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Androgenetic alopecia (AGA) is a medical condition that causes hair loss at the scalp. Alternatively called male pattern baldness, this condition is most likely to impact individuals with a genetic predisposition. A variety of environmental factors have also been attributed to this type of hair loss.

With AGA, hair loss often occurs in an ‘M’-shaped pattern spanning the crown but can also present as thinning at the temples or general loss of volume across the scalp.

Androgenetic hair loss is often associated with elevated levels of a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT) at the scalp. DHT binds to androgen receptors within hair follicles, terminating the hair growth cycle prematurely. This negatively impacts hair quality and results in hair loss.

Individuals with a genetic predisposition are at greater risk of experiencing premature hair loss when DHT levels become elevated. Some individuals may also have a component of higher androgen receptor concentration in the scalp, which may contribute to hair loss even when DHT levels are within the normal range.

Yes, however, early intervention is critical for best results. Reversing hair loss caused by androgenetic alopecia (AGA) becomes more challenging the longer it goes untreated. This is related to progressive miniaturization of the hair follicles, which is driven by genetics and a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). As the follicles get smaller, without intervention, the chance of growing a thick hair from that follicle decreases. Certain drugs have been known to slow down or even halt this miniaturization process. If the follicles are not fully miniaturized, there is a possibility that regrowth with new hairs can occur. It is important to consult with a doctor to determine if you have AGA and discuss what treatment options are right for you.

The National Institute of Health (NIH) reported that around half of all men will have some degree of androgenetic hair loss by 50 years of age. Caucasian men are affected by androgenetic alopecia (AGA) most frequently, with up to 80% of men in this demographic experiencing some degree of hair loss in their lifetime (NIH). AGA is thought to be less common in Black, Indigenous, Hispanic and Asian men, although more conclusive data is needed.

40-50% of adult women will experience hair loss resulting from increased androgen activity at the scalp (NIH). The incidence of AGA in nonbinary individuals is unclear and further research should be conducted.

Although men are most likely to suffer from androgenetic alopecia (AGA) in adulthood, women and nonbinary individuals can also experience androgenetic hair loss following puberty.

As early as possible, but it’s never too late to try treatments for androgenetic alopecia. Reversing hair loss caused by androgenetic alopecia (AGA) becomes more challenging the longer it goes untreated. This is related to progressive miniaturization of the hair follicles, which is driven by genetics and a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). As the follicles get smaller, without intervention, the chance of growing a thick hair from that follicle decreases. Certain drugs have been known to slow down or even halt this miniaturization process. If the follicles are not fully miniaturized, there is a possibility that regrowth with new hairs can occur. This is why the earlier the treatment, the better chances of stabilizing further loss and possibly promoting new growth.

There are tools available to help you determine the extent of your hair loss. The Hamilton-Norwood scale is a visual guide that can help you assess the severity of your androgenetic alopecia.

You should consult with a doctor to review the extent of your hair loss, identify the cause and determine whether treatment might help.

Results can vary greatly from person to person depending on the medical treatment, active pharmaceutical ingredient, method of drug delivery and also based on the extent and pattern of hair loss, and on how early treatment is initiated in the course of androgenetic alopecia (AGA).

Finasteride is the most clinically effective drug approved for the treatment of AGA and has FDA approval at a dosage of 1mg/day taken orally. Finasteride targets androgenetic hair loss by reducing levels of an androgen called dihydrotestosterone (DHT) at the scalp.

A recent literature review concluded that both topical and oral finasteride increased hair count and quality at the scalp in men with AGA. Some individuals responded to finasteride treatment in as little as two months, although in most cases, the therapeutic effects of treatment were seen around six months. As with any pharmaceutical drug, individual responses to finasteride treatment may vary.

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