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Male and Female Baldness: What’s the Difference?

Pattern hair loss is the most common cause of hair loss across the world. However few people realise that both men and women are susceptible to the condition. Even less appreciate that the condition affects both sexes slightly differently.

How DHT Shrinks Hair Follicles

How DHT Shrinks Hair Follicles

The cause of pattern baldness

In people affected by pattern balding, the hormone testosterone is converted into an androgen called dihydrotestosterone, or DHT for short.

This new compound then attacks hair follicles in the scalp causing them to shrink and inhibiting the growth of new hair cells in the follicles. As the follicles shrink, the hair becomes finer and weaker. Eventually the affected follicles die off, preventing new growth altogether.

Male Scratching head The Belgravia CentreMale pattern baldness

Male pattern baldness manifests as a receding hairline (‘receding frontal hairline’), the development of a bald spot at the crown (‘vertex thinning’ or a ‘thinning crown’) or a combination of both.

The signs of male pattern balding are easily recognised and measured by hair loss experts who will determine how advanced the hair loss is, and what options are available for treatment.

Over time men affected by the condition can expect the thinning bald spot at the top of their head to get larger. Left untreated the condition will continue to spread until there is little or no hair left.

Woman with Thinning HairFemale pattern hair loss

Although the root cause of pattern hair loss – DHT – is exactly the same for men and women, the effect is slightly different. Female pattern baldness does not tend to manifest as distinct bald patches, but as more of a general thinning across the entire scalp.

Known as diffuse thinning, most women affected lose a lot of their hair volume, making their scalp more visible. In general, the hairline remains intact, but in some rarer cases women with hair loss may experience a receding hairline.

Treating genetic hair loss in men and women

The key to treating pattern baldness is the same for both men and women – a fully personalised hair loss treatment plan. The details of the hair regrowth plan will vary from individual to individual, particularly as some of the common hair loss medications are unsuitable for use by women (e.g. finasteride 1mg), and others require different formulations for efficacy amongst females (e.g. Minoxidil). On-going monitoring of the treatment programme by a hair loss professional will be necessary for best results.


The Belgravia CentreThe 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.


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