Involutional Alopecia Vs. Androgenic Alopecia
Involutional alopecia is the thinning of your hair as part of the natural aging process. This type of alopecia occurs when your hair’s growth (anagen) phase is shortened, and the hair spends more times in the resting (telogen) or shedding (catagen) phases. For more information about hair physiology, please see our other article.
For young people, about 90 percent of your hair is in a growth phase at any one time. As you age, that percentage drops, and over time hair is not replaced like it is when you are young. This is why some older people also cannot grow their hair as long as they used to be able to—the hair doesn’t stay in a growth phase long enough to grow really long hair.
Androgenic alopecia is the most common genetic and age-related type of alopecia. This type of alopecia is what is generally referred to as male or female pattern baldness. Male pattern baldness can be mapped in a predictable way according to the Hamilton-Norwood scale, and female pattern baldness can be mapped according to the Ludwig scale.
In men, androgenic alopecia seems to be related to an over-abundance of dihydrotestosterone in the scalp, which is caused by a genetic trigger not well understood. We know even less about what the triggers and causes are for female pattern baldness.
Treatment for these two types of alopecia vary depending on whether you are a man or woman, how extensive your hair thinning or hair loss is, and what your long-term goals are. We always recommend a thorough check-up before starting hair loss treatment to eliminate some common causes like a thyroid problem or too much vitamin A.
The good news is that most of the treatments available, like medical, surgical, and Low-Light Laser Therapy (LLLT) are available either alone or in combination for both men and women for both of these types of alopecia. There is effective treatment available now for hair loss, as well as significant research being conducted on new therapies all the time.
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.