The most common hair loss condition in men and women
The majority of people experiencing hair loss have Androgenetic Alopecia (AA), a genetic propensity for hair loss. AA can only be formally diagnosed via scalp biopsy. A scalp biopsy is performed by a medical doctor and is the process of removing a small “punch” section of scalp tissue and sending it for analysis. If the tissue is determined to have Androgenetic Alopecia characteristics, the Dr will let you know that you have AA.
If you show visible signs of hair loss and other family members do as well…chances are you and your family members are experiencing the effects of Androgenetic Alopecia.
What is Androgenetic Alopecia?
It’s the hereditary androgen-dependent hair loss that is associated with the shrinkage of hair follicles and the shortening of the anagen growth phase of hair growth. It is typically characterized by moderate to severe hair loss on the temples and crown in men and diffused thinning on the crown in women.
Androgenetic Alopecia in men is commonly referred to as Male Pattern Baldness and in women it is referred to as Female Pattern Baldness. Roughly 50% of men and women have Androgenetic Alopecia. The numbers rise to as much as 75% of women with Androgenetic Alopecia after menopause.
Androgenetic Alopecia shortens the Anagen Growth Phase and can ultimately result in permanent hair loss.
What’s at the root of Androgenetic Alopecia?
Dihydrotestosterone – (DHT) is a hormone with powerful androgenic properties. Those with Androgenetic Alopecia are genetically prone to convert Testosterone into DHT.
This important hormone plays a role in puberty and helps men develop their adult male characteristics. DHT is an androgen, which means it is a hormone that triggers the development of male characteristics due to higher levels of testosterone.
Testosterone is converted to Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) by 5 Alpha Reductase (5AR) enzyme. This DHT attaches to the Androgen Receptors within the hair follicle and gradually miniaturizes the hair follicle until they eventually die and visible hair loss occurs.
- DHT effects men’s hair: Balding men typically show signs of more masculinity such as full beards, excessive hair on their chest, arms, back, etc. They generally have higher levels of Testosterone and therefore covert more of it into DHT. They generally experienced hair loss on their head and not on their body simply because hair follicles on the head are affected by DHT and hair follicles on the body are not.
- DHT effects women’s hair: Various diseases or hormonal disorders can cause hormonal changes in women. The most common causes of high testosterone levels in women are hirsutism (facial hair), polycystic ovary syndrome, and congenital adrenal hyperplasia. Many women experience hair loss after age 50 because DHT levels rise with age as female hormones decline. Ladies noticing increased hair growth on their face indicates DHT is rising and could be a precursor to hair loss.
- DHT genetics in families: It runs in families…If you notice hair loss in several family members, you may have a genetic propensity toward increased production of testosterone and/or the conversion of DHT.
- Other causes of increased DHT: Higher stress levels increase your body’s production of the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol can in-turn raise your levels of testosterone. Combating DHT at the cellular level is the most effective step to arrest hair loss. Protecting the androgen receptor from DHT is just one component of hair loss recovery. If excellent hair growth is also your goal, follicles must be STIMULATED in order to induce an Anagen Growth Phase. Once this is accomplished, many clients must continue follicle stimulation in an effort to ensure the hair follicles remain active.