Androgenic alopecia is a condition that affects both men and women. In men, it is more commonly referred to as “male pattern baldness” and is often attributed to family history or genetic predisposition. While there is no definitive list of androgenic alopecia causes, there are some factors that seem to attribute to it more than others.
What Is Androgenic Alopecia?
Androgenic alopecia, as in name would indicate, refers to hair loss that is caused by both genetics and hormones.
Many men who suffer from androgenic alopecia never fully “go bald.” Instead, they notice a thinning of the hair over years and years. They see the classic “M-shaped” hairline form and then realize that their hairline is thinning out a bit.
Some Myths About Male Pattern Baldness
Before we get into the androgenic alopecia causes, let’s get rid of some of the myths about it. As this can prevent men from getting the proper treatment.
“It is inherited from your mother’s side of the family.”
This is one that probably most people have heard and it is not true. In truth, both sets of parents genes contribute to baldness. Looking at both sides of the family can give a person a good indication of how they will turn out.
“Baldness is caused by poor circulation.”
This is untrue. The amount of blood flowing to each hair follicle does not determine if a person’s hair will stay in or fall out. In a related myth, wearing a hat does not “smother” or in any way harm your hair.
Most Common Androgenic Alopecia Causes
While there is no definitive cause for baldness there are a few short term events that have been linked to the condition.
This is a big one. Stress has been proven to wreak havoc on the human body so it is no wonder that his has been linked to male pattern baldness.
In an article posted on the Mayo Clinic website, they say that stress and hair loss can be related. One of the most common types of hair loss due to stress is called Telogen Effluvium. What happens is that when one is experiencing prolonged, significant stress, their hair follicles are forced into a resting or static state. After some time the affected hair will suddenly fall out when washing or combing it.
However, this type of hair loss does not have to be permanent. Many times, once the stress has disappeared the hair will grow back.
Diseases And Medication
Many times a disease is the cause of hair loss. And sometimes the medication taken for those diseases can cause it as well (think about chemotherapy).
Some scalp infections like ringworm can cause scaly patches on the scalp which can lead to hair falling out. The body’s immune system can attack the hair follicles causing hair loss as well. This is referred to as alopecia areata.
As stated before, radiation therapy can cause hair loss that may never grow back in the same manner. Certain traumatic events such as surgery, rapid weight loss, or a death in the family have also been known to cause hair loss.
The good news is that not all of these androgenic alopecia causes are permanent. In many cases, once the causal event has passed (stress, illness, or traumatic event) the hair will grow back. However, it may not grow back to the same level as before.