Androgenetic alopecia affects both men and women. An estimated 50 million men and 30 million women suffer from it in the US. Although it affects both men and women, it is somewhat different for men than for women.
So, how is it different between the two sexes?
Pattern of Hair Loss
The first and most obvious difference is in how androgenetic alopecia looks on both men and women.
Men experience what’s called male-pattern hair loss. Hair loss occurs in a typical pattern usually starting at the top and back of the head (bald spot) and/or at the front/top hairline (receding hairline). There are several recognized scales for measuring and identifying the type and stage of hair loss in men including the Norwood, Hamilton, and Ogata scales.
Women experience female-pattern hair loss that looks considerably different. Women tend to lose hair on the top of the head in a wide and more diffuse way. The scales for measuring and identifying hair loss in women include the Savin, Ludwig, and Sinclair scales.
There are exceptions to the patterns of hair loss in both men and women, and all the scales have their limitations. If you are suffering from hair loss, your pattern may look different than any of the published scales used in research.
At the follicular level, the hair loss for both men and women is similar. As we talked about in a previous article, what is happening is miniaturization of the hair follicle.
In miniaturization, the normal cycle of hair growth stages (anagen, catagen, telogen, and exogen) changes and the growth phase (anagen) shortens. Instead of an anagen phase that is years long in a young person, the anagen phase gets shorter and shorter.
In addition, the tiny blood vessels and muscle attached to the follicle under the scalp become smaller and pull away. As the follicle receives less nutrition and stimulation, the hairs growing out of the follicle to become thinner, more fragile, and have a shorter life cycle before they fall out.
Eventually, as the follicle shrinks or miniaturizes, each follicle which normally grows several hairs in what’s called a follicular unit produces fewer and fewer hairs until there are none produced at all.
Another key difference between male and female androgenetic alopecia is in the populations affected. Men tend to have an earlier onset of hair loss than women, and a higher percentage of men are affected out of the whole male population that is true for women. This is why there are in the US roughly 50 million men affected and only 30 million women affected, which we said at the beginning. And which is still a lot of people.
The population of the US is estimated to be about 327 million people. That means that about 15 percent of men and 10 percent of women have noticeable androgenetic alopecia. Considerable research is going on all the time, and participating in a clinical trial is always a possibility, especially if you live in or near a big city.
But like we always say, there are already treatments that work for both men and women, and we can help you with that. Just contact us.
Anyone suffering from sudden and significant hair loss should see his or her family doctor, but we are here for you when you’re ready to start treatment for hair loss. If you have any questions about treatment for hair loss or any of our products, we encourage you to call us directly at (844) 280-4680.