the back of the head, also known as the crown or vertex.
- Receding hairline: Hair starts thinning and moving back around the front of the head on the sides.
- Top of the head: Men won’t go bald overnight. However, they will start to notice thinning at the top of their head.
Men constantly produce testosterone throughout their lives, which means they constantly make DHT. However, DHT makes it difficult for sensitive hair follicles to survive. This continuous cycle makes men more likely to lose their hair than women.
Hair Loss in Women
It is estimated that more than 50% of women will experience noticeable hair loss in their lifetime. Female pattern baldness is the most common cause of hair loss in women, affecting nearly 30 million women in the United States.
Female pattern baldness is likely hereditary and is more common after menopause, meaning hormones are likely responsible. While women are less likely to go completely bald with this condition, they may experience noticeable hair thinning in the central or midline region of the scalp with preservation of the front hairline. Some major patterns of hair loss that can be seen in women include:
- Thinning on top: Women may notice thinning across the entire top of the head and not on the sides.
- Widening part: The part on top of the head may become wider.
- Thinning across the whole head: This is the most common type of balding pattern in women.
How Can I Treat My Hair Loss?
There are a number of treatments available for pattern hair loss, including prescription medications like minoxidil, finasteride, dutasteride, and spironolactone, platelet-rich plasma, hair transplant surgery, and Low-Level-Laser Therapy.
Low-Level-Laser Therapy (LLLT) is a non-surgical treatment that uses laser light technology to stimulate cell growth and re-energize inactive hair follicles. Research has shown that in controlled clinical trials, LLLT stimulated hair growth in both men and women with androgenetic alopecia. There are many positives of LLLT for hair loss, including:
- Noninvasive and drug-free
- Supported by scientific evidence
- No serious adverse side effects
- Can be used in combination with all other hair loss treatments
- Easy to use and can be done almost anywhere you can wear a hat!
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