Hair loss, technically known as alopecia, can occur in both men and women, and is often a cause of embarrassment or social discomfort. Hair is considered an important part of most people’s overall self-image. Women often consider their hair a sign of femininity and attractiveness; while men associate it with vigor and youth.
The majority of hair loss in men is due to androgenic alopecia or male pattern hair loss. The cause of this hair loss is the increase in dihydrotestosterone or DHT, as well as a genetic predisposition.
DHT causes hair follicles to shrink and effectively deteriorate, which in turn cause the hair to become thinner and more fragile. The follicle will eventually go dormant and cease producing hair.
Hair loss in men can be treated using Propecia, which is an oral medication. Propecia works by blocking the formation of dihydrotestosterone. By restricting the levels of DHT, it is possible for the follicles to produce hair. Often Propecia is used in combination with hair transplantation.
Women’s hair loss usually occurs from a combination of genetics, hormones, and age, which causes the hair shafts to become thinner over time. Women can also experience temporary hair loss due to illness, medications, or infection.
Androgenetic alopecia is the most common type of hair loss in women, and is seen as a gradual reduction in the overall volume of the hair. A concentrated thinning of the hair at the crown is also quite common.
Hair loss treatments for women include Rogaine, an oral medication; and hair transplantation to transfer hair follicles from a denser area to the thinning area.