Androgenetic alopecia is a type of hair loss that is acquired genetically and it affects both men and women. This is what is commonly called male or female pattern baldness. This more prevalent in men, but it is much more devastating when it affects women.
If you have seen some middle aged men sporting a receding hairline, that is a classic example of male pattern baldness. A hairline that goes backward forming a “U” or “W” shape, or balding that starts from the crown area best characterize this type of hair loss. In women it presents as a thinning or balding along the hairline that runs in the middle of the head. Sometimes it is also a diffuse thinning and shedding of hairs all over the scalp. It is a gradual process but hair sheds excessively and never goes back.
Androgenetic alopecia is an autoimmune condition in which your body attacks your own hairs. The main factor that is at play here is the male hormone androgen. Maybe you are raising your eyebrows at this point thinking that you are a woman, how can you have male sex hormones? Well, by nature we are given a small amount of these hormones and so do the men have their share of ours.
The androgen which is testosterone is what is mainly affected that causes hair loss. When testosterone comes in contact with the enzyme it 5-alphareductase, it is then converted into DHT (dihydrotestosterone). When DHT comes in contact with your delicate hair follicles, it causes them to shrink and shed excessively. That is why you have thinning and balding areas.
Although equally embarrassing for both male and female, but society is more accepting when they see it happen to men. Women on the other hand are burdened both on the fact that they lost their hair and the fear that society might ridicule them. This is true since we are programmed to look at a luscious head of hair is a sign of beauty and health in women. So those who are stricken by androgenetic alopecia feel that they come short of that.
There goes that trampled self-esteem and confidence. This not only affects how they look at themselves but also how they interact with other people. Some may choose to suffer in silence while others take matters into their hands.
Some women opt for wigs and extensions to conceal the problem. Some take the medically sound approach by using hair loss medications prescribed by a trichologist. While others on the other hand choose a more radical approach and opt for a hair transplant surgery.
For anything, it is best that a woman get a consult to really know what the bottom cause of her hair loss is. Because for all she know it could just be due to stress or medications that she is taking.
Hair loss can affect a woman more than it does to men, since hair largely defines her femininity; therefore it gives her an impaired body image.