It’s easy to get bogged down in the science behind hair loss, and there is certainly a lot of terminology to get your head around when you first begin researching the matter. So, it may come as a relief to know that androgenic alopecia and androgenetic alopecia are actually the same thing: hair loss due to a genetic disposition.
So, why give it this name? The ‘andro’ part of the word comes from ‘androgen,’ which is a male sex hormone. The androgen DHT (formed when testosterone interacts with the enzyme 5-alpha reductase) is responsible for male pattern hair loss (and female pattern hair loss in women)in that it causes follicular miniaturisation atop the scalp, leading hair follicles to produce thinner, weaker hair. Over an extended period of time, follicles cease to produce hair at all, and a hair loss treatment plan is required to address the excess shedding.
Now, what does the ‘genic’ or ‘genetic’ part mean? Whether or not DHT affects our hair follicles is dependent on a genetic predisposition to being sensitive to the androgen hormone. We inherit genetic traits from our family tree, although it’s possible to carry the trait in your DNA without ‘expressing’ it, in this case without balding yourself. For example, your mother and/or father could carry the baldness gene but keep their hair, whereas you might experience actual hair loss.
No Cure For Genetics
Because male pattern hair loss occurs in this way, it cannot be ‘cured,’ because we cannot alter our genetic make up. It’s also true that preventative medication shouldn’t be taken, because even though we inherit the predisposition to baldness from our family, this doesn’t necessarily mean that a) you will go bald at the same time as relatives with hair loss or b) that the baldness will progress in the same way.
So, if you have a history of pattern hair loss in your family, the best way to prevent baldness is to keep a close eye on the density of the hair atop your scalp and your hairline, and make an appointment to see a hair loss specialist if you think you’re thinning or experiencing a receding hairline.
Along with diagnosing you, a specialist will also be able to put together a bespoke hair loss treatment programme based on your specific needs. A combination of the two medications licensed by the MHRA and approved by the FDA to treat hair loss is generally the most effective approach.
A Combined Approach
The first of these, Propecia (finasteride 1mg), is a daily oral tablet that blocks DHT, which helps with the overall thinning of hair atop the scalp. The second medication, minoxidil, helps to stimulate new growth. High strength minoxidil has been seen to work particularly well for stubborn hair loss. For more information about the various minoxidil products available from Belgravia, please contact the clinic.
A Belgravia treatment plan will also contain a number of hair growth boosters, selected for you by a hair loss specialist, which complement the proven medications. The FDA cleared LaserComb can potentially speed up regrowth, whilst nutritional supplement Hair Vitalics ensures all round hair health.
The Belgravia Centre
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.